Chapel Hill Farm Center edges Marshall Medical in extra innings

Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Chapel Hill Farm Center shortstop Blake Leonard throws out Marshall Medical Center's Connor Bush at first base in the bottom of the sixth inning. Photos by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

Coming off a disappointing loss to first place Nichirin four days earlier, Chapel Hill Farm Center (7-2) kept themselves in the running for the Babe Ruth league title by defeating Marshall Medical Center 9-7 on Monday night in nine innings.

CHFC held a 7-5 lead through the first six and a half innings of play, but Marshall Medical Center (4-5) pushed across two runs in the bottom of the seventh to knot the game at 7-7.

Following a scoreless eighth inning, Chapel Hill Farm Center plated two runs in the top of the ninth to grab a 9-7 lead before snuffing out a MMC threat in the bottom half of the frame to pull out the victory.

CHFC outhit Marshall Medical Center 14-7 overall and finished with a 7-3 edge in walks, but MMC stayed in the contest with the help of six Chapel Hill Farm Center errors.

Jesse Pruitt and Payton Sisk both tallied three hits to lead CHFC's offensive attack with Pruitt driving in three runs. Boone Sweeney and Clay Watson added two hits apiece as well, while Jesse Darnell, relief pitcher Blake Leonard (1 RBI), Tanner Garvin (2 RBI), and Bryce Oliver (1 RBI) each had one hit.

Leonard also picked up the win on the mound for Chapel Hill Farm Center, as he yielded just one hit in two scoreless innings of work after starting the game at shortstop.

Connor Bush paced Marshall Medical Center at the plate by going 3-for-4 with a walk, a stolen base, and two runs scored. Payton Hood also went 2-for-5 with a triple and 1 RBI, while Zack Gordon, and Thomas Hawkins each notched one hit.

After coming on in relief of starting pitcher Lane Whitesell, Gordon suffered the loss on the mound for MMC, allowing five runs over six and two-thirds innings on nine hits and five walks.

CHFC got off to a strong start and pushed across four runs in the top of the first inning on the strength of a Sweeney single, a hit batsman, a Marshall Medical Center error, a two-run double by Pruitt, and a Oliver RBI double to take a 4-0 lead.

Marshall Medical Center's Connor Bush slides safely into second while stealing a base in the bottom of the eighth inning.

MMC trimmed the deficit to 4-1 in the bottom of the first when Bush scored on a RBI groundout by Whitesell after singling and advancing to third on a Chapel Hill Farm Center throwing error.

Marshall Medical Center then tied the score at 4-4 in the second by tallying three runs in the frame with the aid of a Hawkins double, a walk by Bush, a wild pitch, and three CHFC errors.

After Chapel Hill Farm Center took a 6-4 lead in the top of the fourth inning thanks to a two-run double by Garvin, MMC whittled the deficit to 6-5 on a Hood RBI triple in the bottom of the fifth.

In the top of the seventh, CHFC tacked on an insurance run with the help of singles from Watson and Sweeney, a walk by Darnell, and a Leonard RBI fielder's choice to open up a 7-5 advantage.

Marshall Medical Center battled back in the bottom of the seventh and plated two runs in the frame behind a Hensley walk, a single by Gordon, a wild pitch, and a Whitesell RBI groundout to retie the score at 7-7.

Both teams left runners in scoring position in the eighth inning, before Chapel Hill Farm Center crossed home plate twice in the top of the ninth thanks to a pair of walks, a Pruitt RBI single, and a MMC error to seize a 9-7 advantage.

Leonard then worked around a one-out error in the bottom of the ninth to secure CHFC's seventh win of the season.