Stars sweep do or die doubleheader, one win from state
The big question going into Saturday's Babe Ruth 15-year old District 8 do or die doubleheader was how skipper Steve Hobbs' bunch would react after suffering an excruciating 10-9 extra inning loss to Lawrenceburg on Friday.
Before the first game, the team answered with a resounding "We are Marshall" chant and then proceeded to back up their rallying cry with an emphatic 13-3 run-rule win over Maury County in game one.
Marshall County followed that up with a come from behind, instant classic 7-6 triumph over Lawrenceburg in game two, setting up a one game showdown for the district title today at 2:00 p.m. at Sam Davis Park in Pulaski.
Jacob 'Pops' Griffis led the way for the Marshall County all-stars in the first game of the twin bill, going 2-4 at the plate with a pair of two-run doubles.
Trailing 3-1 in the bottom of the fourth, Marshall County exploded with nine runs in the inning as they sent a dozen batters to the plate and banged seven hits, including two hits each in the inning by Hunter Thomas and Aaron Medley.
Aaron Hobbs got the win for Marshall County, going 4 2/3 innings, but Hobbs could not finish after cramping up with Matt Anderson at the plate and a 1-1 count.
Thomas picked up Hobbs when he struck out Anderson and Marshall County ended Maury County's season in the bottom of the inning, scoring three times with the game-ending blow coming off the bat of Dane Pickle.
In game two, Marshall County scored first as Aaron Hobbs led off with a single, took second on an error, third on a sac fly by Thomas, and came home on another sacrifice fly by Medley.
Medley took the hill for the contest and gave up a one-out game tying RBI single to Gage Clayton before bearing down for consecutive strikeouts to end the threat.
Jacob Graves led off the top of the second with a single to center and was bunted over to second base by Grayson Wiles.
A fly ball to center made it two down, but Jay Murphy stepped in and ripped a huge two-out RBI single to right field to make it a 2-1 ballgame.
Medley hung tough in the home half of the inning, getting out of a two-on, two-out jam on a hard grounder to Griffis at first.
Thomas singled and Medley doubled with one out in the third before Matt Callendar drove in Thomas with a fielder's choice RBI to make it 3-1.
In the bottom of the fourth, Lawrenceburg got one run back on an RBI hit by Will Crane.
In the top of the fifth, Marshall County got their first two batters on base, but Long came up strong, retiring three in a row to end the inning.
In the home half of the inning, Lawrenceburg took the lead, scoring four runs on five hits off Medley, Graves, and Callendar.
Long bashed a two-run single, and Ben Wright and Crane had RBI base knocks for the purple and yellow clad squad.
Grayson Wiles drilled a leadoff double in the top of the sixth and would score two batters later on a Murphy hit and Lawrenceburg error to cut the lead to 6-4 and Hobbs drove in pinch runner Blake Darnell from second with a two-out double to left before the inning ended on a ground ball to short.
Callendar, who came in the ballgame in the fifth inning, struck out the side in the bottom of the sixth.
Medley worked a leadoff base on balls to begin the seventh inning and Callendar sacrificed Medley to second base.
Graves, the Marshall County Babe Ruth League MVP earned his stripes when he calmly drilled the game-tying single to right field.
Grayson Wiles worked another walk to make it first and second before Griffis hit a hot shot to short that was booted, allowing Graves to come all the way home with the go-ahead run.
In the bottom of the inning, Callendar was awesome, spinning his devastating breaking ball off the table to three straight hitters for two strikeouts and a ground ball to Hobbs at shortstop to end the game and set up the Sunday showdown for all the marbles.
The winner advances to the Babe Ruth League State Tournament in Fayetteville, beginning on July 15.