Stars rout Lawrence County in title game
Powerful district performance sends team to next level
The Marshall County Stars completed a dominant run through the 14-year old Babe Ruth District 8 tournament by crushing Lawrence County 19-1 in five innings on Thursday night at Jonathan D. Hollingsworth Memorial Park.
Having defeated Lawrence County 11-4 earlier in the tournament, the Stars actually trailed 1-0 at the end of the first inning in Thursday's contest, before reeling off 19 consecutive runs over the next four frames to cruise to the mercy rule shortened victory.
Marshall County now advances to the 14-year old Babe Ruth State tournament, which will start in Manchester on July 19.
The Stars finished with seven hits in the contest but also took advantage of eight walks, four Lawrence County errors, and three hit batsmen. Catcher Ben Taylor spearheaded Marshall County's attack by going 3-for-3 with a double, 2 RBI, and a run scored, while Jay Howard (3 RBI), Brayden Gentry (3 RBI), Iendi Biggers (1 RBI), and Austin Wood each tallied one hit.
Starting pitcher Trent Richardson picked up the win on the mound for the Stars and allowed one run in three innings of work on two hits. Howard then came on in relief for Richardson and recorded one strikeout over one perfect inning. Brett McGehee also saw time on the hill for Marshall County and yielded one hit and one walk in one scoreless inning to go along with two strikeouts.
"I was surprised with how easily we won. All of these teams were formidable, but everything came together for us again," said Stars coach Mike Bailey. "We hit the ball well and scored 41 runs in three games while giving up only five. I was also really proud of our pitchers and thought we played great defense too."
Starting pitcher Tyler King (1 RBI), Blake Gladney, and Ben Barnett each notched one hit for Lawrence County. King suffered the loss on the mound as well and surrendered five runs over two plus innings.
Lawrence County took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning when Gladney scored on a RBI single by King after singling with two outs and advancing to third on a couple of wild pitches.
Ahead to stay
Marshall County quickly counterpunched and pushed across two runs in the top of the second inning to seize a 2-1 advantage. Following a one-out walk by Richardson, courtesy runner Hunter Bradford advanced to third on a single by Taylor. Bradford then scampered home on a passed ball to tie the game at 1-1 before courtesy runner Tristan Underwood scored on a wild pitch a few moments later.
After Richardson retired Lawrence County in order in the bottom of the second, the Stars broke the game open in the top of the third by crossing home plate 12 times in the frame with the help of an infield single by Biggers, five walks, a Taylor sacrifice fly, three errors, two hit batsmen, a two-run single by Howard, and a Taylor RBI double to forge a 14-1 lead.
In the top of the fourth, Marshall County continued to pour it on and plated three runs in the inning on an infield single by Wood, a hit batsman, an error, and a Gentry two-run single to open up a 17-1 advantage.
The Stars then tacked on two more runs in the top of the fifth thanks to a bases loaded walk by Underwood and a McGehee RBI fielder's choice to cap their 19-1 triumph.