MARION — Somebody’s going to wear Cinderella’s slipper. It happens every prep baseball postseason. So why not the Marion Indians?
“Yeah, it would be nice if it would fit us,” Marion Coach Steve Fish said. “This is the game you want to be in.”
That game is a Class 3A substate final Wednesday at Kennedy. Marion takes a less-than-auspicious 19-21 record against mighty Benton Community (34-6). The Bobcats won the Wamac Conference’s West Division by seven games (Marion was second) and are ranked third by the Iowa High School Baseball Coaches Association. Benton swept a regular-season doubleheader, 4-3 and 5-2.
“I think we have a chance,” Fish said. “The guys believe that, and that’s half the battle.”
It should help Marion that its coming off a 5-4 district final upset Monday night of fifth-ranked Davenport Assumption. The Indians also won their first-round district game against DeWitt Central by a run, 6-5.
Fish said it’ll be freshman Cale Cannoy (6-2, 2.78 ERA) on the mound Wednesday.
This Marion team features players who also excel in other sports, such as leading hitters Pat Tiernan, Dalton Combs, Kasey Semler and Matt Barnd. Benton is a senior-laden club with two pitchers with 7-0 records (Ethan Brown and Alex Weekly) and another who is 7-1 (Jordan Kaiser).
“This has been a very rewarding season,” Fish said. “Everybody gets wrapped up in records, but at the end of the year, I can honestly say we have progressed and developed as a team.”
In other 3A substate finals Wednesday, Wamac foes Vinton-Shellsburg (23-19) and Western Dubuque (26-15) play at Epworth. Northeast Iowa Conference rivals Oelwein (17-13) and Decorah (21-13) play at Charles City.
In 4A, Cedar Rapids Washington (31-8) hosts Cedar Rapids Xavier (24-18) and Burlington (29-9) hosts Iowa City West (27-15). Rainout makeups from Tuesday are 2A sfinal at Wellman (Solon vs. Pekin) and at Cascade (Wilton vs. Dyersville Beckman), and a 1A substate final at Fairfield between Tri-County and Burlington Notre Dame.