MARION — It wasn’t pretty by any stretch of the imagination, but the Marion baseball team will take it.
The Wildcats, needing a win to still have a chance at a share of the South Seven Conference crown, scored all five runs on errors and wild pitches in a 5-4 victory over Carbondale on Tuesday.
The Terriers committed seven errors, and Marion made them pay for it.
In the bottom of the sixth inning of a 4-4 game, Brendan Soldner and Drake Gravatt each hit one-out singles against Carbondale reliever Justin Massingale. Josh Griffin hit a tailor-made double play ball, but after the out at second base, the throw to first was wild, allowing Soldner to score the go-ahead run.
“It was ugly, it really was,” said Marion coach Marty Manfredo. “We made some errors, and they made some errors. I told the kids after the game that we’ve been off for six days, and I thought we’d be a little sluggish, and we were. We’re happy to get out of here with a win.”
Massingale took over pitching duties for Jackson Brandhorst with two outs in the bottom of the third. The Carbondale reliever pitched well and kept his team in the ball game, despite the lackluster defense behind him.
“Massingale did exactly what we needed him to as a relief pitcher,” said Carbondale coach Scott Hankey. “He came in and threw strikes and kept guys off balance. They didn’t hit very many balls hard of him. Unfortunately, our defense just couldn’t pick it up and make plays for him.”
Cavan Cameron relieved Marion starting pitcher, Cory Howard, of his duties with no outs and two runners on base in the second inning. Cameron went on to throw five solid innings of relief to earn the win.
Manfredo called on Hez Goodman to close it out, which was just his second appearance of the season after coming back from an injury.
Goodman gave up a leadoff double to Bodie Jones. But the Marion hurler was lights out after that. Goodman fanned the next three batters to preserve the victory.
“He’s capable of doing that,” Manfredo said of Goodman. “We don’t really know how much stamina he’s got right now because he’s missed the whole season. We’re hoping to steal a few wins with him here and have him ready for the regional.”
The Terriers trailed 4-3 entering the sixth inning, and Dylan Perrott led off with a double to the fence in right center. Massingale knocked in the game-tying run with a single.
Marion (16-4, 7-2) hosts Mount Vernon Thursday and has to win to share the conference title with the Rams.