A combination of unlikely circumstances forced the Marcellus baseball team to play its Section III Class B opening-round playoff game over a span of two days -- but it all turned out well, as the Mustangs beat no. 9 seed Hannibal 4-3.
For a while on Tuesday, things were fairly normal, as the two sides went to the sixth inning in a 1-1 tie, Hannibal scoring in the first inning off Adam Breuer and Marcellus answering in the fourth inning
In the top of the sixth, though, it got crazy. With two outs and the game tied 1-1, Scott Cotter hit a ball down the left-field line, bringing home the go-ahead run for the Mustangs, but as he tried to score, Cotter missed the plate.
Marcellus teammates pushed Cotter back to the plate to get the run, and Hannibal coach Pete Rossi protested after the Mustangs closed out what it thought would be a 7-1 playoff victory.
Somehow, Rossi's protest was upheld. As such, they returned to the field Wednesday, resuming in the sixth inning with the Mustangs up, 2-1, and it would remain that way through the end of the frame
Trying to put it away, Marcellus put up two runs in the top of the seventh, extending the margin to 4-1, and they would be needed. Phil Zdanowski, relieving Breuer, watched Hannibal stage its own two-run rally in the bottom of the seventh, but got the final out to keep the Mustangs' season alive for another day.
Combined, Breuer and Zdanowski allowed just five hits, while Marcellus got 11 hits. Helping his own cause, Zdanowski had two RBIs.
For all that trouble, the Mustangs got, as a "reward", a shot at top seed Westhill (a team it lost to twice in the regular season) in the Class B quarterfinals.
In a bit of an anticlimax, the Warriors eliminated the Mustangs 9-2. Down 3-0 after two innings, the Mustangs did score twice in the top of the fourth to draw within 3-2, but Westhill answered with six unanswered runs over the next three innings to get away.
Jordan Smith pitched and took the loss, with Dan Heil seeing extended relief duty. Combined, the Mustangs got just two hits off Westhill pitcher Mike DeCarr as its season concluded with a record of 14-9.