Seven innings weren’t enough to determine a victor between Marquette and Kouts on Tuesday, yet it turned it out to be plenty. The Blazers and Mustangs combined for more errors (22) than hits (18) in an 18-18 deadlock that concluded once the sun fainted.
Marquette was kept scoreless through the first three innings while Kouts built up a 7-0 lead after three innings.
Sophomore starter John Allen surrendered six runs (one earned) on four hits across two innings. Junior Sean Bardol took over for Allen in the third, but he was greeted with an error to begin his tenure.
The Blazers came alive in the fourth as the first five batters reached safely to start the top half. Run-scoring singles off the bat of seniors Karsen Grott and Jarett Piornack cut the deficit to 7-2. Kouts pushed the margin back to seven, though, with two of its own in the home half.
Marquette was the beneficiary of three Mustang errors, a passed ball, and a bases-loaded walk as part of a five-run top of the fifth. Junior Nick Andrews earned the RBI on the base on balls that forced in Sean Bardol to make it 9-7 after four-and-a-half innings.
Just as it did in the fourth, Kouts answered the Blazers in the bottom half of the fifth. Two errors and four walks occurred in the frame as the Mustangs again found themselves up a touchdown.
Marquette flipped a 14-7 deficit into a 17-14 advantage with a wild 10-run top of the sixth.
The inning opened with senior Robert Barron getting drilled with a pitch. Grott followed with a double before Charlie Estes was intentionally walked to load the bases for Sean Bardol. In the middle of the Bardol at-bat, Barron raced home on a passed ball which made it 14-8. Bardol eventually reached on an E4 that again loaded the bases.
Senior Zach Donaldson delivered a two-run single to left to keep the merry-go-round spinning. Piornack worked a walk, jamming the bases yet again. Freshman Brady Thomas ripped a line-drive single to center that plated Bardol and Donaldson. Andrews collected his second RBI of the evening with a sacrifice fly that brought the Blazers to within 14-13.
After an Allen walk, Barron rifled a game-tying single to left that scored Thomas. Marquette recorded the go-ahead run on a miscue by the Kouts shortstop that allowed Allen to cross the dish. Three batters later, Donaldson worked the count full before taking ball four which forced in Estes from third base. The Blazers’ final run of the frame came courtesy of an E4.
Marquette’s lead didn’t leave the sixth, however. The Mustangs tallied four to overtake the lead, 18-17.
The Blazers were down to their last out before tying it in the seventh. Allen led the charge with a one-out walk. He stole second base with two outs to move into scoring position for Grott. The game was extended when Grott reached on an error on the second baseman that enabled Allen to come around all the way from second base and knot the game up at 18-18.
Marquette held Kouts scoreless for the first – and only – time in the seventh inning to ice the game at 18-18.
Allen and Grott led the Blazers with four runs scored each. Donaldson was the high-RBI man with three. Only two of the 18 runs scored upon Blazer pitching were earned.
Marquette (4-7-1) returns to the diamond Thursday afternoon at Boone Grove. First pitch is slated for 5:00 pm.