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Marauders plunder Greenway Tournament
Written by George Werner   
Wednesday, 26 March 2014 11:48

In true Marauders fashion, the Mingus Union High School baseball team [11-1-1] scored 29 runs in two games away from home Tuesday, March 25, rebounding from its first loss of the spring to run-rule Littleton [Colo.] High School, 23-8.

Junior Orlando Machado finishes the end of his slide into home during his second-inning inside-the-park home run for Mingus Union High School in a 14-4 home win over Thunderbird High School on March 11. Machado will be pitching and playing infield for the Marauders during the Greenway High School Festival Tournament on Wednesday, March 26, and Thursday, March 27.

The games opened play for MUHS in the Greenway Festival tournament, in which the Marauders are guaranteed to play at least five games over three days.

For his team’s first 11 games of the season, head baseball coach Bob Young enjoyed going undefeated while it lasted.

“We’re off to a strong start,” he said. “But I told them [March 24] in practice, we can’t peak in the middle of March. We’ve got to keep getting better.”

Good pitching and defense as well as timely hitting were all hallmarks of the MUHS 10-game win streak, Young said, which included five run-ruled victories by a combined score of 64-8.

“We had some real low-scoring games where we had to scrap,” he said, citing 2-1 and 3-2 wins over Northwest Christian and Kingman high schools. “Finally, last week, we put some runs on the board. We were more patient at the plate.”

And in the second game of their final tournament on March 25, the Marauders, to coin Young’s phrase, “lit it up” against Littleton.

Senior Tyler Bond hit a three-run home run to cap a six-run third inning, while junior shortstop Tom McCarty cranked a fourth-inning grand slam and sophomore Jordan Upham and senior Austin Zwart each had four hits in five at-bats in the
23-8 win.

“Zwart’s starting to hit the ball and stop swinging for the fences,” assistant coach John Behlow said. “We had a little chat about that. He realized that running the bases was more fun.”

Still, the streak had to end sometime, which it did earlier that day in the bottom of the sixth inning of the Marauders’ opening tournament game against Evergreen [Colo.] High School and left-handed professional pitching prospect Brock Burke.

“We didn’t play our best game,” Young said. “We had really good opportunities, but the kid they threw was probably the best pitcher we’ve seen this season.”

Senior righthander Tyler Bond “didn’t do a bad job,” Young said, in four innings for the Marauders, but, in front of 22 professional baseball scouts, Burke’s big curveball and fastball reaching the upper 80s in mph shut out MUHS until a furious six-run rally tied the game in the top of the sixth inning.


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