Diamond wars: Marietta High slated to host Warren today

Let’s play ball – or at least, let’s try to -weather permitting.

Marietta High is scheduled to host Warren in a non-conference baseball game at Legion Field in the Fairgrounds at 5 p.m. today.

Last season, the two Washington County arch-rivals were slated to play on the diamond, too, but the games were rained out.

Maybe, Mother Nature will be more cooperative this spring. Today’s forecast calls for the possibility of an isolated thunderstorm in the afternoon.

So, cross your fingers that the rain stays away.

“We look forward to a challenging week ahead, beginning with Warren,” said MHS co-skipper Jim Thrash. “It should be a quality high school baseball game.”

Marietta (5-2 overall, 1-1 East Central Ohio League) currently owns a three-game winning streak, including Saturday’s triumphs over visiting Vinton County and Southern.

The Tigers mercied the Vikings, 14-1, in five innings in the opener, and followed that up with a 9-2 win against the Tornadoes in the nightcap.

Making his first mound appearance of the campaign, Joe Roberts surrendered an unearned run in the top of the first, and then shut down VC on just two hits over four innings. The Tigers scored in every inning against the Vikings. Evan Sawyer, Adam Mcknight, and Ben Barnas each had two hits and Nick Spurr drove in three runs.

MHS sent McKnight to the hill versus previously undefeated Southern in its second game. Although McKnight allowed two first-inning runs, the right-hander shut down the Tornadoes by only allowing one more hit over the next five innings to pick up his first varsity victory.

Meanwhile, Marietta overcame the early deficit and pounded out 10 hits led by Devin Leister and Barnas, who had two hits and scored two runs apiece.

Sophomore Austin Hefter added three singles and Roberts contributed three RBIs.

The Marietta victory snapped Southern’s 33-game regular-season, winning streak stretching back to 2011. The Tornadoes were 26-1 last season, losing only to Newark Catholic in the regional final.

“We are very pleased with our two wins and maintaining our undefeated home record (5-0),” Thrash said. “The win over Southern, which is a solid and successful team, is our most complete game of the season to this point.

“We pitched well, we had timely hitting, our defense was solid and our base running was aggressive.”

Against the Warriors, the southpaw-throwing Sawyer is expected to pitch for the Tigers. Going around the horn, look for Roberts (catcher), Hefter (first), Steve Herron (second), Barnas (third), Leister (short), Adam McKnight or Corey Spanner (left), Nick Lewis (center) and Spurr (right).

Spanner could also be the designated hitter.

Warren has not competed on the diamond, since claiming an 8-7 decision at Portsmouth last Friday. The Mark Farr-coached Warriors are 3-1 overall and 1-1 in the Southeastern Ohio Athletic League.

Warren’s probable starters may be Garrett Kennedy (pitcher), Gunnar Smith (catcher), Danny Pannell or Justin Hill (first), Riley Bobo (second), Ethans Estes (short), Jake Scott (third, if Kennedy pitches), Zach McKenna (left), Lance Schafer (center), David Ryan or Jake Freeman (right), and Ryan or Scott (designated hitter).

Also on tap today, the Stacy Fleming-coached Marietta girls’ softball team is scheduled to entertain Warren at Phillips Field at 5 p.m.

Righty Lindsay Hiatt is expected to start on the hill for the Tigers. Going around the horn, the other probable starters will be Alexis Beardmore (catcher), Maddie Farrar (first), Kara Carpenter (second), Rebekah Haught (third), Shae Hutchison (short), Jessica Mossack (left), Abby Harrison (center), and Tyler Lamb (right).

The Rachelle Pallini-led Warrriors will probably counter with right-hander Kaylee Higgins on the mound. A couple of other royal blue and white players to keep an eye on will be Brandi Douglass (catcher), Kendra Lynch (short), and Hailey Murdock (center).

Jim Thrash contributed to this report.