Tigers rally past Rebels
After having their nine-game winning streak snapped with a 12-2 loss to Summertown the previous night, the Marshall County Tigers (21-9) entered the playoffs on a positive note, as they rallied to defeat the Franklin County Rebels 8-5 at home on Tuesday in their regular season finale.
Franklin County held a 5-2 lead through the first four and a half innings of play, but the Tigers came storming back and crossed home plate six times over the next two frames to pull out the three-run victory.
Marshall County finished with a modest seven hits against Franklin County starting pitcher Corey Tiedemann and reliever Cory Goodman, but were aided by four walks, three hit batsmen, and two Rebel errors.
Morgan Reese (2 RBI) and Aaron Thomason (1 RBI) each tallied two hits to lead the Tigers' offensive attack, while Brandon Bush (1 RBI), Cody Vernon (1 RB), and Aaron Hobbs had one hit apiece.
Franklin County, meanwhile, recorded eight hits and drew three walks against five MCHS hurlers. Outfielders Layton Wells (1 RBI) and Nathan Hammer (2 RBI) both notched three hits to pace the Rebels at the plate, while Jim Prince and Tiedemann (1 RBI) had one hit apiece.
Reliever Ryan McDaniel picked up the victory on the mound for the Tigers and did not allow a hit or a walk in one perfect inning of work. Vernon then pitched a scoreless seventh inning to earn the save.
Goodman suffered the loss for Franklin County, yielding six runs on four hits and two walks over two innings.
The Rebels failed to capitalize on scoring chances in each of the first two innings before the Tigers tallied a run in the bottom of the second to grab a 1-0 lead. After lining a single into centerfield with two outs, Thomason scored all the way from first when Hammer dropped a fly ball by Vernon.
In the third inning, Marshall County opened up a 2-0 advantage when Reese raced home on a RBI single by Bush after singling with one out and stealing second.
Franklin County narrowed the gap to 2-1 in the top of the fourth on a RBI single by Tiedemann before crossing home plate four times in the fifth with the help of a Wells RBI single, a RBI sacrifice bunt by Justin Rose, and a Hammer two-run double to pull ahead 5-2.
The Rebels lead proved to be short lived, as the Tigers pushed across three runs in the bottom of the fifth on the strength of a Dylan McKnight walk, a hit batsman, a sacrifice fly by J.B. Reese, a Thomason RBI single, and a RBI double by Vernon to knot the game at 5-5.
Marshall County then hung up another crooked number in the sixth and plated three more runs to seize an 8-5 lead. Following a leadoff single by Hobbs, Matt Sharp reached base on an error before Morgan Reese plated both runners by lacing a triple into the right centerfield gap to put the Tigers up 7-5. J.B. Reese then drew a walk before Morgan Reese scored on a double steal.
Franklin County put runners on first and third with one out in the top of the seventh thanks to a double by Wells and a MCHS error, but Vernon induced Goodman to hit into a 5-4-3 double play to snuff out the Rebel threat.