Spring Hill blanksTigers

Friday, May 17, 2013
Marshall County shortstop Aaron Hobbs throws to first base to complete a 4-6-3 double play in the bottom of the fifth inning against Spring Hill. Tribune photo by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

It was a rough night for the Marshall County Tigers and their fans, as MCHS lost 9-0 to the Spring Hill Raiders on Wednesday evening in the championship game of the Region 6-AA tournament.

Marshall County (23-8) had won two of the three meetings against Spring Hill (24-8) this season and trailed just 1-0 through the first three innings of Wednesday's contest.

The Raiders, however, opened the floodgates shortly after that point and pushed across eight runs over the next three frames en route to claiming their third straight Region tournament title.

Toughest foe

Although MCHS still advances to the Sectional round of the playoffs, the Tigers now face the daunting task of knocking off defending state champ Goodpasture on Friday night.

Having scored a total of six runs in their previous two games, Marshall County once again scuffled at the plate and mustered only four hits against Spring Hill starting pitcher Dylan Stewart.

Marshall County's Bubba Houghton beats out an infield single in the top of the fifth inning against Spring Hill. Photo courtesy of Columbia Daily Herald

Zack Kirby notched to hits to pace the Tigers at the plate, while Aaron Hobbs and Bubba Houghton each had one hit.

"Spring Hill is hot right now. They're getting good pitching, good hitting and playing good defense. They've just gotten hot at the right time," said MCHS coach Steve Reese. "We hit the ball hard tonight, but it went right to them and they made the plays."

Twelve hits

Bolstered by their late offensive surge, the Raiders finished with 12 hits against two Marshall County pitchers. J.T. Farmer spearheaded Spring Hill's offensive attack by going 3-for-4 with a double and a RBI, while Cody Endicott (1 RBI) and David Andrews both tallied two hits. Darian Prewett also added a homerun and 3 RBI for the Raiders.

Tiger starting pitcher Dylan McKnight suffered just his second loss of the season after allowing six runs in four plus innings of work on seven hits to go along with three strikeouts. Hayden Bailey came on in relief of McKnight and yielded three runs over two innings on five hits.

Marshall County had a chance to take the lead early in the contest when they put runners on first and second with no outs in the top of the first inning thanks to a leadoff single by Hobbs and a hit batsmen, but Stewart retired the next three MCHS batters on two infield fly outs and a groundout to escape the jam.

Twelve hits

Marshall County second baseman Matt Sharp scoops up a groundball by Spring Hill's Cole Barksdale before throwing to second to start a 4-6-3 double play in the bottom of the fifth inning. Tribune photo by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

Spring Hill then took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning when Prewett scored on a RBI single by Farmer after reaching base on an error and advancing to second on a Brandon Hardison sacrifice bunt.

McKnight held the Raiders scoreless over the next two innings, but Spring Hill broke the game open in the bottom of the fourth by crossing home plate four times in the frame behind a couple of RBI groundouts by Conner Pierce and Endicott and a two-run homer by Prewett to open up a 5-0 advantage.

Stewart worked around a pair of singles by Kirby and Houghton in the top of the fifth, before the Raiders stretched their lead to 6-0 in the bottom half of the inning when Farmer came home on a 4-6-3 double play after leading off the frame with a double and advancing to third on a Jake Usher single.

Spring Hill then tacked on three more runs in the sixth inning with the help of a sacrifice fly by Prewett, a Hardison RBI single, and two Tiger errors to cap their 9-0 win.