Tigers trounce Bulldogs
On Thursday night, the Marshall County Tigers came out on top in a battle of unbeaten teams when they went on the road and defeated the Cornersville Bulldogs 9-1.
The Tigers (4-0) pounced on Cornersville (6-1) early and built a 9-0 lead through the first four innings of play before cruising to their fourth straight win over the Bulldogs.
Aided by a seven-run second inning, Marshall County pounded out 11 hits and drew five walks against two Cornersville pitchers to go along with two Bulldog errors.
Aaron Hobbs did the most damage at the plate for MCHS by going 2-for-5 with a double, 4 RBI, and a run scored. Cameron Isley (1 RBI), Jay Murphy, and Dunn Crowder tallied two hits apiece for the Tigers as well, while Bubba Houghton (1 RBI), Chandler Harmon (1 RBI), and Grayson Wiles each had one hit.
Cornersville starting pitcher J.D. Crabtree suffered the loss after allowing seven runs over two innings on six hits and two walks. Reliever Tate Lowery helped stopped the bleeding for the Bulldogs and yielded two runs, one earned, in five innings of work on five hits and three walks while notching four strikeouts.
Sophomore starting hurler Stuart Warner turned in a strong performance on the mound for the Tigers en route to picking up the first win of his MCHS career, as he allowed just three hits in five scoreless innings of work while recording four strikeouts. Hobbs then came on in relief of Warner and gave up one run over two innings on one hit and two walks.
"Stuart threw great and I was tickled to death with the way he pitched. He kept the ball down and actually appeared to get stronger as the game wore on," said Marshall County coach Steve Reese.
Aaron Fox accounted for half of Cornersville's hits by going 2-for-3 with a RBI. Crabtree and Curt Taylor each had one hit for the Bulldogs as well.
Crabtree held the Tigers scoreless in the first inning, but Marshall County broke the game open in the top of the second by crossing home plate seven times in the frame to take a 7-0 lead.
After MCHS loaded the bases with no outs on singles by Isley, Houghton, and Crowder, Harmon drew a RBI walk to make it 1-0 before Houghton scored on a Bulldog error while Connor Bush reached base on the play. Hobbs then cleared the bases with a three-run double to give the Tigers a 5-0 advantage prior to stealing third and racing home on a sacrifice fly by Lane Whitesell. Wiles then singled and advanced to second on a Murphy groundout before scoring on a RBI double by Isley.
In the top of the third, Marshall County pushed across another run with the help of a leadoff walk by Crowder, a Bulldog error, and RBI single by Hobbs to stretch their lead to 8-0.
The Tigers then tacked on a run in the fourth inning to forge a 9-0 advantage when Murphy rumbled home on a sacrifice fly by Houghton after belting a leadoff double and advancing to third on a Isley groundout.
Cornersville finally got on the board by plating a run in the bottom of the sixth to trim the deficit to 9-1. Tyler Lowery drew a leadoff walk before advancing to third on to a couple of errant pickoff throws by Marshall County. After Hobbs hit Chance Dyer with a pitch, Fox drove in Lowery with a RBI single.
"I thought the kids kept playing hard and competing," said CHS coach Ben Putman. "The last five innings were way closer than the first, but when you start that slow you can't expect to win against a good team."
Hobbs then retired the Bulldogs in order in the bottom of the seventh to wrap up the win for the Tigers.