Lincoln County sweeps Dusters

Friday, June 7, 2013
Marshall County first baseman Cameron Isley tags out Lincoln County's Grady Wright in the bottom of the first inning after Wright got caught in a run down between first and second base. Photos by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

After winning the opening game 7-3, the Lincoln County Falcons completed the sweep of a doubleheader against the Marshall County Dusters by claiming an 8-4 victory in five innings on Tuesday night in Fayetteville.

Similar to the first contest, the Dusters (2-4) jumped out to an early lead and held a 2-0 advantage through the first two and a half innings of play.

Bottom drops out

Things went awry for Marshall County in the bottom of the third, however, as Lincoln County crossed home plate seven times in the fame to seize a 7-2 lead en route to handing the Dusters their fourth straight loss.

Bolstered by their third inning explosion, the Falcons finished with nine hits and four walks against three Marshall County pitchers to go along with three Duster errors.

Josh Whitaker (1 RBI) and Logan Smith both notched two hits to lead Lincoln County at the plate, while Grady Wright and Jake Taylor each added a hit and 2 RBI.

Marshall County relief pitcher Dylan McKnight suffered the loss on the mound after yielding five runs over two-thirds of an inning on two hits and three walks. Duster starting pitcher Matt Sharp yielded two hits in one and two-third scoreless innings of work, while Chandler Harmon also saw time on the mound for Marshall County and gave up two runs over an inning and two-thirds on five hits and a walk.

Although they tallied six hits and six walks in the contest against three Falcon hurlers, the Dusters left 10 runners on base overall, including six in scoring position.

Offensive leader

Marshall County third baseman Dunn Crowder throws out Lincoln County's Josh Whitaker in the bottom of the first inning.

Sharp paced Marshall County's offense by going 2-for-2 with a walk, a double, a RBI, and a run scored. Grayson Wiles (1 RBI), Trent Wiles (1 RBI), Ryan McDaniel, and Jay Murphy registered one hit apiece for the Dusters as well.

Lincoln County starting pitcher Caleb Smith picked up the win and yielded four runs in three and a third innings.

Marshall County left the bases loaded in the top of the second inning, but broke through for two runs in the third inning to take a 2-0 lead. Lane Whitesell drew a leadoff walk prior to advancing to second on a single by Sharp. After both runners moved up 90 feet on a Dylan McKnight sacrifice bunt, Whitesell scored on a sacrifice fly by Houghton before Grayson Wiles plated Sharp with a RBI infield single.

The Falcons quickly erased the deficit in the bottom of the third, as they crossed home plate seven times in the frame on the strength of a Jacob Dickerson single, a Duster throwing error, a double steal, a RBI triple by Whitaker, four walks, a two-run double by Wright, and a Taylor two-run single to seize a 7-2 lead.

Still trying

Marshall County tried to get back into the contest and pushed across two runs in the top of the fourth to narrow the gap to 7-4. Following a leadoff single by Murphy, Crowder drew a walk before both runners moved up 90 feet on a wild pitch. After Trent Wiles plated Murphy with a RBI single, Smith issued a walk to Lane Whitesell to load the bases with one out before Sharp drew another free pass to bring home Crowder.

The Dusters would pull no closer, as Lincoln County notched a run in the bottom of the fourth on a RBI groundout by Dickerson to stretch their lead to 8-4 prior to holding Marshall County scoreless in the top of the fifth.