Tigers whitewash Wyoming

Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Marshall County shortstop Morgan Reese fields a ground ball by Wyoming's Casey Howell in the top of the first inning. Photos by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

Although the Marshall County Tigers and their fans showed Wyoming, Ohio some southern hospitality after the game, MCHS didn't cut the Cowboys any slack on the baseball diamond on Saturday, as they defeated the Cincinnati area school 7-0 at home.

The two teams were originally supposed to play a doubleheader, but rain forced the second game to be cancelled after the opening contest was called in the bottom of the sixth inning.

Bolstered by a seven-run first inning, the Tigers (7-6) finished with six hits and a walk against two Wyoming pitchers. The Cowboys also committed two costly errors that contributed to five of MCHS' seven runs.

Marshall County second baseman Aaron Thomason throws out Wyoming's Parker Chalmers at first base in the top of the third inning.

Morgan Reese and starting pitcher Matt Sharp notched a triple and a double respectively to account for Marshall County's lone extra base hits of the game while driving in two runs apiece. Dylan McKnight, Brandon Bush, J.B. Reese, Hayden Bailey each had one hit as well with Bush knocking in one run.

Sharp also turned in a solid performance on the mound to earn his second win of the year, as he allowed just three hits and two walks in six scoreless innings of work to go along with five strikeouts. The Tigers defense, meanwhile, committed only one error and aided Sharp's cause by turning two double plays.

"In the first inning, we came out like gangbusters and stroked the baseball, but what bothered me was that we only got one hit after that," said MCHS coach Steve Reese. "Other than the one error, I was pleased with how we played defensively. Matt pitched pretty well and the defense made plays behind him."

Adam Crider, Will Marty, and Sam Edwards each had one hit for the Cowboys (1-4) with Marty drawing a walk as well. Wyoming starting hurler Michael Kelly suffered the loss, yielding seven runs, only two earned, on five hits and two walks over five innings.

"I think the level of competition down here is very comparable to where we're from. They have a good program here and from what I've seen there are some other good teams in this area," said Wyoming coach Chris Fiehrer. "It helps our program to come down here and face some good competition. Even though we have a young team this year, we always try to play tough teams outside of our league."

Sharp worked around an error and a two-out single by Crider in the top of the first inning before the Tigers exploded for seven runs in the bottom half of the frame to grab a 7-0 lead.

After reaching first base on an error to lead off the inning, Sharp advanced to second on a McKnight single. Morgan Reese then plated Sharp and McKnight by blasting a two-run triple into the left centerfield gap prior to scoring on a RBI infield single by Bush to make it 3-0. Courtesy runner Bubba Houghton advanced to second on a J.B. Reese single, but was erased on the base paths on a fielder's choice by Aaron Thomason. J.B. Reese then scored on a Cowboy error while Cody Vernon reached first base on the play. Following a RBI groundout by Grayson Wiles, which gave MCHS a 5-0 advantage, Hobbs drew a walk before he and Vernon both came home on a two-run double by Sharp.

The Cowboys were unable to advance a runner past first base over the next four innings, but had a chance to get on the board in the sixth when Edwards led off the frame with a triple. After retiring the next two Wyoming hitters on a strikeout and a groundout, Sharp issued a walk to Jordan Peeno before inducing a fielder's choice by Crider to preserve the shutout.