Marlette doubles down on baseball history
By Scott Bolsby | Sports Editor
CLARE — Marlette’s baseball team made history twice Saturday.
The Red Raiders won their first regional title, defeating Muskegon Catholic Central 5-4.
Its first regional crown wasn’t good enough.
Marlette then defeated Michigan Lutheran Seminary 7-6 in the quarterfinals.
The Red Raiders now advance to the Division 4 semifinals for the first time in school history. “It’s just special,” said Marlette coach Dave Hayden. “I’ve got a special group of guys and they earned it all today. They fought right to the end. Seminary never went away.
“These guys were just clutch. They played right to the end.”
Marlette jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the second on an RBI single by Ethan Marshall and a fielder’s choice RBI by Tristan Creighton.
The game then entered a rain delay, which lasted close to an hour.
When the rain went away, so did the Red Raiders’ lead.
MLS scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the second to tie the game at 2-2.
Marlette retook the lead in the third as Grant Roberson scored on a passed ball. Gavin Gage then singled in Cody Hayden to make the score 4-2. Gage eventually found home plate later in the inning to take a 5-2 lead.
The 5-2 score remained until the top of the fourth. Hayden ripped a two-run single, scoring Creighton and Travis Fuller, to extend the lead to 7-2.
MLS was not done, scoring three in the bottom of the fifth and then adding another in the bottom of the sixth cutting its deficit to one.
The Red Raiders held Saginaw MLS at bay in the seventh to get the win and advance.
“It’s a goal of every coach to get here,” said Hayden. “It means a lot to be able to do this for this group of guys. It’s just a great run.”
Cody Hayden led Marlette with two hits, two RBIs and a run scored. Gage, Marshall and Creighton each knocked in a run for the Red Raiders.
Hayden earned the win from the mound going four innings, allowing two runs and four hits while striking out three.
Marlette defeated Muskegon Catholic Central in game one behind Marshall. The lefty threw six innings, allowing three runs and five hits while striking out 10.
Aaron Bower and Hayden each drove in two runs to lead the Red Raiders offensively.
Marlette, which is now 22-7, plays Kalamazoo Hackett Friday at 2:30 p.m. in the semifinal at Michigan State University.
“We’re going to have fun,” said Hayden. “We’re going to give it a run and hopefully let these teams know that we want to play.
“We think we can play with any team in the state right now and that’s what we’re going to try to prove.”