Tigers robbed on spectacular play

Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Marshall County manager Steve Reese (32) tries to argue the Braden catch in the bottom of the seventh inning to no avail. The Braden miracle catch spurred the Bobcats on to an 8-6 extra inning win over the Tigers, ending their season. Tribune photo by Anthony S. Puca

Tigers win! Tigers win!

Oh no, wait a minute! Did he catch that?

Nobody will ever know if Giles County leftfielder Quenton Braden caught what might have been the greatest catch ever seen except Braden and four or five spectators outside of the left field fence at Joe George Field in Lewisburg.

What would have been a season extending walk-off homerun by Marshall County's Koda Watkins turned into the miraculous second out of the bottom of the seventh inning for Giles County, who went on to win 8-6 in eight innings, ending the Tigers' season.

There was much discussion during a lengthy delay between MCHS head coach Steve Reese and the TSSAA umpiring crew after the Braden catch, but in the end it was ruled that Braden caught the ball before breaking the plane of the playing field and then his momentum carried him over the fence.

"It was something you dream about as a kid," said Braden. "The ball kept carrying towards foul territory and I reached out and caught it and then flipped over the fence. When I looked down and saw the ball in my glove I just said, Oh my God, I can't believe I just caught that."

Braden added, "I stood up as fast as I could and showed the ball to the umpire because I didn't want them to think I picked it up. During the delay I was hoping that they would make the right call. Those spectators out in leftfield were from Marshall County and they were even saying during the delay, he caught it, he caught it."

MCHS starting pitcher Ethan Chapman got out of a first inning jam, grabbing a hot shot liner back to the mound and throwing to Watkins at third for a double play.

The Tigers put two runs up in the home half of the first on an RBI single by Brandon Bush and on a passed ball that scored Watkins, who was hit by a pitch earlier in the inning.

Giles County came back with five runs on four hits, a sac fly, a hit batsman and a base on balls in the top of the second inning.

There was no more scoring until the Tigers tacked on a single run with two outs in the bottom of the forth on a bases loaded passed ball that scored J.B. Reese, who had walked and advanced to third on a hit by Matthew Cashion and a hit batsman to Morgan Reese.

Chapman retired the Bobcats 1-2-3 in the fifth before the Tigers knotted the contest at five in the bottom of the frame.

Watkins led off with a single and after an MCHS whiff, Bush drove in Watkins with a triple.

Chapman helped his own cause, driving in the tying run with a sharp single to left before Bobcat hurler Lake Foster got an inning ending strikeout.

Both Chapman and Foster pitched scoreless sixth innings.

Marshall County got out of a huge jam in the top of the seventh when Braden walked, went to second and then to third on a groundout, but was nailed trying to score from third by MCHS second baseman Aaron Thomason, who gunned down Braden at the plate after fielding a high bouncing ball.

With one out in the home half of the seventh Braden made the catch that will be remembered by everyone in attendance and a lot who were not there.

Giles County was spurred by the Braden catch, scoring three times in the top of the eighth with the big blow coming off the bat of pinch hitter Seth McLemore, who drilled a two-run triple with two outs.

Braden followed the McLemore triple with an RBI single, making it 8-5, going to the home half of the inning.

Chapman led off the eighth with a single to left and Dylan Kilpatrick came in to run for the pitcher.

A 6-4 fielder's choice made it one down.

Cory Duvall came off the MCHS pine and laced a shot into the right field corner that scored Kilpatrick, but Duvall was cut down at home trying to stretch the play into an inside the park homerun.

Foster got the last Tiger swinging, ending the game and ending MCHS's season.

Spring Hill will host the Bobcats tonight with the District 12-AA title on the line.