Tigers squeak past Summertown
Although they struggled offensively for the second straight game, the Marshall County Tigers bounced back from a 3-1 loss to Greenbrier the previous day by defeating the Summertown Eagles 1-0 at home on Saturday afternoon to finish the Marshall County Invitational with a 3-1 record.
MCHS starting pitcher Ryan McDaniel turned in his best outing of the season, as he limited Summertown to just three hits and a walk in five scoreless innings of work to earn the victory. Dylan McKnight then came on in relief of McDaniel in the sixth and held the Eagles to two hits over the final two frames to pick up the save.
The Tiger defense also helped their pitching staff's cause by committing no errors and turning two double plays.
"Our defense was out of sight today. When you play errorless baseball you're going to stay in the game if you can put together a few hits," said Marshall County coach Steve Reese. "McDaniel pitched a pretty good game and McKnight did what he normally does. Except for the Greenbrier game, we had a good weekend overall."
Summertown starting hurler Austin Matthews pitched six strong innings, but suffered the loss despite yielding just one run on four hits and a walk.
J.B. Reese led MCHS at the plate by going 2-for-3 with 1 RBI, while Matt Sharp, Morgan Reese, and Aaron Thomason each had one hit.
Connor Ambrose accounted for more than half of the Eagles' hit total and finished with three singles. Curt Ambrose and Jordan Chard tallied one hit apiece for Summertown as well.
Marshall County wasted no time getting on the board and pushed across a run in the bottom of the first inning to take a 1-0 lead. Following a leadoff single by Sharp, McKnight hit into a fielder's choice to replace Sharp on the base paths, before advancing to second on a single by Morgan Reese. J.B. Reese then plated McKnight by smacking a RBI single into centerfield.
In the top of the second, the Eagles put runners on second and third with two outs thanks to a hit batsman, a stolen base by Chard, and a Connor Ambrose single, but Tiger third baseman Aaron Hobbs made a diving catch on a line drive by Blake Grey near the left field foul line to snuff out the Summertown threat.
After both teams left a runner in scoring position in the fourth, McDaniel worked around a leadoff single by Connor Ambrose and a Dylan Belew walk in the fifth inning with the help of a 6-3 double play.
Marshall County then stranded a man in scoring position in the bottom of the sixth, before Summertown had a chance to tie the game in the top of the seventh when Chard advanced to third on a Matthews sacrifice bunt and a single by Connor Ambrose after leading off the frame with a single.
McKnight, though, escaped the jam by inducing Gray to hit into a game ending 6-4-3 double play to clinch the Tigers' 1-0 victory.