12U All-Stars win state tournament opener

Saturday, July 16, 2011
Marshall County's Will Johnson had three base hits and four runs scored and was the winning pitcher in Friday night's 11-2 opening round win over Warren County at the Cal Ripken 12U State Tournament in Franklin. Tribune photo by Anthony S. Puca

The Marshall County 12-year-old boys' All-Stars opened up the Cal Ripken State Tournament at Liberty Park in Franklin with a convincing 11-2 win Friday night over Warren County.

Will Johnson was the catalyst for the victory, going 3-3 at the plate with four runs scored, while picking up the win on the mound for manager Mike Bailey's squad.

Johnson tossed four shutout innings of one hit ball, striking out six and walking two.

Marshall County backstop Thomas Hawkins was the run producer, driving in four of the eleven runs on three hits.

Hawkins finished 3-3 with a walk and three runs scored in the contest.

Marshall County scored first, putting together a first inning two-out rally begun by a Johnson hit to center field.

Johnson was awarded second and third base on consecutive balks by Warren County pitcher Jamie Jennings before scoring on a Hawkins line drive shot to right field.

Hawkins stole second and Logan Bailey drew a base on balls before Jonathan Lykins nailed an RBI base knock to left field to make it 2-0.

Jaquantice Haislip reached on an infield error that scored Bailey before the inning ending on a ground ball to second.

Ridge Brewer singled for Warren County with one out in the home half of the first and stole second base.

A passed ball sent Brewer to third before Trey Cantrell followed with a walk.

In defensive play of the game, Cantrell took off for second and Hawkins faked a throw to second, but instead threw to Johnson on the mound, who caught Brewer in between third and home on rundown play for out number two.

Johnson whiffed the next batter and would not be threatened the rest of his time on the hill.

Meanwhile, Marshall County was busy scoring runs for Johnson, putting two on the board in the second on an RBI single from Hawkins and a balk that scored Jay Howard, who had doubled and stole third.

There was no more scoring until the top of the fifth when Marshall County tacked on three more runs on just one hit, a lead off double by Johnson.

Bailey drove in Johnson with a sacrifice fly and Hawkins and Ben Taylor both scored on Warren County miscues to make it 8-0.

A Hawkins two-run single that scored Howard and Johnson in the sixth made it 10-0, and Hawkins would eventually scored on another Warren County balk.

Warren County managed two runs in the bottom of the sixth before Lykins closed the door on a grounder to Howard at shortstop.

Marshall County will be back on the field at 11:00 a.m. for their second pool game versus a Smoky Mountain squad and will finish up pool play versus Donelson at 3:00 p.m.

The top two teams from each pool will square off for the state title, beginning at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday.