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Marquette freshman Evan Snyder sends off a strike Thursday at the Class 2A Marquette Regional. Snyder and the Crusaders topped Hall 8-1 to advance to Saturday’s championship, where they will face rival St. Bede.
OTTAWA — Marquette got another great pitching performance from freshman Evan Snyder as the No. 3 seeded Crusaders topped No. 2 seed Hall 8-1 during semifinal action of the Class 2A Marquette regional Thursday afternoon in Ottawa.
With the win, Marquette advances to Saturday’s championship against longtime rival and top seed St. Bede.
Both teams threw the ace of their pitching staff with senior Brett Fanning going for Hall and freshman Evan Snyder for the Crusaders.
Snyder was sharp from the start and allowed just one hit and one unearned run in 6 and 1/3 innings pitched.
“You got to give Tom (Keegan) credit for what he did with Hall this year,” Marquette head coach Todd Hopkins said. “They had a great year and have a very good team. (Evan) Snyder was on top of his game again today against a very good hitting team and just seems to keep getting better.”
Fanning was solid as well, giving up six hits in the first five innings without much damage being done.
Crusader Curtiss Johnson got things going for the home team with a single in the fourth and then scored on a RBI single to center from Logan Sparks for a 1-0 lead. The run was the first earned run given up by Fanning in 30 consecutive innings.
“Brett (Fanning) was making some great pitches,” Hall coach Tom Keegan said. “You just have to give Marquette credit. They went out and put the ball on the bat when Brett had a 0-2 count and threw a great pitch.”
Bryce Hinkelman continued his hot hitting ways with a monster RBI triple in the sixth to make it a 2-0 lead for the Crusaders.
“Bryce has just been on a tear the three weeks,” Hopkins said. “He has been a man-child out there the way he has been hitting a ton and really given up some extra pop in the lineup.”
Snyder continued to shine for the Crusaders in the top of the seventh inning as Marquette added some insurance runs and put the game away.
Johnson picked up another RBI single and then Snyder, Elliott Kowalski and Bryce Hinkelman hit three consecutive RBI singles. CJ Norman followed with an RBI double to center to help give the Crusaders an 8-0 lead.
Hall tallied an unearned run in the bottom half of the seventh, but it wasn’t enough as the Crusaders came away with the 8-1 victory.
“I was lucky enough to have command of three pitches today,” Snyder said. “The defense behind me was tremendous and now we get to play for the championship Saturday.”
Marquette was led by Patrick Killelea and Sparks with three hits each while Hinkelman had two RBIs. Danny Nolasco and Zach Urbanski had one hit each for Hall. Snyder gets the win for the Crusaders while Fanning takes the loss.