Dusters hold off Creek Wood
After having their eight-game winning streak snapped the previous day with a 6-5 extra inning loss to Summertown, the Marshall County Dusters bounced back by defeating the Creek Wood Red Hawks 5-3 on Friday afternoon at Columbia Central High School in the Rocket Summer Classic.
The Dusters held a 2-1 lead through the first five innings of play before pushing across three runs in the top of the fifth to open up a 5-1 advantage. Marshall County (13-6) then staved off a late rally attempt by Creek Wood to hold on for the two-run victory.
Bolstered by their late offensive flurry, the Dusters finished with nine hits and a walk against two Red Hawk pitchers to go along with three Creek Wood errors.
Starting pitcher Matt Sharp and Bubba Houghton each tallied two hits and a RBI to lead Marshall County at the plate. Jay Murphy (1 RBI), Connor Bush, Hayden Bailey, Ryan McDaniel, and Chandler Harmon notched one hit apiece for the Dusters as well.
Sharp also went the distance on the mound to earn the victory and scattered seven hits in seven innings of work while racking up 10 strikeouts.
"Matt threw a good ballgame. If we don't make errors behind him, he might have thrown a shutout," said Marshall County coach Mike Reese. "We scored enough runs to win and got some timely hits when we needed them. Overall I was pleased."
Mathis Duncan went 2-for-3 with a double, a RBI, and a run scored to paced Creek Wood offensively. Red Hawk starting hurler Tyler Hines suffered the loss and yielded five runs over five and a third innings.
The Dusters left two men on base in the top of the first inning before Creek Wood grabbed a 1-0 lead in the bottom half of the frame when Duncan scored on a throwing error after belting a leadoff double and stealing third.
Marshall County quickly erased the deficit by tallying a run in the top of the second to tie the contest at 1-1. Houghton led off the inning with a double to deep left field before coming home on a Red Hawk throwing error.
In the top of the third, the Dusters plated another run to seize a 2-1 advantage. After reaching base on a one-out single, Bush advanced to third on a Cameron Isley sacrifice bunt and a Creek Wood throwing error before racing home on a bunt single by Sharp.
Marshall County came up empty the next two innings, but gave Sharp some wiggle room by crossing home plate three times in the top of the sixth to stretch their lead to 5-1. Sharp singled to lead off the frame before advancing to second on a groundout by Bailey. After McDaniel singled to put runners on first and third with one out, Houghton smacked a RBI single to left centerfield to drive in Sharp. Murphy then plated McDaniel with a RBI bloop single, while Houghton also scored on the play thanks to a Red Hawk throwing error.
Creek Wood trimmed the deficit to 5-2 in the bottom of the sixth on a RBI infield single by Duncan before holding the Dusters scoreless in the top of the seventh.
The Red Hawks tallied another run in the bottom of the seventh on two hits and an error to narrow the gap to 5-3 and still had men on first and third with two outs, but Sharp settled down and fanned the next Creek Wood batter to secure the win for Marshall County.