PRINCETON — Tyler Marvin didn’t play baseball his first two years, opting to smack the little round yellow ball instead of the white one. On Saturday, you couldn’t tell he was ever away from the game.
The junior utility man was nothing short of marv-elous, smacking three hits and driving in four runs to lead the Princeton Tigers to a 9-6 win over Midland in the first game of a doubleheader at Prather Field.
“Tyler had an unfortunate start his freshman year and just couldn’t feel like he could play baseball. He tried tennis out, missed (baseball),” PHS coach Tim Taylor said. “Couldn’t be happier to see him back on the field. Tyler’s a ball player, through and through.”
The Tigers found themselves down 5-1 after the visitors used a three-run double by Cameron Turnbull to put up a five spot in the second.
Logan Wilde hustled to first on a dropped third strike to lead off the Tiger second. He stole second and scored on Marvin’s first hit of the day. Dylan Schafer dropped down a sacrifice bunt and Marvin scored on a throwing error by the Midland shortstop on J.J. Vaccaro’s fielder’s choice. Taylor singled and Vaccaro scored on a throwing error to make it 5-4.
Marvin cracked a deep double to center, scoring Rolando, who walked and stole second easily. Wilde (single) was momentarily held by coach Taylor at third, but followed Rolando to the plate to give the Tigers a 6-5 lead.
Marvin struck again in the fifth with a two-run single that snuck through up the middle, scoring Austin Schindel (single) and Wilde (hit by pitch). Isaiah Taylor doubled and scored on a throwing error in the sixth to make it 9-6.
“They just chipped away, chipped away. To not roll over was a big deal for these guys,” Taylor said.
Isaiah Taylor went five innings for the win, allowing five hits and three earned runs with four strikeouts. Rolando twirled the final two innings, allowing a run in the seventh, to pick up the save.
Marvin led the Tigers with three hits and Taylor, Wilde (3 runs) and Schafer each had two hits.
Midland left with a split, taking the second game 4-2. The Tigers were held to one hit, but it was a good one. Wilde sent a blast to left for a solo shot to trim Midland’s lead to 3-1.
Other than that, coach Taylor said the Tigers just couldn’t get the bat on the ball against Midland’s slower pitcher.
“We hit the better pitcher,” he said. “We’ve never been a team that hits a slow pitcher very well, and I know that’s different for different teams. These guys have never hit a slower pitcher and that’s what happened in the second game.
“Logan got the one hit and sat on it and drove it a long way.”
A bright spot was the Tigers flawless play in the field in the second game. They had two errors in the first.
“I don’t think we had a game last year without an error,” Taylor said. “We’ve got something to build on. These guys are doing exactly what we’ve wanted.”
Freshman Jett Wedekind made his first varsity run a memorable one, stealing home in fifth and having the battle wound to show for it.
Caleb Dickens took the loss.
Tiger tales: The Tigers beat Hall 6-3 Monday in Spring Valley. They will host the Dixon Dukes Friday.