Tigers rout Summit
On Saturday, the Marshall County Tigers (23-9) moved within one win of advancing to the District 12-AA tournament championship game by hammering the fifth seeded Summit Spartans 14-0 in five innings at home in the second round.
After scoring 10 runs against Fairview the previous night, the Tigers continued to swing hot bats on Saturday and banged out 11 hits against Summit starting pitcher Jordan Kelley and reliever Sean Samuels to go along with six walks and two Spartan errors.
Aaron Thomason and Cody Vernon both tallied three hits to spearhead Marshall County's offensive attack and drove in four and three runs respectively, while Aaron Medley went 2-for-3 with a homerun and 4 RBI. Ryan McDaniel, Morgan Reese, and J.B. Reese each had one hit for MCHS as well.
Tiger starting pitcher Dylan McKnight threw three scoreless innings to earn his seventh win of the season and allowed two hits and a walk during that span while recording three strikeouts. McDaniel then came on in relief of McKnight and yielded two hits and two walks over the final two frames.
"The guys came out really focused today and played the game the way it's supposed to be played. We hit the ball well, got good pitching, and didn't commit any errors" said Marshall County coach Steve Reese. "We've played really good baseball lately and haven't committed an error in 11 of our last 13 games. When you play like that, you have a chance to win a lot of games."
Dale Burdick, Kelley, Austin Johns, and Zach Mather each notched one hit for Summit. Kelly suffered the loss on the mound for the Spartans (11-15) and lasted just one and a one-third innings after giving up eight runs on six hits and three walks.
The Tigers pounced on the Spartans early and pushed across four runs in the bottom of the first inning to grab a 4-0 lead. After drawing a leadoff walk and advancing to second on a passed ball, Matt Sharp moved to third on a Morgan Reese infield single. Sharp then came home on a RBI groundout by Bush, before Morgan Reese scored on a Summit error to make it 2-0 while J.B. Reese reached first base on the play. Following consecutive singles by Thomason and Vernon, which loaded the bases with two outs, Medley plated J.B. Reese and Thomason with a two-run bloop single to centerfield.
Things then went from bad to worse for the Spartans in the second inning, as Marshall County crossed home plate four more times in the frame with the help of a Summit error, a hit batsman, an intentional walk, a bases loaded walk by J.B. Reese, a Thomason two-run single, and a RBI single by Vernon to forge an 8-0 advantage.
In the third, the Tigers continued to pour it on and pushed their lead to 14-0 on the strength of a Thomason two-run bloop double, a Vernon two-run single, and a two-run homer by Medley.
The Spartans then left the bases loaded in the top of the fourth before McDaniel worked around a one-out walk by Mather and a hit batsman in the fifth to preserve the mercy rule shortened shutout.