Murfreesboro Central Magnet blanks Dusters
After notching 7-0 win in the opening game of a doubleheader, the Marshall County Dusters (17-7-1) were unable to pull off the sweep, as the Murfreesboro Central Magnet Tigers eked out a 2-0 victory in six innings at Joe George Field in the nightcap.
The two teams battled to a 0-0 draw through the first five innings of play before Central Magnet crossed home plate twice in the top of the sixth to escape with the two-run win.
Tiger starting pitcher Austin Worley turned in a gutsy performance on the mound and pitched all six innings to earn the victory, as he limited Marshall County to five hits and two walks during that span to go along with three strikeouts.
Bubba Houghton was the biggest bright spot for the Dusters offensively and went 3-for-3 with three singles. Matt Sharp and Ryan McDaniel each had one hit for Marshall County as well.
"We didn't play that badly in the second game, but we just couldn't get the big hit after we got guys on base," said Duster coach Mike Reese.
The Tigers also struggled at the plate and mustered only four hits and three walks against four Marshall County hurlers.
Colt Flippo tallied two hits to pace Central Magnet at the plate, while Tyler Egawa and Willie Ortiz both notched one hit.
Duster relief pitcher Aaron Thomason suffered the loss after yielding two runs on two hits and a walk in one inning of work. Marshall County starting hurler Dylan McKnight tossed one scoreless inning, while Sharp and Aaron Hobbs each threw two innings.
In the top of the first inning, Egawa led off the game with a single, but was thrown out at second on a stolen base attempt by Duster catcher Zack Kirby. Flippo then singled with two outs before McKnight retired Josh Green on a fielder's choice to end the inning.
After stranding runners on second and third in the bottom of the first, Marshall County had a golden opportunity to take the lead in the second inning when Sharp and McDaniel sandwiched singles around a Kirby walk to load the bases with one out. Worley bore down, though, and retired the next two Duster batters on a strikeout and a foul out to escape the inning unscathed.
The Tigers then left a runner at second in the top of the third before Worley snuffed out another Marshall County scoring threat in the bottom half of the frame with the help of a 4-6 double play.
Following two more scoreless innings, Central Magnet finally broke the deadlock by pushing across two runs in the top of the sixth to seize a 2-0 lead. After the Tigers loaded the bases with no outs on a hit batsman, a walk, and Flippo bunt single, Alex Ropp drew another free pass to give the Tigers a 1-0 advantage before Gabe Hilliard drove in a run with a RBI groundout.
Worley then worked around a one-out single by Houghton in the bottom of the sixth to clinch Central Magnet's win.