116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
MARION – Vinton-Shellsburg did the job.
Luckily, they finished the job sooner rather than later.
The Class 3A third-ranked Vikings can hang their baseball caps on a Wamac West division title after a doubleheader split with No. 5 Marion Friday night at Marion High School.
The Vikings (32-4, 13-1) won the opener, 4-3. The Indians (28-8, 12-2) avenged the loss with a 6-5 victory in nine innings in the nightcap.
Vinton-Shellsburg needed just one victory to secure the division title and it secured that early.
The Vikings opened with a 3-0 lead, getting a run in the second and two in the third. The decisive run came in the top of the fifth. Jared Thompson's infield single scored Will Edwards, who led off with a single, for a 4-2 lead.
Marion received a two-run single from Parker Ridge in the third and closed within a run in the bottom of the sixth on Chase Zielke's opposite-field looper that drove in Owen Carstensen.
The Indians couldn't close the gap. Vikings senior Scottie Wirth came in to relieve starter Scott Betterton with the tying run on in the bottom of the seventh. Wirth doubled off the runner on a popped-up bunt attempt and then struck out the final batter for the save.
The nightcap had its share of dramatics. Mitch Wiese smacked his third hit of the second game, hitting a double to deep center field to drive in Ridge with the game-winning run. Ridge led off the inning with his second straight hit.
Vinton-Shellsburg opened with another 3-0 lead with Edwards scoring a run in each of the first two innings and also driving in Wirth with a base hit in the two-run second.
Marion tied the score in the fourth, getting a two-run single from Blair Brooks after Trevor Paulson scored on a wild pitch.
Conner Miracle hit a two-out double in the fifth and scored on Wirth's base hit to center. Blake Bohnsack followed with an RBI single to plate Wirth for a 5-3 lead.
Marion answered with run-scoring singles from Carstensen and Parker Ridge in the fifth and sixth, respectively, forcing extra innings.
Both teams will finish the regular season next week before hosting 3A district games July 14.
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