After finishing second in the Class AAA State tournament last year, Columbia displayed impressive pitching depth on Saturday, as they defeated the Tigers 7-0 while six Lion hurlers limited MCHS to only three hits and four walks.
Shortstop Morgan Reese tripled to account for Marshall County's lone extra base hit of the contest. Aaron Hobbs and Jay Murphy both singled for the Tigers as well.
Columbia, meanwhile, banged out 15 hits and drew two walks against eight MCHS hurlers. Slaton tallied three hits and a RBI to lead the Lions at the plate, while Stone, Matt Markham, and Hayden Holt each had two hits with Stone and Holt driving in two and one run respectively. Dylan Myers added a double and a RBI for Columbia.
Reliever Aaron Thomason was the top performer out of Marshall County's bullpen and threw two perfect innings, while, Zack Gordon, Dylan McKnight, Cody Vernon each threw one scoreless inning. Matt Sharp started the game on the mound for the Tigers and yielded one run in two innings of work. Lane Whitesell, Aaron Medely, and Ryan McDaniel all pitched one inning apiece as well and gave up three, two, and one run respectively.
Columbia took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning when Stone scored on a 4-3 double play after leading off the frame with a bloop double and advancing to third on a Slatton single.
After MCHS left a runner at second in the bottom of the first, the Lions failed to score over the next four innings before crossing home plate three times in the top of the sixth thanks to a two-run triple by Stone and a Slatton RBI single to open up a 4-0 advantage.
Slatton then worked around a Jesse Kilpatrick leadoff walk and an error in the bottom of the seventh before the Lions stretched their lead to 7-0 in the eighth on a RBI double by Myers.
The Tigers then failed to capitalize on a two-out triple by Reese in the bottom of the ninth prior to leaving the bases loaded in the tenth.