Tigers split with Page

Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Marshall County starting pitcher Matt Sharp struck out nine batters over six innings to help lead the Tigers to a 14-6 victory over Page in the first game of a doubleheader. Photo by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

On Monday night, the Marshall County Tigers were forced to settle for a split of a doubleheader against District 12-AA rival Page, as MCHS rolled to a 14-6 victory in the opening game before the Patriots eked out a 2-1 win in the nightcap at Joe George Field.

In the opener, the Tigers (4-5, 3-1 District) pounded out 13 hits and drew four walks against two Page hurlers, while the Patriots (3-6, 1-3 District) aided Marshall County's cause by committing five errors, which contributed to seven of MCHS' 14 runs.

"We stroked the baseball in that first game and were hitting the ball on a line," said Marshall County coach Steve Reese. "They made a lot of errors that helped up, but we stung the baseball so they weren't all easy plays."

Jesse Kilpatrick spearheaded the Tigers' offensive attack by going 3-for-5 with two doubles, 4 RBI, and three runs scored. Morgan Reese (2 RBI), J.B. Reese, Grayson Wiles, and Dylan McKnight tallied two hits apiece for MCHS as well, while Aaron Hobbs (1 RBI) and Brandon Bush (1 RBI) each had one hit.

Marshall County starting pitcher Matt Sharp picked up the victory on the mound, allowing five runs in six innings of work on eight hits and a walk to go along with nine strikeouts.

Page grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning, before the Tigers crossed home plate five times in the bottom of the second with the help of a J.B. Reese triple, a walk by Wiles, two Patriot errors, and RBI singles from Hobbs and Morgan Reese to pull ahead 5-1.

After Page narrowed the gap to 5-4 in the third, Marshall County pushed across two runs in the bottom half of the frame thanks to an error and singles from Wiles and McKnight to open up a 7-4 advantage.

MCHS then tallied a run in the third behind a Kilpatrick double, two walks, and a passed ball to push their lead to 8-4.

The Patriots trimmed the deficit to 8-5 in the fifth, but the Tigers forged a 12-5 advantage in the bottom half of the inning thanks to a two-run single by Kilpatrick, a Morgan Reese RBI triple, and a RBI single by Bush.

Marshall County then extended their lead to 14-5 in the sixth on a Kilpatrick two-run double before coasting to the 14-6 victory.

In the nightcap, the Tigers had their bats silenced by Page starting pitcher Patrick Hood, as the junior right hander limited MCHS to just three hits and three walks in seven innings of work to go along with five strikeouts.

Bush doubled and scored a run to account for Marshall County's lone extra base hit of the contest, while Cody Vernon (1 RBI) and Zack Kirby both singled.

Despite fanning 13 Page batters, Vernon was the tough luck loser on the mound, yielding two unearned runs over six innings on four hits and two walks.

"Their pitcher threw a great game and kept us off balance with his changeup. We hit a lot of fly balls instead of line drives," said Steve Reese. "Cody pitched well enough to win, but we committed two errors that led to both of their runs.

Page struck first and plated a run in the bottom of the second inning on the strength of an error, two passed balls, and a Trey Sewell RBI single to grab a 1-0 lead.

The Patriots then tacked on another run in the fifth with the help of a two-base error and a RBI single by Hood to open up a 2-0 advantage.

Marshall County finally got on the board in the top of the sixth when Bush scored on a RBI single by Vernon after doubling with two outs to narrow the gap to 2-1.

The Tigers then put a runner at second with one out in seventh thanks to a Kirby leadoff single and a sacrifice bunt by McKnight, but Hood retired the next two MCHS batters on a fly out and foul out to clinch the Patriots 2-1 victory.