Tigers power past Panthers
After defeating Lewis County 6-2 two days earlier, the Marshall County Tigers completed the regular season sweep of their District rival on Thursday by whipping the Panthers 7-1 at Joe George Field.
Senior hurler Morgan Reese turned in one of the best pitching performances of his MCHS career, as he racked up 10 strikeouts in seven innings of work while allowing just one run on four hits and two walks to pick up his first victory of the season.
"I was tickled to death with the way Morgan threw," said Marshall County coach Steve Reese. "This was his first start of the year and he pitched pretty well. His knuckleball was working well and he was locating his pitches."
Offensively, the Tigers (6-5, 5-1 District) slugged three homeruns en route to finishing with 12 hits overall against two Lewis County pitchers.
Morgan Reese helped his own cause by going 2-for-3 with a triple, a homerun, 2 RBI, and two runs scored. Cody Vernon and Matt Sharp (1 RBI) also tallied two hits apiece, while Aaron Thomason and Brandon Bush both belted two-run homers. Aaron Hobbs, Jesse Kilpatrick, J.B. Reese, and Dylan McKnight each had a hit for MCHS as well.
Panther starting pitcher Charter Helton suffered the loss, yielding six runs over five innings on 10 hits. Ryan Bell notched two hits and scored a run to pace Lewis County (5-6, 1-5 District) at the plate, while Alex Pulley and Jackson Crews both singled.
Each team stranded a runner in scoring position in the first inning before Thomason gave the Tigers a 2-0 advantage in the bottom of the second by cranking a two-run shot to deep left field after J.B. Reese led off the inning with a single.
MCHS then stretched their lead to 3-0 in the third when Morgan Reese blasted a one-out solo homer to leftfield.
Lewis County plated a run in the top of the fourth with the help of a leadoff single by Bell, a hit batsman, a double steal, and a Marshall County throwing error to trim the deficit to 3-1.
MCHS, though, opened up some breathing room in the bottom of the fifth by pushing across three runs in the frame to forge a 6-1 advantage. After Kilpatrick reached base on a one-out infield single and stole second, Morgan Reese roped a RBI triple into the left centerfield gap to make it 4-1, before Bush clubbed a two-run dinger over the left field fence.
"I thought we adjusted at the plate throughout the game and hit some scorchers tonight," said Steve Reese. "After Lewis County scored, the guys came back with a lot of enthusiasm and put the game away."
In the sixth, the Tigers tacked on another run to push their lead to 7-1. Following a leadoff double by Vernon, pinch runner Jay Murphy advanced to third on a McKnight groundout before scoring on a infield single by Sharp.
Morgan Reese then worked around a two-out single by Pulley in the top of the seventh to cap Marshall County's sixth win of the year.