The first one is often the hardest.
For Marion County’s Geordan Bimson, it is also the sweetest.
The Mustang senior picked up his first career base hit Monday evening. It was also the game-winner as his walk-off RBI single to left field gave the Mustangs a thrilling 8-7 win over visiting Brashear — the first victory of the season for Marion County (1-3).
“I have been our last hitter two other times this year so I was really nervous going up there,” the senior admitted before his walk-off hit. “But I felt comfortable with the swing I put on it for the first time this year and it was just really exciting as I was running down the line and knew it was going to be a hit.”
Marion County coach Jason Kielholz called time out just before the at-bat to give his No. 9 hitter some last second advice.
“I told him he didn’t need to kill it,” the Mustangs called said. “I told him he just needed to put it in play and good things will happen...and he poked it through for the walk-off.”
Logan Sherfy scored the game-winning run. He worked a one-out walk before moving to second on a balk and to third on a wild pitch.
Brennan Nick kept the inning alive with a two-out walk before Bimson’s heroics.
Marion County carried a 6-0 lead into the sixth inning. The Tigers struck for three runs in the sixth, before Sheldon Whetstone ended the rally, briefly.
Whetstone, who started the game at shortstop, was handed the ball with the bases loaded and just one out. Brashear had scored four runs to cut the Mustangs lead to 6-4.
Whetstone needed just six pitches to come up with two punch outs, preserving the lead.
“Sheldon did a great job of getting us out of the sixth inning,” Kielholz noted.
The Mustangs were not as fortunate in the seventh. After tacking on a run in the home half of the sixth inning, Marion County surrendered three runs in the top of the final inning, setting up the home half of the seventh.
“Coach just told us to keep our heads up and go out there and get the win,” Bimson said of Kielholz’s message before their final at bat.
Ty Bowdish started the game on the mound for the Mustangs. The southpaw fanned a season-best 10 batters before leaving after the fifth inning.
Bowdish had to be removed from the mound due to reaching the high school federation regulated pitch count rule (105 pitches for juniors and seniors).
“By far the best he has looked this season. He pitched great,” the Mustangs skipper said.
Bowdish also recorded a pair of hits at the plate, including a two-run double in the fourth inning.
Case Wolfe also finished with two hits. The Mustangs starting backstop recorded a two-run single in the third inning giving the hosts a 2-0 lead. Wolfe had a sacrifice fly in the sixth inning to go along with a walk and an bunt single in the first.
Kielholz noted Monday night’s win may not have happened earlier in the season.
“Earlier when we made mistakes we would get down on ourselves and hang our heads,” he noted. “So we have talked a lot about character the last couple weeks. You don’t blow a 6-run lead and still come back to win the game if you are not getting better.”
Marion County committed five errors in the final two innings which aided in the Tigers comeback.
Both teams recorded seven hits a piece in the game.
Marion County will have some time to savor its win, as the Mustangs do not return to the diamond until April 25 at Highland.
Marion County 8, Brashear 7
Brashear 000 004 3 -- 7 7 2
Marion County 003 301 1 -- 8 7 7
BRASHEAR (0-6) -- Brhet Place, Zane Syke (6, L) and Aden Zentz. Top hitters -- Quinn Allen 2-for-4 RBI; Sykes 1-for-1 2 RBI.
MARION COUNTY (1-3) -- Ty Bowdish, Alex Huffman (6), Sheldon Whetstone (6, W) and Case Wolfe. Top hitters -- Bowdish 2-for-3 2 RBI; Wolfe 2-for-2 3 RBI; Geordan Bimson 1-for-4 GW RBI. 2B -- Bowdish, Whetstone.