Nichirin whips Marshall Medical Center to claim title

Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Nichirin's David Looney rounds third base while scoring on a RBI single by Cameron Isley in the bottom of the second inning against Marshall Medical Center. Photos by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

The Elks 12-year title run officially came to an end on Monday night, as Nichirin (9-2) defeated Marshall Medical Center 12-5 in five innings at Jonathan D. Hollingsworth to capture the 2012 Marshall County Babe Ruth League championship.

After defeating Nichirin 8-3 in their previous meeting, Marshall Medical Center looked poised to pull off another upset early on and jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning.

Nichirin, however, quickly righted the ship and tallied four runs in the bottom half of the first to seize a 4-3 advantage before outscoring MMC 8-2 over the next four frames to claim the league crown.

Marshall Medical Center third baseman Austin Ring throws out Nichirin's Jay Howard at first in the bottom of the third inning.

"I know it feels good for the team. We had a rough year last year so it feels awesome to win it this season," said Nichirin coach Bradley Maddox. "I told them that we just needed to win every inning and erase the deficit. It was huge to come back and recapture the lead in the bottom of the first inning after falling behind."

Nichirin pounded out 11 hits against three Marshall Medical Center pitchers, but also drew nine walks to go along with five MMC errors.

Jay Howard, starting hurler David Looney (1 RBI), and Madison Peete (1 RBI) notched two hits apiece to spearhead Nichirin's offensive attack, while Hunter Talley, Cameron Isley (1 RBI), Josh McKnight (1 RBI), Gunner Sutherland (1 RBI), and Hunter Bradford (1 RBI) each had one hit.

Looney also picked up the victory on the mound, allowing three runs, only one earned, on two hits and two walks in three innings of work to go along with seven strikeouts. Stuart Warner then came on in relief and yielded two unearned runs on two hits and a walk over the final two frames.

Starting pitcher Ethan Poteete had two hits to pace MMC at the plate, while Trent Richardson (2 RBI) and Payton Hood both recorded one hit.

Marshall Medical Center got off to an auspicious start and crossed home plate three times in the top of the first inning with the help of a Chase Hensley walk, an error, a single by Poteete, and a Richardson two-run single to claim a 3-0 lead.

The momentum quickly swung to Nichirin's dugout in the bottom of the first, as they pushed across four runs in the frame thanks to a triple by Howard, a pair of RBI singles by Looney and McKnight, a Sutherland bases loaded walk, and a MMC error to pull ahead 4-3.

Nichirin then stretched their lead to 6-3 in the bottom of the second by plating two runs on the strength of a ground rule double by Howard, a Looney single, a double steal, and a RBI single by Isley.

In the third inning, Nichirin continued to pad their lead and tallied three runs in the frame behind a Peete triple, an error, RBI infield single by Talley, and a wild pitch to open up a 9-3 advantage.

After Nichirin pushed their lead to 10-3 in the fourth inning on a RBI single by Peete, Marshall Medical Center trimmed the deficit to 10-5 in the top of the fifth thanks to a Poteete RBI single and a RBI groundout by Whitesell.

Nichirin then brought the mercy rule into effect by scoring two runs in the bottom of the fifth with the aid of a Warner RBI fielder's choice and a RBI double by Bradford to cap their 12-5 triumph.