Tigers cruise past Bulldogs
The Marshall County Tigers (4-3) defeated local rival Cornersville for the third straight time on Thursday night when they rolled to an 11-1 victory over the Bulldogs (8-3) in five innings at Joe George Field in the Rocket/Tiger Holiday Classic.
Having averaged slightly over 11 runs per game in their last three outings, the Tigers finished with eight hits and a walk against Cornersville starting pitcher Tate Lowery, who saw his record fall to 1-2 on the season. The Bulldogs also suffered a complete meltdown defensively and committed a season high nine errors in the contest.
"Tate actually pitched well, but we didn't play defense behind him. A good team is going to take advantage of that and Marshall County did tonight," said CHS coach Ben Putman.
Tiger starting pitcher Dylan McKnight helped his own cause by going 2-for-3 with 2 RBI and a run scored, while Bubba Houghton, Zack Kirby, Connor Bush, Aaron Hobbs, Matt Sharp, and Hayden Bailey all had one hit with Houghton, Kirby, and Bush driving in one run apiece.
McKnight also turned in a strong performance on the mound and limited Cornersville to just three hits in the contest while racking up nine strikeouts en route to earning his second win of the year.
"Even though it was our third game of the day, I think we played with some spirit tonight and were ready to play. Dylan came out and threw well like he always does," said Marshall County coach Steve Reese.
Tyler Lowery recorded an inside the park homerun to account for the Bulldogs lone extra base hit of the game, while Tate Lowery and Jacob Griffis both singled.
McKnight worked around a one-out single by Tate Lowery in the top of the first inning, before Marshall County pushed across two runs in the bottom half of the frame with the help of a hit batsman and three CHS errors to grab an early 2-0 lead.
The Tigers then took advantage of more shaky defense by Cornersville in the second inning, as they crossed home plate four times in the frame thanks to a leadoff walk by Ryan Richardson, a wild pitch, three Bulldog errors, a Bush RBI single, an infield single by Hobbs, and a McKnight two-run single to open up a 6-0 advantage.
CHS trimmed the deficit to 6-1 in the top of the third when Tyler Lowery raced around the bases for an inside the park homerun after hitting a line drive into the right centerfield gap.
Marshall County left two runners in scoring position in the bottom of the third, but crossed home plate five times in the fourth inning to extend their lead to 11-1.
After loading the bases with no outs on singles by McKnight, Sharp, and Bailey, Ryan McDaniel drove in courtesy runner Trent Wiles with a RBI fielder's choice to make it 7-1. Following an RBI double by Houghton, McDaniel scored on a RBI groundout by Richardson to give MCHS a 9-1 advantage. Kirby then plated Houghton with a RBI single before eventually coming home with the aid of two Cornersville errors.
McKnight kept the mercy rule in effect by retiring the Bulldogs in order in the top of the fifth to close the victory for the Tigers.