Callender stymies Giles County in all-star opener

Friday, July 1, 2011
Matt Callender (22) tossed a one-hit, eleven- strikeout gem Thursday night at Sam Davis Park in Pulaski in the 15-year Babe Ruth all-star opener, won by Marshall County 14-1. Tribune photos by Anthony S. Puca

Staff ace Matt Callender went to the hill in the historic Sam Davis Park in Pulaski Thursday night and continued his unbeaten season, tossing a one-hitter and striking out eleven batters in four innings of work as the 15-year old Marshall County Babe Ruth all-stars blasted the host squad 14-1 in five innings.

Callender was nearly untouchable, wheeling and dealing like a riverboat gambler, mixing in a devastating curve ball that made his fastball look like a hundred miles per hour as he faced just fourteen opposing batters in the ballgame, while striking out nine in row during a stretch from the second through fourth innings.

Callender received all the run support he would need in the top of the first inning when Marshall County pushed across two unearned runs on the home squad.

Hunter Thomas (19) lays down a sacrifice bunt that he legged out for a hit in the first inning. Thomas led the Marshall County nine-hit attack with a 3-4 night at the plate.

Aaron Hobbs reached on an infield error that had him standing on the second base bag to start the contest before Hunter Thomas' sacrifice bunt turned into a base hit, making it first and third.

Thomas stole second uncontested and both Hobbs and Thomas scored when Aaron Medley reached on another Giles County miscue in the infield.

Callender struck out the first two Giles County hitters he faced in the bottom of the inning before Drew Abernathy laced a two-out double off the base of the wall in center field.

A weak ground ball back to the mound ended the inning and Giles County would only manage one more base runner the rest of Calendars' winning stint.

Marshall County made it five-zip in the top of the second on a trio of two-out RBI base knocks by Hobbs, Thomas, and Medley.

After a lead off walk to Tyler Austin in the bottom half of the inning, Callendar sent three consecutive batters back to home dugout on swinging strikeouts.

Jacob Graves led off the third and reached on yet another Giles County error before Grayson Wiles sacrificed him to second.

One out later, Jay Murphy drilled a run scoring single to left to make it a 6-0 ballgame.

Whiff, whiff, whiff was all you heard in the bottom of the third as Callender mowed down three more batters.

Marshall County did not score in the top of the fourth and Callender finished his dominating night on the hill by striking out the side in order in the bottom of the stanza.

Marshall County busted the game wide open in the top of the fifth when they sent eleven batters to plate and scored eight runs.

Callender walked to start the rally and Graves and Wiles followed with base hits to load the sacks.

A pitch beaned Jacob Griffis to drive in a run and Blake Darnell walked to drive in another to make it 8-0.

Trenton Wiles came up and drilled a two-run pinch-hit single to center, making it ten-zip.

A Hobbs walk, a balk, another error on Giles County, and Dane Pickle's tenth hit by pitch trip at the plate this season gave Marshall County a two-touchdown lead going to the bottom of the inning.

Hobbs came to the mound in the inning and gave up a garbage run before the game ended.

The Marshall County 15-year old Babe Ruth all-stars.

Marshall County will take on Lawrenceburg (run-rule win over Columbia) tonight at 5:30 in a winner's bracket contest.

Thomas finished the game, going 3-4 on the night at the plate, driving in one, scoring two, and stealing a base while catching the entire game.