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Crusaders' big 2nd inning breaks down E-P

OTTAWA — The Marquette Academy baseball team found out Wednesday afternoon that the way this team plays the game, travels very well.

The Crusaders, coming off a season-opening 3-0 trip to downstate Lenz Field in Jacksonville, maintained that red-hot caliber of play in their first game at their own Masinelli Field with a 12-2, five-inning victory over Erie-Prophetstown.
The home team broke open a 1-1 game with a whopping eight runs in the second inning — the key plays a two-run double by Nate Melvin and a two-RBI single by Jack Snook — to take control for winning pitcher John Thompson. The sophomore hurler went the first four innings, allowing two runs, one earned and just three hits while walking two and striking out five. Connor Durdan fired off a scoreless final frame to complete the four-hitter and lift the Cru to 4-0 this young season.
"The kids that started for them (Evan Camper) had good stuff, threw hard and the other two, the same thing," said Marquette coach Todd Hopkins. "They have three really good pitchers there, but I was pleased with the way we swung the bats against them ... John did a good job and Connor came in and did his job. Once we got the big lead, I didn't want to over use (Thompson) because it's still cold, but that wasn't an issue with him. He hit his spots well and Zach Dyche did a good job behind the plate, throwing out a couple of runners. That's big, too.
"We still have to get a little cleaner on defense, there are a couple of things that are bothering me, but that wasn't bad, either. It's OK at best. That has to get a lot better and it will."
The Panthers touched Thompson for a run in the first, but Bryce Foster tied it up in the home half with a booming RBI double to left. The rout started in the second when Camper hit Dyche with a pitch and then walked Snook, Luke Couch and Kyle Cook to plate the go-ahead run.
Melvin followed with his big double down the left-field line, Michael Killelea had an run-scoring hit and Camper hit Logan Komater with a pitch to end his day. E-P reliever Travis Coleman came in to get two outs, but then allowed an RBI double to Dyche and Snook's rally-capping hit to make it 9-1.
Cook scored on an error in the third and drove in a run with a single to right in the fourth before MA got the winner on Hayden Price's sacrifice fly in the fifth.
All three of those runs came around on just one hit per frame, the last of 10 by the Crusaders, two each by Melvin, Cook and Foster. On the day, Marquette took advantage of three Panthers errors, five walks issued and four hit batsmen to record the easy win.
"I told the guys before the game," said E-P coach Michael Hart, "that this is a quality team we're facing and that this would be a test for us. They're the caliber of a couple of the teams in our conference, so we were going to find out how good we are, coming in 2-0, and that good teams like that take advantage of your mistakes, of putting guys on and that's exactly what they did. When you don't get the bottom of the order out and put them on base via walk or hit batter, the top of the order will roll over and put the bat on the ball, and they did.
"This is the best pitching we've seen so far this year, too, so I'm glad to see us eventually string together some quality at bats. Marquette's a good team, a good program."

At Masinelli Field, Ottawa
Marquette 12, Erie-Prophetstown 2 (5 inn.)
(Key: AB-R-H-RBI)
E-P (2)
— Tayler 2b 3-0-0-0, Pierceson cf 3-1-2-0, Behrens ss-p 2-0-0-0, Coleman 3b-p 2-0-0-0, Ryan 1b 2-1-1-1, Hammer rf-3b-ss 2-0-0-0, Kovarik c 2-0-0-0, Camper p-rf 1-0-0-0, Ames lf 2-0-1-1. Totals 19-2-4-2.
MARQUETTE (12) — Melvin ss 3-1-2-2, Killelea 1b 3-2-1-1, Dougherty ph 0-1-0-0, Komater cf 2-0-0-0, Foster 3b 4-0-2-1, Price dh 3-1-1-1, Thompson p 0-0-0-0, C. Durdan p 0-0-0-0, Dyche c 1-1-1-1, Reynolds cr 0-1-0-0, Donahue 0-1-0-0, Snook rf 2-1-1-2, Couch 2b 2-1-0-0, Cook lf 2-2-2-2. Totals 22-12-10-10.
E-P (2-1)  100 10 —  2 4 3
Marquette (4-0)   181 11 — 12 10 1

LOB — E-P 5, Marquette 4. 2B — Melvin, Foster, Dyche. SB — Pierceson 2, Ryan, Melvin, Cook. SF — Price. HBP — Coleman (by Thompson), Dyche 2 (by Camper, by Coleman), Komater (by Behrens).
E-P    ip r er h bb k
Camper (L) 1.0 7 7 4 3 1
Coleman 3.0 4 2 5 1 3
Behrens 0.2 1 1 1 1 0
Thompson (W) 4.0 2 1 3 2 5
C. Durdan 1.0 0 0 1 0 0

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