Marion High School Athletics


Marion extends winning streak to 22 games

Photo Credit: Christy Catt


Marion baseball picked up right where it left off in 2022 so far this spring. The defending Class 5A state champions entered the 2023 season with question marks following the graduation of eight seniors, but so far a lot of those questions have faded during the team's blazing 6-0 start that has seen the Patriots outscore their competition by a combined 81-10 so far this season. That start has helped extend Marion's winning streak to 22 games dating to last April. MARION 27, GOSNELL 1 Marion opened its 2023 campaign at First National Bank of Eastern Arkansas Stadium, home of John Robbins Field, on Friday, March 3 against Class 4A Gosnell. The Pats struck for six runs in the first inning, 15 in the third, and six more in the fourth to punish the Pirates. Eight Patriots combined to record the team's 16 hits against Gosnell, while the hosts also drew 12 walks. Senior Jett Sutton (3-5 hitting against Gosnell with five RBI and three runs scored) and junior Parker Nash (3-5 with five RBI and two runs) led the way for Marion with three hits apiece. Seniors Connor Taylor (2-3 with four RBI and four runs), Daxton Davis (2-5 with three RBI and two runs), junior Davis York (2-4 with four RBI And two runs), and sophomore Cohen Bumbaugh (2-3 with three runs, two walks, and two RBI) powered the Patriot offense. Nash mashed a pair of doubles, while Matthew Kearney, Davis, and Sutton also logged two-baggers, while Sutton and Bumbaugh recorded triples. Three Marion pitchers combined on a five-inning no-hitter, led by York, who started and fired three perfect innings at the Pirates, including five strikeouts. Sutton relieved York and threw one inning, with a strikeout, and he allowed one unearned run. Bumbaugh worked around a walk in the fifth but logged three strikeouts. MARION 15, BUFFALO ISLAND CENTRAL 0 Marion's pitching remained in control Monday, March 6 when Taylor spun a five-inning perfect game against the B.I.C. Mustangs at FNBEA Stadium. The Lyon College signee fired 61 pitches against the Mustangs, including 45 strikes. The senior standout struck out eight batters over five innings. Making Taylor's effort stand up was a relentless Marion offense that scored at least two runs in every inning. Taylor helped his own cause by going 2-3 at the plate with three RBI against B.I.C., while York (2-2 with two runes, an RBI, and a walk), and Bumbaugh (2-3 with two RBI and a run) also recorded multiple hits. Kearney scored three runs with two RBI and two walks, and sophomore Carson Catt walked twice and scored three times. MARION 7, JONESBORO 0 The Patriots revived their longtime rivalry with Jonesboro on Tuesday, March 7 when Marion traveled to play the Golden Hurricane in Craighead County. Marion avenged its only conference loss of a season ago by limiting the Golden Hurricane to two hits, while Slade Inman and Taylor each homered in a 7-0 Patriot victory. York fired six strong innings at Jonesboro, striking out 11 and allowing both hits. Davis pitched a perfect seventh while recording a pair of strikeouts. A scoreless game moved into the fourth inning when Taylor poled a long home run to right field on a 3-2 count and the Pats led 1-0 entering the bottom of the fourth. It was Inman's turn in the fifth when the senior came to the plate with Nash and Kearney aboard. Facing an 0-1 count, Inman turned on the offering and deposited it over the right-field fence for a game-changing three-run round-tripper. Bumbaugh recorded an RBI double and scored on a Kearney sacrifice fly to stake Marion to a 6-0 lead. Sutton scored on an error to cap the scoring in the top of the seventh. MARION 8, HERNANDO, MISS. 7 Marion picked up an early-season come-from-behind victory on Friday, March 10 when the Pats erased a two-run, seventh-inning deficit for a dramatic 8-7 victory at FNBEA Stadium. Hernando outhit Marion 10-2, but the Tigers made three errors, and Marion made the most of its chances to improve to 4-0 this year. After Hernando struck for three runs in the top of the first, Marion scored five times in the home half of that frame when Nash drew a bases-loaded walk to score Taylor. Sutton then took the big bite out of Hernando, hitting a ball in the gap that cleared the bases and gave Marion a 4-3 lead. Sutton came around on a passed ball and