Lawrence County edges Thunder

Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Marshall County's Ethan Evans slides safely into second while stealing a base in the top of the second inning against Lawrence County. Photos by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

With rain postponing Saturday's games, the Marshall County Thunder fell into the loser's bracket of the 14-year old Babe Ruth District tournament on Sunday afternoon after dropping a hard fought 3-1 decision to Lawrence County in the second round of the tourney at Jonathan D. Hollingsworth Field.

The Thunder held a 1-0 lead through the first three and a half innings of play, but Lawrence County scored twice in the bottom of the fourth to seize a 2-1 advantage before tacking on an insurance run in the sixth en route to advancing to the tournament championship game.

After scoring 13 runs and banging out 11 hits in their last outing against Columbia, Marshall County mustered just two singles and two walks against Lawrence County starting pitcher Bryce Clift and reliever Colby Deuchel.

Marshall County starting pitcher Stuart Warner fires a pitch to home plate in the bottom of the second inning against Lawrence County.

Boone Sweeney and starting hurler Stuart Warner each notched one hit for the Thunder with Sweeney driving in Marshall County's lone run of the contest.

Clift picked up the victory after allowing only one unearned run in five innings of work on one hit and no walks. Lawrence County also turned two double plays to aid their pitching staff's cause.

"We hit the ball and made contact, but we hit it right at them and they made the plays," said Thunder coach Mike Mills.

Lawrence County, meanwhile, finished with six hits and three walks against three Marshall County pitchers. Malachi Colvett tallied two hits and scored two runs to lead Lawrence County offensively, while Deuchel added a triple and 2 RBI.

Warner was the tough luck loser on the mound for the Thunder and yielded two runs over five innings on five hits and a walk.

"Stuart pitched five strong innings. He moved the ball in and out and threw well today. We played good defense too, but so did they. It was a well played game overall," said Mills.

Marshall County stranded a runner in scoring position in the top of the second before Clift worked around a hit batsman in the third inning with the help of a 2-6 double play.

Lawrence County had a chance to get on the board in the bottom of the third when Austin Odom led off the inning with a double, but Thunder left fielder Jesse Pruitt snuffed out the threat by catching a Brody Howard line drive and throwing out Odom at second to complete a 7-4 double play.

The Thunder then grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth when Sweeney knocked in Landon Jones with a two-out RBI single after Jones reached second base on a Lawrence County error.

Lawrence County, though, mounted an immediate response and pushed across two runs in the bottom of the fourth to pull ahead 2-1. Following a one-out single by Colvett, Deuchel ripped a RBI triple into the left field corner before coming home on a Jackson Ferguson sacrifice fly.

In the sixth inning, Lawrence County opened up a 3-1 advantage when Colvett raced home on a sacrifice bunt by Deuchel after reaching base on a one-out bloop single, stealing second, and advancing to third on a passed ball.

Marshall County had an opportunity to possibly tie the game in the top of the seventh and put runners on first and second with two outs thanks to a Warner single and a walk by Payton Hood, but Deuchel struck out the next Thunder batter to end the game.