Marion did what only six other teams have done in 16 years of the state tournament at Principal Park: beat a one-seed as an eight-seed.
Marion punched its ticket to the 3A semifinals with a 3-1 win over Sergeant Bluff-Luton on Tuesday, pulling off the second eight-seed upset of the tournament. (1A Kingsley-Pierson took down Martensdale-St. Marys on Friday.)
The Indians pulled off the upset thanks in part to their ability at the plate. Marion’s three runs came off eight hits, and most of that damage came against Sergeant Bluff-Luton star pitcher Daniel Wright.
Wright entered Tuesday as one of 3A’s best arms, owning a 0.75 ERA, but Marion made the most of its at-bats. Wright allowed just three runs this season prior to Tuesday, and he gave up two against the Indians.
Marion’s Owen Puk and Brady Johnson each tallied two hits. Myles Davis, Jake Trca, Cael Hodges, and Lucas Unsen rounded out the list of Indian batters with a hit.
Marion scored three runs in a four-inning span, starting in the second. Sergeant Bluff-Luton would eventually score in the fourth, but Marion would counter with an RBI double from Trca in the top of the fifth.
Sergeant Bluff-Luton came close to tying or taking the lead in the bottom of the seventh. Puk, who pitched the final inning in relief, delivered two strikeouts, including the game-clinching K with the bases loaded.
Marion will face Norwalk in the 3A semifinals on Friday.
8 SEEDS OVER 1 SEEDS AT STATE | PRINCIPAL PARK
2006 — Gehlen Catholic 3, Newman Catholic 2
2006 — Cedar Rapids Kennedy 7, Des Moines Lincoln 6
2014 — Johnston 8, Waukee 3
2016 — Solon 12, Wahlert Catholic 2 (six innings)
2018 — Cedar Rapids Washington 7, Johnston 5
2020 — Kingsley-Pierson 3, Martensdale-St.Marys 2 (eight innings)
2020 — Marion 3, Sergeant Bluff-Luton 1