Columbia defeats Dusters

Thursday, June 27, 2013
Marshall County pitcher Ryan McDaniel throws out Columbia's Devin Symlar at first base in the bottom of the first inning. Photos by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

The Marshall County Dusters finished with a 1-2 record in the Rocket Summer Classic after dropping a 6-2 decision to the Columbia Cubs on Friday afternoon at Columbia Central High School.

Marshall County (13-7) had defeated the Cubs 11-2 in their previous meeting on May 30, but Columbia turned the tables on the Dusters on Friday and built a 6-1 lead through the first four innings of play before coasting to the four-run victory.

After averaging 8.2 runs per game over their last 10 contests, Marshall County finally saw their bats cool off and mustered just six hits and a walk against Columbia starting pitcher Jonathan Davis and reliever Jonathan Harris. Dylan McKnight led the Dusters at the plate by going 2-for-3 with a double, a RBI, and a run scored, while Hayden Bailey (1 RBI), Matt Sharp, Chandler Harmon, and Zack Kirby each had one hit.

"We just didn't have enough firepower in the second game and didn't swing the bat well," said Marshall County coach Mike Reese. "Columbia has gotten better too. Coach (Mark) Pickle does a good job with them."

Davis picked up the win on the mound for the Cubs and allowed two runs over five and a third innings.

Columbia, meanwhile, finished with nine hits and four walks against two Duster hurlers. Alex Webb went 2-for3 with a walk, a double, and two runs scored to pace the Cubs offensively, while Devin Symlar added a hit, a walk, and 3 RBI. Davis and Dylan Horn both notched a hit and a RBI for Columbia as well.

Marshall County starting pitcher Ryan McDaniel suffered the loss and surrendered six runs over three and two-third innings on nine hits and two walks. Cameron Isley then came on in relief of McDaniel and yielded two walks in two and a third scoreless innings of work.

Marshall County second baseman Lane Whitesell tags out Columbia's William Pilkinton on a stolen base attempt in the bottom of the third inning.

The Dusters grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning when McKnight scored on a two-out RBI single by Bailey after smacking a ground rule double over the right field fence.

Marshall County's lead would be short lived, as the Cubs scratched out a run in the bottom of the first to tie the game at 1-1. After singling and stealing second, Webb advanced to third on a passed ball before racing home on a wild pitch..

Columbia stranded a man at third in the second inning, but crossed home plate twice in the bottom of the third on the strength of a two-out single by Colton Harris, a Webb ground rule double, and a two-run single by Symlar to seize a 3-1 advantage.

The Dusters had a chance to cut into the deficit in the top of the fourth after putting runners on first and second with one out thanks to an infield single by Sharp and a Bailey walk, but Davis retired the next two Marshall County batters on a fielder's choice and an infield pop up to snuff out the threat.

That missed opportunity quickly came back to haunt the Dusters, as the Cubs plated three runs in the bottom of the fourth with the help of a leadoff double by Carter Bain, a Horn RBI single, a RBI double by Davis, and a bases loaded walk by Symlar to stretch their lead to 6-1.

Marshall County pushed across a run in the top of the sixth thanks to an error and a McKnight RBI single to trim the deficit to 6-2, before Jonathan Harris worked around a hit batsman and a single by Harmon in the seventh inning to secure the win for Columbia.