Marshall County jettisoned from 15U state tournament
Steve Hobbs and the Marshall County Babe Ruth 15 year old all-stars arrived at the State Tournament in Fayetteville on a high after coming from behind to capture the District 8 Tournament over Lawrenceburg, but quickly fell to earth as they were eliminated from season competition in just games.
It was still all good for Marshall County in Saturday's opener versus the host Fayetteville squad when Aaron Hobbs drilled a leadoff homerun to tie the game at one, and after Jay Murphy gave Hobbs' crew a 2-1 lead with a sacrifice fly RBI in bottom of the second, it looked like MC would sustain their momentum.
Fayetteville tied the game at two in the top of the third on a fielder's choice ribbie by Jake Pierce and then a bad omen appeared in the bottom of the inning when Marshall County did not score with the bases loaded and no outs.
The hosts were buoyed by the stop and the bad omen turned to a really bad nightmare when Fayetteville sent thirteen batters to the plate in the top of fifth, scoring eight times to take a 10-2 lead.
Josh Brooks, Jake Taylor, and Grady Wright blasted back-to-back-to back doubles to start the eight-run inning.
An infield single by Pierce, followed by a two-run double by Carson Taylor and a single by Ryan Yates made it 6-2.
The Yates single was the last base hit in the inning, but two errors, three walks, two wild pitches, and a hit batsman accounted for four more runs as Fayetteville took the 10-2 lead to the bottom of the frame.
Yates limited Marshall County to just one hit over the next two innings and his teammates put up two more runs in the top of the seventh to make it 12-2.
Once again, Marshall County loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the inning, but came away with just one run before the game ended, sending MC to the loser's bracket.
Low and behold, it was the one team Hobbs did not want to see in the next round, Lawrenceburg.
With his squad on a downer after being crushed by Fayetteville and the revenge factor looming large for Lawrenceburg, Marshall County was in for a battle, and that is what they got.
Lefty Vince Cutrona started on the hill for Lawrenceburg and set down Marshall County 1-2-3 in the top of the first.
In the bottom of the inning, RBI base knocks from Connor Rochelle and Cutrona put Marshall County in a 2-0 hole.
Cutrona stayed firm and Matt Callender battled his way through some wildness on the hill for Marshall County, as the score remained the same, going to the top of the fourth.
Hunter Thomas led off the inning for Marshall County with a rip off the fence for a double and Aaron Medley followed with a base on balls.
A passed ball moved both runners up one base to second and third before Cutrona got a strikeout for the first out.
Regular season league MVP Jacob Graves came through in the clutch once again for Marshall County, drilling a two-run single up the middle to tie the game at 2-2.
Graves was gunned down trying to steal second, but Grayson Wiles and Jacob Griffis drew back-to-back walks to keep the rally alive.
Cutrona was done on the hill for Lawrenceburg and Ben Wright came in and whiffed the next MC batter to keep the score knotted.
In the bottom of the inning, Wright helped his own cause with a two-out RBI single to right field to make it 3-2 and then Wright shut down Marshall County in the top of the fifth to preserve the one-run lead.
Lawrenceburg added an insurance run in the fifth on an RBI single by Gage Clayton to take a 4-2 lead.
A leadoff double by Medley in the sixth kept hope alive for Marshall County, but Medley was doubled off second on a pop-up and the game went to the bottom of the inning.
Graves was strong on the mound in the home half of the inning as he struck out the side to keep the Lawrenceburg lead to just two runs.
Griffis reached on an error to begin the frame, but two consecutive groundouts had Marshall County down to their last breath, only to be helped out by a Lawrenceburg error that made the score 4-3, keeping the game and the season alive.
A pitch hit Thomas before it all came to end on ground ball to A.J. Long at third that ended the game and Hobbs' Babe Ruth managing career.