Tigers blow out Bulldogs in rematch

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Marshall County Tigers earned some redemption Thursday evening when they defeated Cornersville 10-0 in five innings at home after losing to the Bulldogs for the first time ever four weeks ago.

Having scored a season high 12 runs against East Hickman two days earlier, Marshall County continued to swing hot bats on Thursday and pounded out 12 hits against two CHS pitchers to go along with three walks, two hit batsmen, and one Bulldog error.

Third baseman Andrew Thornhill went 3-4 with a double and 3 RBI to lead the Tigers' rejuvenated offensive attack, while Koda Watkins and Brandon Bush each had a pair of hits and 2 RBI with Watkins scoring three runs. Jack Whaley also added two hits and a run scored for Marshall County, and Morgan Reese, Hunter Clark, and Neal Tatum each had a single with Clark driving in two runs.

"They were confident coming in and weren't going to let down tonight. Cornersville doesn't have a bad ball club. We've just started hitting the ball better recently. We also have been playing pretty good defense and didn't commit any errors," said long time MCHS head coach Joe George, who plans to retire at the end of the Tigers' season.

Although he came up on the short end of the score in their final encounter, Bulldog coach Brent Adcox is going to miss seeing his mentor in the opposing dugout after playing for George in the late 1980's.

"I'm a little emotional about it. I've played for him and coached against him for so many years. During the course of the game, I thought about all the history at this field and how he's been a part of that," said Adcox.

Marshall County freshman pitcher Cody Vernon, meanwhile, went the distance on the mound to pick up the victory. Vernon issued five walks, but kept Cornersville off balance at the plate by constantly changing speeds and yielded just two hits over five innings while notching four strikeouts.

Mikey Adams and Able Singleton each singled to account for both CHS hits.

Bulldog starting pitcher Aaron Crowell suffered the loss, allowing seven runs on eight hits and three walks in 3 1/3 innings of work to go along with six strikeouts.

Cornersville aided the Tiger cause early on, as MCHS scored three unearned runs in the bottom of the first inning on only one hit to grab a 3-0 lead. After Reese reached on an error, Watkins was hit by a pitch and Clark drew a walk to load the bases with two outs. Reese then came home when Crowell issued another free pass to Matthew Cashion before Bush plated Watkins and Clark with a two-run double.

In the top of the second, the Bulldogs had a chance to cut into Marshall County's lead after loading the bases with two outs on a Chase Bassham walk and singles by Adams and Singleton. Vernon, though, escaped the jam by striking out Mark Lane to preserve the Tigers' three-run advantage.

Marshall County then extended their lead to 4-0 in the bottom of the second when Reese scored on a two-out RBI single by Thornhill after being hit by a pitch and advancing to second on a Watkins walk.

Crowell held the Tigers scoreless in the third, but the game began to get away from Cornersville in the fourth, as MCHS tallied three runs in the frame on five straight hits to open up a 7-0 cushion. Marshall County loaded the bases with no outs thanks to singles by Whaley, Reese, and Watkins. Thornhill drove in Whaley with a RBI single to make it 5-0, before Clark laced another single into left center field to knock in Reese and Watkins.

Marshall County then delivered the knock out blow in the fifth by crossing home plate three more times with the help of a two-run double by Watkins and a Thornhill RBI double to bring the 10-run mercy rule into effect.