Colby Headen shut things down.
The Mart pitcher struck out seven batters Thursday evening.
Behind Headen’s dominant performance on the mound, Mart topped Crawford 4-2 to advance to the regional quarterfinals.
“Colby Headen is a great competitor,” Mart coach Kyle Stone said. He’s a great pitcher. He’s a senior. I knew giving him the ball we were in good shape to win the ball game. I thought he gutted it out and did a great job.”
Crawford finished the game with four hits and three errors.
And Mart capitalized off every one of those errors.
“We really talk about eliminating the errors as far as we can’t let our opponents reach on errors,” Stone said. “We can’t have errors. We can’t walk people. We can’t have passed balls. We try to keep away from that, but of course we can’t always do that. Whenever the opposing team does that we try to capitalize. We’re very aggressive on the bases. Sometimes it bites us and sometimes it works out. It worked out today.”
Mart got its first batter on base as Crawford’s left fielder Charlie Adamick, Jr. missed a fly ball.
Jace Terry capitalized on the error as he advanced to third and later scored as Hunter Schreiber grounded out to third.
Another Crawford error led to a Mart run five innings later.
Terry led off the inning with a single to center field.
Jeff Ward tried to contain Terry at first, but his pick-off attempt was out of reach of Gage Pearson which allowed Terry to advance to third.
Terry later scored off an RBI single up the middle by Kyler Martin.
Mart added two more runs in the frame.
After Headen was intentionally walked with no outs to load the bases, he scored as Crawford shortstop Garrett Dutschman didn’t get his glove all the way down on a grounder by Elijah Green.
Coalson Foss then came in from center field to pitch for Crawford.
He struck out the next two batters he faced to get out of the inning, but one of his pitches got past the catcher which allowed Martin to cross the plate.
Crawford finally got on the board in the bottom of the seventh.
Landry Bruce and Foss got on base off a single and a walk. They advanced into scoring position behind a groundout to shortstop by Bowden Hooser.
A batter later they both scored as a grounder hit by Lucas Steinkamp got under the glove of Hunter Schreiber at second base.
But Schreiber quickly learned from his mistake as he made sure his glove was on the ground when he fielded the final out of the game.
With the win in the one-game area playoff, Mart advances to play the winner between Dawson and Valley Mills.
“It was a gutsy little outing today which is all I can say about it,” Stone said. “The boys fought. They played very well at times. We played a little tight at times. It’s just nerves, and they happen to everyone this time of year. I was very proud. They competed the whole time. We know going into it, no matter what, Crawford is just like Mart. They’re going to try all the way until the last out.”