the Pats led 5-3 after one frame. But that's when the Marion offense slowed down and Hernando struck back with single runs in the fourth and sixth innings before the visitors put up a pair of runs in the top of the seventh to earn a 7-5 lead. Inman reached on an error leading off the bottom of the seventh just before Taylor drew a walk and York reached on a hit by pitch. With the bases full of Pats and nobody out, Bumbaugh lofted a deep fly ball that easily allowed Inman to score, and Taylor and York tagged up to advance 90 feet on the throw, setting Marion up with two runners in scoring position with just one out. That's when Marion tabbed sophomore Tyler Carey, who grounded out to third but allowed Taylor to score the game's tying run. An errant Hernando throw missed the third baseman and York came around with the decisive run. Davis worked the final five innings for Marion out of the bullpen to earn the victory. The senior surrendered nine hits and three runs, but only one was earned. He struck out four. MARION 12, SEARCY 2 (Game 1, six innings) Marion scored in every inning, including a seven-run outburst in the third, to pick up a 12-2 victory in a six-inning conference opener against Searcy at FNBEA Stadium on Tuesday night. Kearney led the Marion offensive charge by going 3-3 against the Lions with three runs and an RBI, while Taylor finished 2-4 with four RBI. Sutton and Bumbaugh each scored twice. York earned the win by going all six innings, striking out 11, and allowing just three hits and a pair of runs. The junior delivered 81 pitches against Searcy, 56 for strikes. York did not issue a walk. Taylor started the scoring when his double plated Kearney in the first inning, and Kearney chased in the game's second run when he delivered Sutton with a second-inning single and a 2-0 Marion lead after two stanzas. Marion blew the game open in the third, sending 11 batters to the plate to score seven times. The rally started when York was hit by a pitch leading off before giving way to courtesy runner Solomon Flores. A Bumbaugh single chased in Flores, and Bumbaugh scored when Sutton struck a double on the following at bat. Following consecutive RBI hits by Nash, Catt, and Kearney, Taylor delivered a big blow with a two-run double that plated Kearney and Inman for a 9-0 Marion advantage after three frames. MARION 12, SEARCY 0 (Game 2, five innings) A 25-minute break and a shift to the visitors' side of the scoreboard slowed Marion for a pair of scoreless innings, but the Pats responded by scoring four times in the third, fourth, and fifth innings to improve to 2-0 in league action. Kearney set the table again in the nightcap, finishing 2-4 with four RBI and a run, while Taylor finished 3-2 with three RBI. Inman drove in a pair of runs, while Catt scored three times, and Nash and Bumbaugh came across twice. Sutton started and earned the victory by firing three innings of shutout baseball, striking out six hitters, and allowing a single hit. Taylor relieved Sutton and recorded one strikeout and surrendered a hit. Junior Jack Carter pitched the fifth when he struck out one and allowed just one hit. A scoreless game entered the top of the third when Nash walked and scored on Catt's triple. Kearney plated Catt with a sac fly, and Inman came around on a Taylor three-bagger, and suddenly Marion led 4-0. Kearney delivered Bumbaugh and Nash with a hit in the fourth, and Taylor plated Catt and Kearney with a scoring single of his own as the Patriot advantage hit 8-0. Hudson McEwan walked and scored on a Bumbaugh double in the fifth, and Bumbaugh came around on another Kearney hit. Inman chased in Catt and Sutton to cap the scoring. WHAT'S NEXT? Marion hosts Jonesboro on Friday afternoon for a varsity/junior varsity showdown at First National Bank of Eastern Arkansas Stadium. The varsity contest will begin at 4 p.m. And it will be broadcast on and on the Marion Patriots Activities Network mobile app. 5A EAST RESULTS FROM MARCH 14 Marion 12, Searcy 2 Marion 12, Searcy 0 Valley View 16, W. Memphis 1 Valley View 12, W. Memphis 0 Greene Co. Tech 7, Nettleton 1 Greene Co. Tech 10, Nettleton 0 Paragould at Batesville (March 15) 5A EAST STANDINGS AS OF MARCH 15 SCHOOL CONF. RECORD (Top 4 teams make playoffs at Marion) Marion 2-0 Valley View 2-0 Greene Co. Tech 2-0 Batesville 0-0 Paragould 0-0 Nettleton 0-2 Searcy 0-2 W. Memphis 0-2