OTTAWA Imagine the Chicago Cubs jerseys playing rivals such as the St. Louis Cardinals jerseys, the Milwaukee Brewers jerseys and the Chicago White Sox jerseys in the same week.
The Marquette baseball team did exactly that in terms of playing its headache like foes as it began the week with a loss to Westminster Christian Monday, beat Putnam County Tuesday and downed St. Bede Wednesday.
The rivalry week, as Marquette coach Todd Hopkins called it, isn’t over but continued Thursday as the Crusaders beat Tri County Conference nemesis Putnam County for the second time in three days with a 10 5 victory in Ottawa.
“Usually, we don’t get out to this kind of start (18 2, 6 0 TCC), but this entire year since Jacksonville we’ve wholesale baseball jerseys been tearing it up,” Crusaders shortstop Trystin Raikes said. “We are keeping our pitchers strong and against a team like that you have to keep hitting the ball. Overall, I think we’re going to be a really good team.
“This win is huge. Like coach says, ‘We’re head of the table now.’ Since we got these two out of the way, things should roll from here.”
The scoring didn’t begin until the top of the third inning.
After PC loaded the bases, Nick DiazDeleon reached on a Marquette error that allowed RJ Copeland to score and gave PC a 1 0 lead.
The trend continued as a bases loaded walk to Evan Kreiser scored Harold Fay, and a Neal Stasell sacrifice fly scored Austin Biagini to give the Panthers a 3 0 lead.
Marquette, however, didn’t trail for long.
“We made our plays, the plays we needed to make, had timely hitting, bunted the ball when we needed to and stole a couple bases to try to keep the pressure on them,” Hopkins said. “It’s good the last few games. We got behind and stayed with it. We didn’t try to get it all back at once and just kind of gutted it out.”
In the bottom of the third, Marquette’s Jel Raikes doubled and scored two batters later on Trystin Raikes’ fielder’s choice to cut the deficit to 3 1, and Trystin Raikes who drove in four runs scored later in the inning on an Evan Snyder sacrifice fly to pull to the Cru to 3 2. Norman and took the lead when Trystin Raikes’ sacrifice fly scored Jel Raikes.
With a 4 3 lead, the Cru tacked on in the fifth as they batted around and scored six runs to take a 10 3 lead.
In the inning, the Panthers committed five of their seven errors.
“We have a youthful team and it shows at times like it did tonight in the fifth inning defensively,” PC coach Joey Ohnesorge said. “We’re having some issues defensively at times. We’ve been able to escape against some teams that are probably a little bit mediocre. But when you face a quality team like Marquette, those innings can’t show up and you have to be able to be solid all the way around.”
Verona, meanwhile, was solid as he allowed Marquette to hold on to the win.
In all, Verona allowed five runs two earned on four hits while walking three and striking out six.
Stasell and Magana scored for the Panthers (10 4 1, 5 2 TCC) in the sixth inning, but it wasn’t enough for a comeback.
Fay took the loss on the mound for PC.
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