Dusters edge Summit
Coming off a 6-5 loss to tournament host Columbia earlier in the day, the Marshall County Dusters (14-4-1) picked up their first win in pool play of the Columbia/Forrest Classic by defeating the Summit Spartans 5-4 on Friday afternoon.
Summit held a tenuous 4-3 lead through the first four innings of play, but the Dusters crossed home plate twice in the top of the sixth to seize a one-run lead before holding the Spartans scoreless over the final two frames.
Aided by their late offensive surge, Marshall County finished with eight hits and two walks against Spartan starting pitcher Zach Mather.
Starting hurler Matt Hobbs led the Dusters at the plate by going 3-for-3 with a run scored, while centerfielder J.B. Reese went 2-for-3 with 2 RBI and a run scored. Brandon Bush, Ryan McDaniel, and Zack Kirby each had a hit for Marshall County as well with Kirby driving in two runs.
Relief pitcher Jesse Kilpatrick picked up the victory on the mound for the Dusters, allowing two hits in three scoreless innings of work to go along with three strikeouts.
Hobbs had to settle for the no decision after yielding four runs over four plus innings on two hits and five walks.
Austin Limon went 2-for-2 with a walk and two runs scored to pace Summit offensively.
Mather worked around a one-out single by Hobbs in the top of the first inning, but Marshall County pushed across two runs in the second to grab a 2-0. After drawing a two-out walk, McKnight advanced to second on a single by McDaniel before both runners moved up 90 feet on a passed ball. Kirby then lined a two-run single into right field to plate McKnight and McDaniel.
In the bottom of the third, the Spartans tallied two runs on two hits, two walks, and a sacrifice fly by Tanner Hord to tie the game at 2-2.
The Dusters then pulled ahead 3-2 in the top of the fourth when Reese scored on a RBI groundout by McKnight after singling and advancing to third on a Kilpatrick sacrifice bunt and a wild pitch.
Marshall County's lead proved to be short lived, as Summit capitalized on some Duster miscues and plated two runs in the bottom of the fourth with the help of two walks, two wild pitches and a throwing error to seize a 4-3 advantage.
Mather held Marshall County scoreless in the fifth inning, but the Dusters got their bats going in the top of the sixth and notched two runs on three hits to take a 5-4 lead. Following a bunt single by Hobbs, Bush hit a double into the left centerfield gap to put runners on second and third with one out. Reese then laced a single into centerfield to bring home both runners.
The Spartans nearly tied the game in the bottom of the sixth, but Limon was thrown out at home plate by Marshall County shortstop Aaron Thomason while trying to score from first on a one-out double by Tanner Borough. Kilpatrick then fanned the next Summit batter to escape the sixth inning unscathed before retiring the Spartans in order in the bottom of the seventh to close out the Duster victory.