Sabre baseball forces extras but falls to IIT 8-7

Jake Arens throws to first.

FOND DU LAC - Marian University baseball (21-13, 12-10 NACC) scored seven runs in the ninth inning to force extras but Illinois Tech would earn an 8-7 win in 10 innings.

In a game that started in Mequon, Wis., Illinois Tech was able to score four runs before play was halted in the top of the fourth inning.  The resumption of the game from Herr-Baker Field saw the Scarlet Hawks add to their lead in the conclusion of the fourth inning with a two-run homer.

Illinois Tech extended their lead once more in the seventh inning plating a run to go ahead 7-0.  The Marian bats were stymied for much of the game but rallied with their final three outs.  The bottom of the ninth opened with senior Travis Slywka being hit by a pitch, which was followed by a fielder's choice.  The next eight Marian hitters would reach base safely to cut the lead to one.

Junior Jake Arens opened the scoring with a two-RBI single, which was followed by an RBI single from sophomore Sean Meyer.  Sophomore Nick Dugandzic then blasted a double to center field that plated a pair.  After a single from senior Matt Nordlund, sophomore Josh Gates singled through the right side to bring the score to 7-6 and put the tying run at third.  Slywka would be hit by a pitch for the second time in the inning before junior Nick Bastien lifted a sacrifice fly to center field to tie the game.

In extras, Illinois Tech was able to come up with a clutch two-out double to plate a run and take the lead.  The Sabres were able to get a runner aboard in the bottom of the 10th but were unable to keep the game going.

Sophomore Garrett Martin (5-2) tossed all 10.0 innings between the two dates striking out 17 to tie a Marian single-season record.  Offensively, the first four Marian hitters went a combined 9-for-20 (.450) led by Meyer who had a four-hit game.  Senior Jake Falish and sophomore Michael Snow each had multi-hit games as well.

Marian has now secured the five seed for the NACC tournament and will take on host Concordia Wisconsin at 1 p.m. Thursday, May 9.  The Sabres are also scheduled to take on Ripon for a noon doubleheader Tuesday, May 7 in preparations for the tournament.