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When Chiefland and Bronson met Monday for the first time since preseason, the result was a tougher, tighter game. Bronson was still smarting from the 14-4 beating they took in the First Pitch tourney, and were looking for revenge. The Indians got a good outing from soph starter Marquis Green and Bronson tried out Seth Steinbacher, both with happy results. After some wicked hitting in the fifth and sixth innings, Chiefland won 9-7.
For Bronson, Steinbacher struck out five and allowed five hits in five and two-thirds innings in the loss; Matt Olavarria closed. For Chiefland, Green fanned 11 and allowed six hits in five innings; Clenton Wasson took over in the sixth inning and got the win, with two hits and three strikeouts recorded.
Green walked Eagles' leadoff Mario Spadavecchia to start things off, and Spadavecchia manufactured one run for Bronson before the Eagles' bats dried up for a while. On the mound for Bronson, Steinbacher had good speed and location, and the Indians had trouble getting a solid bat on him early on, although placement problems were ultimately his undoing.
In the bottom of the second, Parrish Parnell and Bo Beauchamp drew walks, and were driven in by Jeremy Hayes and Adam Burton, respectively. The Indians bulked their lead with another run in the fourth by Dane Cothron, who also waited out a walk.
As it turned out, a 3-1 Chiefland lead wasn't enough when Bronson started to hit. With one away in the top of the fifth, Tyler Mortensen lashed a single. Kelby Barber singled behind Mortensen, and Jake Williams followed Barber. All three scored, giving Bronson the edge. Steinbacher allowed one hit in the bottom of the fifth, to Mike Perkins, before shutting down the next three batters, and the Eagles returned to the plate.
Wasson whiffed the first two but gave an intentional walk to Barber, who was driven in by Jake Williams. Alex Bauder reached on an error and Steinbacher singled; both scored. Bronson now led 7-3, and Eagle fans were delirious.
But when the Indians came to bat in the bottom of the sixth, they were finally ready to go. Burton started the rally with a single and Wasson walked. Jacob Reidy got plunked to load the bases. Before the big inning was over, Chiefland had piled up six more runs to retake the lead.
Wasson held off the Bronson hitters in the seventh, striking out the last man for the 9-7 win.
Eagles' Head Coach Mike Pogue was pleased with his team's performance, if not the outcome.
“We just thought we'd give Seth a try out there and he did a good job, so that's a real bonus for us,” Pogue said.
“We hit the ball well, and played a pretty good game. We're coming along pretty well.”
Indians' Head Coach Kyle Parnell had much the same sentiment.
“Marquis did real well for us out there,” he said.
“I think we left him out there a little longer than we should have, but that's all right. We got our bats going and got him some run support.”
On Saturday, Chiefland came back from an 8-0 deficit to down district rival P.K. Yonge 11-10. Mike Perkins homered twice to help put the Indians over the top. The win was crucial for Chiefland's district record, now at 3-2. The Indians host Dixie County tomorrow (Friday) at 4 p.m. for the second half of that district series; Chiefland shut the Bears down last Tuesday, 11-0.