Marshall County Storm crush Columbia

Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Marshall County's Jay Howard slides safely into home plate while scoring from second base on a wild pitch in the top of the fourth inning against Columbia. Photos by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

The Marshall County Storm washed away the Columbia All-Stars with a deluge of runs on Friday night, as they rolled to a 12-3 victory in the first round of the 13-year old Babe Ruth District tournament at Lawrence County High School.

After the Storm raced out to a 9-0 lead through the first four and a half innings of play, the game was delayed nearly an hour due to rain before Marshall County coasted to the nine-run victory.

Bolstered by a four-run first inning, the Storm finished with 11 hits and 12 walks against three Columbia pitchers.

Marshall County second baseman Trent Richardson tags out Columbia's Conner Click on a stolen base attempt in the bottom of the fourth inning.

Jacob Jones (2 RBI), catcher Will Johnson, and Jonathan Lykins (1 RBI) tallied two hits apiece to lead Marshall County's offensive attack, while starting hurler Brayden Gentry (2 RBI), Jordan Jent, Trent Richardson, Logan Bailey (2 RBI), and Thomas Hawkins each had one hit.

Gentry also picked up the victory on the mound for the Storm and allowed one hit and five walks in three scoreless innings of work to go along with four strikeouts. Jent then came on in relief of Gentry and gave up three runs over the final four frames on six hits and a walk while recording five strikeouts.

Cole Goodwin went 2-for-3 with a triple and a run scored to pace Columbia at the plate. Columbia starting pitcher Lonnie Taylor suffered the loss after yielding five runs over three innings on five hits and five walks.

The Storm pounced on Columbia early and crossed home plate four times in the top of the first inning on the strength of a pair of singles from Jones and Johnson, a Gentry sacrifice fly, an error, a walk by Ben Taylor, a wild pitch, and a Logan Bailey two-run single to grab a 4-0 lead.

"I think getting off to a fast start was important for us. Since the guys haven't played together, there's going to be some jitters at the start of the first game of an All-Star tournament so getting four runs in the first inning was big," said Marshall County coach Mike Bailey.

After Columbia left runners on second and third in the bottom of the first inning, the Storm opened up a 5-0 advantage in the top of the second on a RBI single by Gentry.

In the bottom of the second, Columbia loaded the bases with one out thanks to three consecutive walks, but Gentry fanned Kennedy Ross before Conner Clark was picked off first by Johnson to end the inning.

The Storm continued to pour it on in the top of the fourth and pushed across four more runs in the frame with the help of four walks, two wild pitches, a Hawkins RBI single, and a Columbia error to forge a 9-0 lead.

Columbia finally got on the board in the bottom of the fifth when Goodwin raced home on a wild pitch to trim the deficit to 9-1 after belting a two-out triple.

Marshall County then stretched their lead to 11-1 in the top of the sixth behind a two-run single from Jones before Columbia staved off the mercy rule by plating a run in the bottom half of the frame to narrow the gap to 11-2.

After the Storm tacked on another run in the top of the seventh thanks to a Lykins RBI single to make it 12-2, Columbia tallied a run on four hits in the bottom of the inning for the 12-3 final.