Tigers sweep Giles County

Friday, March 27, 2009

Once is good, but twice is nice. The Marshall County Tigers (4-3, 4-2 District) completed the season sweep of Giles County on Tuesday night when they ventured down to Pulaski and defeated the Bobcats 9-7.

The Tigers trailed 2-1 through the first three innings of play, but erupted for eight runs in the top of the fourth to seize a 9-2 lead before holding off a Giles County rally attempt.

After struggling at the plate in their previous six games, MCHS saw their bats heat up against the Bobcats (4-5, 2-4 District) on Tuesday and finished with nine hits overall, while scoring a season high nine runs.

"Some of our guys are starting to swing the bats a little bit better. They weren't all hard hits, but they were hits. Hopefully we'll be able to build on this," said Marshall County coach Joe George.

Third baseman Koda Watkins spearheaded MCHS' offensive revival, going 2-4 with a homerun, 3 RBI, and two runs scored. Jack Whaley also added a pair of singles, a walk, and a run scored, while Hunter Clark had a double, a walk, 2 RBI, and a run scored. Shawn Harwell, Andrew Thornhill, Ethan Chapman, and Matthew Cashion each notched a hit as well with Harwell, Thornhill, and Cashion driving in one run apiece.

On the mound, Thornhill started for the Tigers and last six innings despite four Marshall County errors to earn his first victory of the season, allowing seven runs, only three earned, on ten hits and no walks to go along with five strikeouts. Chapman then came on in relief of Thornhill and pitched a perfect seventh inning to pick up the save.

"Giles County hits the ball well and always has. We made some mistakes defensively that cost us, but Andrew threw well and Chapman came in and closed the door," said George.

The Bobcats scored an unearned run in the bottom of the first inning with the help of a Tiger error and a RBI single by Jacob Wells to grab an early 1-0 lead, before MCHS notched a run in the top of the third to tie the game at 1-1. After the Tigers loaded the bases with one out on an infield single by Chapman, a Neal Tatum walk, and a single by Whaley, Chapman came home on a RBI fielder's choice by Harwell.

Giles County tallied another run in the bottom of the third thanks to two Marshall County errors to pull ahead 2-1, but MCHS hit the Bobcats with a haymaker in the fourth, as they crossed home plate eight times with the aid of five hits and three walks to forge a 9-2 advantage.

Watkins led off the fourth with a bloop single before stealing second and scoring on a two-out RBI triple by Cashion to tie the contest at 2-2. Following a walk by Tatum, Cashion raced home on a wild pitch to put Marshall County up 3-2. Whaley and Harwell then drew consecutive walks to load the bases before Clark plated Tatum and Whaley with a two-run double. After Thornhill drove in courtesy runner Morgan Reese with a RBI single to make it 6-2, Watkins capped the Tiger onslaught by belting a towering three-run homer to dead centerfield.

The Bobcats immediately began to chip away at Marshall County's lead and pushed across three runs in the bottom of the fourth on five hits and a sacrifice fly to narrow the gap to 9-5.

Giles County then tallied two more runs in the sixth to slice the deficit to 9-7 and still had runners on first and second with two outs.

Thornhill though struck out Tobias Houston to escape the jam, before Chapman retired the Bobcats in order in the seventh to close out MCHS' victory.