Dusters squash Yellow Jackets in tournament pool play
The Marshall County Dusters improved to 2-0 in pool play at the Crethan Hansert Memorial Tournament by crushing the Grundy County Yellow Jackets 11-0 in six innings at Coffee County High School on Friday afternoon.
Despite making only one other appearance on the mound during his high school career, Marshall County starting pitcher Ryan Richardson turned in a remarkably effective performance, as he recorded six strikeouts while limiting the Yellow Jackets to just five hits and a walk en route to tossing a complete game shutout.
After scoring 10 runs in the previous game against Coffee County earlier in the day, the Dusters (8-5) continued to pad their offensive stats and pounded out 14 hits against Grundy County starting hurler Taten McBee to go along with two walks and two Yellow Jacket errors.
Richardson had a big day at the plate and helped his own cause by going 3-for-3 with a double. Matt Sharp and Lane Whitesell both tallied two hits and a RBI as well, while Jay Murphy added a two-run homer. Zack Kirby (2 RBI), Dunn Crowder (1 RBI), Trent Wiles (1 RBI), Bubba Houghton (1 RBI), Connor Bush, and Cameron Isley also notched one hit apiece for Marshall County.
Grundy County had a chance to take the lead in the bottom of the first inning when they put runners on second and third with two outs thanks to a double, an error, and a passed ball, but Richardson retired the next Yellow Jacket hitter on a groundout to escape the jam.
The Dusters got their bats going in the top of the second and pushed across two runs in the frame to take a 2-0 lead. Following a one-out single by Richardson, Lane Whitesell blasted a RBI double off the base of the centerfield fence to drive in courtesy runner Grayson Wiles before scoring on a RBI single by Kirby.
Marshall County left two runners on base in the third inning, but tallied three runs in the top of the fourth to open up a 5-0 advantage. After Richardson doubled and Whitesell singled to put runners on first and third with one out, Kirby plated courtesy runner Grayson Wiles with a RBI groundout to make it 3-0. Crowder then drove in Whitesell with a RBI double prior to coming home on a RBI single by Trent Wiles.
The Dusters continued to distance themselves from Grundy County in the top of the fifth and crossed home plate three more times to forge an 8-0 lead. Isley led off the inning with a single before scoring on a RBI double by Houghton to give Marshall County a 6-0 advantage. Murphy then belted a two-run shot over the left field fence for his first homerun of the season.
In the top of the sixth, Marshall County brought the mercy rule into effect by tallying three runs in the frame on the strength of two walks, a Grundy County throwing error, and a RBI triple by Sharp to stretch their lead to 11-0.
Richardson then retired the Yellow Jackets in order in the bottom half of the sixth to wrap up the Dusters' fourth straight win.