Tigers blank Bulldogs

Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Marshall County's Matt Sharp slides safely into home plate while scoring on a two-run single by Brandon Bush in the bottom of the second inning. Photos by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

The Marshall County Tigers (10-6) faced off against local rival Cornersville (7-3) for the first time in three years on Thursday afternoon when they defeated the Bulldogs 8-0 at home in the opening game of the Marshall County Invitational.

After mustering just two singles in their previous outing against Hickman County two days earlier, the Tigers swung hot bats in Thursday's contest and banged out 11 hits overall against CHS starting pitcher Mikey Adams and reliever Matt Callender.

Marshall County starting pitcher Matt Sharp helped his own cause by going 3-for-4 with two runs scored, while Brandon Bush (3 RBI), J.B. Reese (1 RBI), and Aaron Thomason (1 RBI) tallied two hits apiece. Morgan Reese and Ryan McDaniel each had a hit and a RBI for the Tigers as well.

Cornersville catcher Cody Blackburn throws out Marshall County's Dylan McKnight at first base after fielding a bunt in the bottom of the second inning.

Sharp, meanwhile, kept the Bulldog offense in check and tossed a complete game shutout to earn his third win of the season, as he allowed four hits and two walks in seven scoreless innings of work while notching eight strikeouts.

"We played good defense and got good pitching. We hit the ball well in the first couple of innings and kind of took the air out of them," said Marshall County coach Steve Reese. "The guys were anxious to play Cornersville again because we haven't played them in a few years and they've got a good ballclub this season."

Adam suffered the loss on the mound for Cornersville, yielding five runs over two innings on five hits and a walk to go along with two strikeouts. Tyler Lowery singled twice to pace the Bulldogs at the plate, while Callender and Zach Richards both had one hit.

"Hats off to Marshall County. They're a good team," said Cornersville coach Ben Putman. "They hit the ball well, pitched well, and just beat us. I think they're by far the best team that we've played this year and we got better by playing them."

The Tigers got off to a fast start and pushed across three runs in the bottom of the first inning with the help of a Dylan McKnight walk, a single by Brandon Bush, a CHS error, and a pair of RBI singles by J.B. Reese, and Thomason to take a 3-0 lead.

Sharp then worked around a one-out single by Lowery in the top of the second before Marshall County crossed home plate two more times in the bottom half of the inning on the strength of hit batsman, a bloop single by Sharp, a McKnight sacrifice bunt, and a two-run single by Bush to open up a 5-0 advantage.

In the top of the fourth, Cornersville had a chance to cut into the deficit after loading the bases with two outs on a Blackburn walk and a pair of singles by Callender and Richards, but Sharp retired the next CHS batter on a fly out to escape the inning unscathed.

The Tigers then plated another run in the bottom of the fifth thanks to singles from J.B. Reese and Thomason, a Bulldog error, and a McDaniel RBI groundout to stretch their lead to 6-0.

After Cornersville left the bases loaded again in the top of the sixth, Marshall County tacked on two more runs in the bottom half of the inning with the aid of single by Sharp, a McKnight walk, a RBI double by Morgan Reese, and a Bush sacrifice fly to cap their 8-0 victory.