Evart baseball sweeps Marion, splits with Beal City

EVART — Evart (6-1, 11-7) swept Marion 6-1 and 9-7 in Highland Conference baseball action on Thursday.

Layne Nadig took the win in the first game, and Josh Dorn and Andrew Bengry combined for the win in the second.

Robbie Tapling had two hits and three RBIs in the opener. Billy Conklin and Jericho VanScoyoc had two hits, while VanScoyoc added an RBI. Dorn and Ladd also had hits.

Dorn had three hits and an RBI in the second game. Imhoff had two hits while Nadig and Tapling both had hits. Conklin had two RBI while Ladd had a double and RBI.

“We have to do better,” Evart coach Josh Johnson said. “Our second games are like that. We kind of play lackadaisical. I give Marion a ton of credit. They just fight you right to the last out. When we played them earlier this year at Pine River in a tournament, they fight to the last out.”

Evart is at Montabella on Thursday.

It was an emotional doubleheader on May 19 at Beal City against the perennial Division 4 baseball power. Evart took the first game 5-1. Chris Imhoff was the winning pitcher and went all seven innings. He threw 97 pitches, walked three and struck out one, while allowing two hits. Imhoff and Dorn had an RBI.

“Chris was a bulldog,” Johnson said. “We talk about having grit and that was all that.”

Beal City won the second game 9-1. Conklin, VanScoyoc and Ladd had base hits. Ladd had an RBI.

It’s the first time Johnson’s team in his three seasons as coach has beaten the Aggies.

“That was a huge win for our program, just the psyche factor,” he said. “That was their first loss in the league. We’re in contention.”

Beal City also is in Evart’s district along with Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart and Vestaburg.

“There’s a good chance we’ll see them again,” Johnson said. “That’s huge to know we can compete with them.”