Eagles edge Marshall County

Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Marshall County's Bubba Houghton slides safely into second after hitting a double against Summertown in the bottom of the fourth inning. Photos by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

After defeating the Middle Tennessee Mudcats 8-2 earlier in the afternoon, the Marshall County Dusters fell to 1-1 in pool play of the Southern Athletic Fields Invitational when they lost 3-2 to the Summertown Eagles on Thursday at Columbia Central High School.

Summertown held a 3-1 lead through the first four innings of play before withstanding three rally attempts by the Dusters over the final three frames to hold on for the one-run victory.

Although Marshall County finished with 10 hits and four walks against Eagle starting pitcher Tim Beard and reliever Nathaniel Morrison, the Dusters stranded 10 men in scoring position and left 13 runners on base overall.

"We had plenty of opportunities to win the game, but we just didn't get enough hits when we got runners in scoring position," said Marshall County coach Mike Reese.

Duster second baseman Aaron Hobbs recorded his second straight multi-hit game by going 3-for-4 with a stolen base and 1 RBI. Jesse Kilpatrick and starting hurler Aaron Thomason (1 RBI) tallied two hits apiece for Marshall County as well, while Cody Vernon, Zack Kirby, and Bubba Houghton each had one hit.

Despite racking up eight strikeouts, Thomason suffered the loss on the mound after giving up three runs, only one earned, on two hits and three walks over four and one-third innings. Hobbs then came on in relief of Thomason and notched six strikeouts in two and two-thirds scoreless innings of work while yielding just one walk.

Beard picked up the win for Summertown , allowing two runs on nine hits and two walks in five plus innings of work. Lyons doubled and drove in a run to account for the Eagles lone extra base hit of the game, while Morrison singled and scored a run.

Marshall County second baseman Blake Darnell throws out Summertown's Nathaniel Morrison at first base in the top of the fourth inning.

The Dusters left two runners in scoring position in the bottom of the first inning before the Eagles grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the second when Lyons plated Luke Scott with a RBI double after Scott drew a two-out walk.

Marshall County stranded a man at third in the bottom of the second, but pushed across a run in the third inning thanks to a two-out triple by Kilpatrick and a Thomason RBI infield single to knot the game at 1-1.

Summertown then tallied two unearned runs in the top of the fourth with the help of a Morrison single, two Duster errors, a passed ball, and a wild pitch to pull ahead 3-1.

After Beard worked around a two-out double by Houghton in the bottom of the fourth, Marshall County stranded two men in scoring position in the fifth inning but plated a run in the sixth to narrow the gap to 3-2. Following consecutive singles by Vernon and Kirby, Morgan Reese drew a walk to load the bases with one out before Hobbs drove in pinch runner Matt Sharp with a two-out RBI infield single.

In the bottom of the seventh, the Dusters put runners on first and second with two outs thanks to a ground rule double by Thomason and a hit batsman, but Morrison retired the next Marshall County batter on a fly out to preserve the Eagles' 3-2 win.