Ensworth ends Dusters' winning streak
The Marshall County Dusters (13-3-1) had their eight-game winning streak snapped on Thursday afternoon when they lost 7-2 to the Ensworth Tigers at Columbia Central High School in their opening pool game of the Columbia/Forrest Classic.
Marshall County had shut out its previous two opponents, but their pitching staff was unable to hold down Ensworth's offensive attack, as the Tigers finished with 10 hits and three walks against Duster starting hurler Matt Sharp and reliever Ryan McDaniel.
Brennan Washington, Myles Pasley, and Tyler Sinks each had two hits to lead Ensworth at the plate with Washington and Pasley driving in two and one run respectively.
Sharp suffered the loss on the mound for the Dusters, allowing five runs over five and two-thirds innings on six hits and three walks to go along with five strikeouts.
Marshall County tallied eight hits and three walks against Tiger starting pitcher Nick Rolfe and reliever Lee Folk, but stranded 10 runners on base, including five in scoring position.
"We didn't play that bad, but we didn't get enough timely hits and left too many runners on base. They also made some nice plays defensively when we did hit the ball hard," said Duster coach Mike Reese.
McDaniel went 3-for-3 with 1 RBI to lead Marshall County offensively, while Aaron Thomason recorded two hits. Jesse Kilpatrick, J.B. Reese, and Dylan McKnight (1 RBI) each had one hit for the Dusters as well.
Rolfe picked up the victory for Ensworth after yielding two runs in five and two-thirds innings of work on seven hits and three walks.
Both teams failed to score through the first two innings of play before the Tigers scratched out two runs in the top of the third with the help of a walk, a RBI triple by Pasley, and a Justin Lloyd RBI infield single to grab a 2-0 lead.
In the bottom of the third, Marshall County loaded the bases with two outs after McDaniel and Thomason sandwiched a pair of singles around a walk by Sharp, but Rolfe retired the next Duster batter on a groundout to escape the inning unscathed.
Ensworth then opened up some breathing room in the top of the sixth by pushing across three runs in the frame on the strength of three hits, a walk, and an error to open up a 5-0 advantage.
The Dusters finally got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the sixth and plated two runs in the frame to trim the deficit to 5-2. J.B. Reese belted a one-out ground rule double to left centerfield prior to racing home on a RBI double by McKnight to make it 5-1. After McKnight advanced to third on an Aaron Hobbs groundout, Richardson was hit by a pitch before McDaniel drove in McKnight with a RBI single.
The Tigers, though, mounted an immediate response and stretched their lead to 7-2 in the top of the seventh thanks to a two-run single by Washington after loading the bases with one out on a pair of singles by Henry Royse and Pasley and a hit batsman.
Folk then retired Marshall County in order in the bottom of the seventh to secure Ensworth's victory.