Lawrence County stuns Marshall County in seventh inning

Friday, July 20, 2012
Marshall County's Connor Bush slides safely into home plate while scoring on a two-run double by Chandler Harmon in the top of the second inning against Lawrence County. Photos by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

Lawrence County pulled off a comeback for the ages on Tuesday night in Columbia, as they defeated Marshall County 15-14 in the finals of the 15-year old Babe Ruth District 8 tournament after rallying from an early 11-run deficit.

Needing to defeat Lawrence County twice in order to take home the tournament championship, Marshall County held an 11-0 lead at the end of the third inning and appeared they would force a deciding game.

After Lawrence County tallied five runs over the next two frames to narrow the gap to 11-5, Marshall County tacked on three runs in the top of the sixth to open up a seemingly safe 14-5 advantage.

Marshall County's Zack Gordon tags out Lawrence County's Kevin Caruso in the bottom of the fourth inning after Caruso got caught in a run down between first and second base.

Lawrence County, however, refused to wave the white flag and sliced the deficit to 14-9 in the bottom of the sixth before crossing home plate six times in the seventh inning, capped by a two-out, two -run single by Kevin Caruso, to complete their stunning comeback.

Bolstered by their late offensive surge, Lawrence County finished with 17 hits and five walks against three Marshall County pitchers. Although they threw out four Lawrence County runners on the base paths, Marshall County suffered a complete meltdown defensively and committed nine errors in the contest, including eight in the final three innings.

Caruso, Will Norwood, and Konnor Ambrose recorded three hits apiece to spearhead Lawrence County's furious rally with Caruso and Norwood both driving in two runs. Peyton Sockwell (2 RBI), Cody Gobble (1 RBI), and Cole Crews each notched two hits for Lawrence County as well, while Ben Regan and Seth Noel both had one hit.

Marshall County tallied nine hits and nine walks against four Lawrence County hurlers to go along with two hit batsmen. Lawrence also struggled in the field and committed six errors, which led to four of Marshall County's 14 runs.

Connor Bush led Marshall County offensively by going 3-for-4 with a walk, 2 RBI, and two runs scored, while Blake Leonard went 2-for-2 with a walk, a double, 2 RBI, and two runs scored. Chandler Harmon, Dunn Crowder, Lane Whitesell, and Cameron Isley each tallied one hit for Marshall County as well with Harmon and Crowder knocking in three and two runs respectively.

Lawrence County relief pitcher Ben Farrington picked up the win, allowing three unearned runs in two innings of work on two hits and two walks.

Isley suffered the loss on the mound for Marshall County and yielded six runs over two-thirds of an inning on six hits and two walks.

Marshall County starting pitcher Zach Gordon turned in a solid outing, but had to settle for the no decision after giving up five runs, three earned, in five innings of work on eight hits and three walks to go along with two strikeouts.