Tigers blank Shelbyville

Friday, March 15, 2013
Marshall County's Ryan McDaniel slides home safely in the Tigers' 3-0 opening season win at Shelbyville Tuesday. Photo by Gary Johnson

The Marshall County Tigers baseball team rode the arms of their pitching staff to a win on Tuesday night, as they defeated the Shelbyville Golden Eagles 3-0 on the road in their season opener.

MCHS starting pitcher Dylan McKnight and relievers Matt Sharp and Jacob Graves silenced Shelbyville's bats for much of the evening and combined to throw a six-hit shutout.

McKnight picked up the win on the mound after giving up three hits and a walk in three scoreless innings of work to go along with three strikeouts. Sharp then came on in relief of McKnight in the top of the fourth and allowed three hits over the next three frames before Graves allowed two walks in the seventh inning.

New lineup

With only three starters returning from last year's District 12-AA championship team, the Tigers struggled at the plate and mustered just four hits and three walks against two Golden Eagle hurlers, but were aided by five Shelbyville errors, which contributed to all three Marshall County runs.

Bubba Houghton doubled to account for Tigers blank Shelbyville Marshall County's lone extra base hit of the contest, while McKnight, Ryan McDaniel, and Hayden Bailey all singled.

Golden Eagle starting pitcher Kyler Reynolds was unable to overcome his team's defensive miscues and was saddled with the loss after allowing three unearned runs on just one hit and one walk.

Jackson McAnally went 2-for-2 with two walks to pace Shelbyville at the plate.

The Golden Eagles had a chance to get on the board in the bottom of the first inning when they put runners on first and second with one out thanks to a McAnally single and a hit batsman, but McKnight retired the next two Shelbyville batters on an infield pop out and a strikeout to escape the jam.

Tigers take lead

MCHS then scored an unearned run in the top of the second on a hit, a walk, and an error to grab a 1-0 lead. After Ryan McDaniel reached on a error, Bailey singled and Ryan Richardson drew a walk to load the bases with no outs, before Zack Kirby drove in McDaniel with a sacrifice fly.

In the bottom of the second, the Golden Eagles loaded the bases with two outs on a pair of singles by Jacob Davidson and Wesley Griggs and a McAnally walk, but McKnight retired Josh Nave to snuff out the threat.

Shelbyville's shoddy defense came back to bite them once again in the top of the third, as the Tigers scored two more unearned runs with the help of three Golden Eagle errors to open up a 3-0 advantage.

Threat stopped

Marshall County then left the bases loaded in the top of the fifth before Shelbyville put runners on second and third with two outs in the bottom half of the inning on the strength of an MCHS error and a Stetson Blackwell double.

The Golden Eagles, though, would come away empty handed once again, as Sharp fanned Michael Imes to keep the shutout intact.

Shelbyville's Tyler Bailey drew a leadoff walk in the bottom of the seventh, but he was picked off by Tiger catcher Chandler Harmon a few moments later. Graves then issued another walk to McAnally before fanning the final two Golden Eagle hitters to sew up the victory for the Tigers.