Rebels late offense leads to win over Devils

LISBON What started as a pitching duel ended as an impressive offensive display.

After finishing five innings tied, 2-2, Crestview’s bats exploded late, scoring 13 runs in the final three innings to defeat Lisbon 15-2 on Thursday.

Crestview struggled to produce much offense off Lisbon starting pitcher Jagr Groubert. After two innings, Groubert gave up three hits while striking out seven.

“At the beginning of the game, our bats were not as disciplined as we should be,” Crestview coach Matt Strank said. “But as the game went along, we settled in and began to get some nice swings on the ball.”

Lisbon’s troubles began midway through the fourth inning. Groubert began to massage his throwing shoulder and pacing the mound between pitches, often wincing in pain. After a brief meeting with several Lisbon coaches, Groubert finished the inning but was moved to shortstop by the fifth.

“I pitched Monday and had a bit of discomfort,” Groubert said. “Going into this game I just figured that I would throw as much as I could until it began to hurt.”

With Groubert out, the Blue Devils’ relievers were forced to go longer than usual. Crestview scored multiple runs in each of the remaining innings, including an eight-run seventh inning that saw any chance of a Lisbon comeback quickly disappear.

On the other side of the diamond, Crestview reaped the benefits of having its starter at full strength. Anthony Marnejon went six innings to pick up the win for the Rebels, tossing 12 strikeouts while allowing just three hits.

“Usually I like to get my curveball going early,” Marnejon said. “Today my change-up was working pretty good. We got a lot of batters swinging out on their front foot.”

Changing speeds from fastballs to off-speed pitches frequently left Lisbon’s bats swinging at air Crestview finished with a total of 15 strikeouts for the game.

Marnejon helped his own cause at the plate as well, going 2 for 3 with two RBIs and a walk. Brandon Jayne added a three-run home run for the Rebels (2-0, 2-0 in the Inter-Tri County League upper tier), while Jake Ferris and Austin Oates each added two RBIs.

For the Blue Devils (0-3), Eric Walker knocked in both of their runs on a double. Groubert went 2 for 3 with a single and double.

As for Groubert’s shoulder, no one seemed less concerned than the pitcher himself. “It’s early in the season and we didn’t want to risk anything,” he said. “We’re struggling right now but we’re always going to try to use the next game to rebound.”

Lisbon will host Heartland Christian today at 5 p.m. Crestview will also be playing host today to Lowellville.