After Wednesday's contest at Zanesville's Jay Payton Field, Marietta High's baseball team will have played four games in five days.
The Tigers, who are guided by veteran co-skippers' Jim Thrash and Larry Burke, get a break today before resuming East Central Ohio League (ECOL) action against visiting New Philadelphia at 5 p.m. Friday.
Then, MHS (2-2 overall, 0-1 ECOL) is scheduled to return to the road for a noon, non-conference doubleheader against Vinton County. On the horizon for the orange and black nine is Mark Farr-coached Warren, which is slated to visit the Fairgrounds diamond at American Legion Field at 5 p.m. Monday.
Times file photo
Marietta High lefty Evan Sawyer warms up before a game last season. The senior standout is off to a good start, pitching and hitting.
Hard to believe, but Marietta and Warren didn't face each other in baseball last season due to the inclement weather.
So, what have Thrash and Burke learned so far about their Tiger ballclub in the first four games?
Well, not surprisingly, the MHS pitching, despite the relatively cold temperatures, has been terrific. In four games, only nine opponents have touched home plate.
Last Saturday in Duncan Falls, Evan Sawyer threw out the first pitch of the 2013 compaign when Marietta played and lost to the host Philo Electrics 2-1 in eight innings. The senior southpaw only gave up one unearned run in six innings of work.
Unfortunately, the Tigers must have left their bats back in Washington County, because they went hitless in their season opener.
Thrash was right on the money when he said in the preseason, "It's always nice to have experienced pitching, but we need some people to catch and hit the ball."
Rebounding in a big way, Marietta evened its record at 1-1 with a 9-3 triumph over visiting Alexander on Monday. This time, the Tigers had both pitching and hitting.
Sawyer, who started in left, led the way with a double, two singles and three RBI. Nick Spurr, the right fielder, and Devin Leister, the winning hurler, added two knocks apiece.
Adam McKnight started on the hill, and Leister and and Sawyer, respectively, relieved and kept the Spartans at bay.
Returning to American Legion Field Tuesday, Ben Barnas pitched a two-hitter in a 5-0 Tiger triumph over Athens.
The senior righty went the distance, fanning 12 and walking two.
At Zanesville, the pitching was good again, but it's difficult to win with only one run as the Tigers dropped a 4-1 decision. Sawyer suffered the setback.
New Philadelphia is an important game for Marietta, because it's both the next one and a league tilt. A year ago, the orange and black dropped a 4-1 decision to the host Quakers on a very rainy, muddy diamond in New Philly.
The Quakers (2-2) are coached by Ryan Range and led by returning senior letterwinners' Brennen Flores (2B), Adam Hershberger (SS/P), Dakota Hill (OF/P), Hunter Joseph (C), and Jesse Kandel (CF).
Some others to keep an eye on will be Hunter May, Lance Lebold, Nick Incarnatok, Casey Kinsey, Kyle Kinsey, Mitchell Pape, Cody Meese, Garrett Harstine, and Mike Kamban.
New Philadelphia began the season with a twinbill setback to John Glenn. The Quakers have bounced back and won their last two games, including a 9-2 triumph over St. Thomas Aquinas on Tuesday.
Thrash said he was thinking about starting Barnas again on the mound against New Philly. If he does, McKnight will probably play third base.
Going around the horn, Marietta's other probable starters may be Joe Roberts or Nathan Bryan behind the plate; Austin Hefter, first; Steve Herron, second; Leister, short; Sawyer, left; Nick Lewis, center; and Spurr, right.
A couple of other Tigers to keep an eye on will be Corey Spanner and Mike Ullman.