Vernon delivers game winner in MMC comeback

Friday, June 19, 2009
United Telephone's Austin Harber bangs the game tying RBI single in the big eight run 5th inning. Tribune photo by Anthony S. Puca

First place Marshall Medical Center came into Thursday night Babe Ruth play versus United Telephone at 7-2, awaiting Monday night's showdown with the 8-3 Elks and almost got burnt for looking ahead.

UT shook off a 4-0 deficit and a no-bid by Mikey Adams with a huge eight run fifth inning to lead 8-4 before MMC scored twice in the bottom of the fifth, two more times in the bottom of the sixth, and then escaped with a 9-8 win on a 7th inning walk-off double by Cody Vernon.

RBI singles by Zach Kirby and Abel Singleton staked Adams to an early first inning 2-0 lead after Adams whiffed the side of telephone guys in order in the visitors half of the opening frame.

There was no scoring in the 2nd or 3rd innings as Adams and UT starter Lucas Pruitt were both in control on the hill.

MMC made it 4-0 on two unearned runs in the 4th on a Hunter Thomas RBI double that scored Singleton and Vernon who had reached on an error and a walk respectively.

The fifth inning started unassumingly for UT when Lucas Pruitt drew a lead-off walk.

Next up was Jacob Daughrity, who ruined Adams' no-hit bid with a sharp single to right field.

After Adams whiffed the next hitter, the young lefty began to get wild, walking the next three UT hitters, making the score 4-2.

MMC manager took the ball from Adams and brought in J.B. Reese, who walked Paten Pruitt, making it 4-3.

Austin Harber followed with the game tying RBI single to center and Zach Horvath gave UT a 5-4 lead, bouncing a bases loaded infield single.

After a series of passed balls, wild pitches, and a hit batsman, MMC fell behind 8-4.

Mills again came to mound and called Thomas to the hill. Thomas came up huge, retiring the next two UT batters to get out the inning with no further damage.

Reese led off the bottom of the inning, reaching on a UT error by the second sacker. Adams followed Reese with a base hit before Pruitt got the next two batters out with runners on second and third.

Kirby drilled the next Pruitt pitch to left, scoring both runners to cut the MMC to just two runs at 8-6.

Thomas was strong in the 6th, retiring UT 1-2-3.

Thomas helped his own cause, leading off the bottom of the frame with a walk. After Pruitt got the next two MMC hitters out on a strike out and fly ball to left, his defense let him down when the right fielder misplayed a ball hit by Kirby.

The ball sailed over the outfielder's head, who also fell down on the play as Kirby easily circled the bases, tying the game at 8 apiece.

Once again, Thomas set the UT squad down in order in the 7th with two strikeouts and a bouncer back to the mound.

With one down in the bottom of the 7th, a defensive miscue cost UT as wild throw in the infield put Singleton on second with one down.

With Vernon at the dish, a wild pitch moved the runner to third.

Vernon smashed a 2-2 offering from Pruitt to deep center for the walk-off winner, keeping MMC in 1st place in both the Eastern Conference and in the league overall standings.