Tough Ross tames Tigers in Rocket/Tiger Classic game

Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Marshall County first baseman Cameron Isley tags out Ross's Corey Burton at first basein the top of the second inning after receiving a picking throw from catcher Chandler Harmon. Tribune photo by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

After dismantling Cornersville the previous day, the Ross Rams (2-1) took another pelt back to Ohio when they whipped the Marshall County Tigers 11-1 in five innings on Sunday afternoon at Joe George Field in the Rocket/Tiger Classic.

The Tigers (8-2) were swimming upstream right from the start, as Ross built an 8-0 lead through the first two innings of play. MCHS then tallied a run in the bottom of the fourth to trim the deficit to 8-1, but the Rams responded with three runs in the top of the fifth to bring the mercy rule into effect.

Good trip

"It was just an unbelievable trip and a great experience for our team," said Ross coach Jason Rettinger. "I hope we built some camaraderie on our team while we were down here. We faced some really good teams and had a wonderful time."

Bolstered by a five-run second inning, the Rams banged out 10 hits and drew six walks against three Marshall County pitchers, but also took advantage of six Tiger errors, which led to three of Ross' 11 runs .

Ram starting pitcher Drew Dietz helped his own cause by going 3-for-4 with a RBI and two runs scored. Joe Warman (2 RBI) and Shane Naegele both tallied two hits for Ross as well, while Dylan Aynes (2 RBI), Corey Burton (1 RBI), and David Haynes each had one hit.

Dietz also picked up the victory on the mound and yielded just one run in four innings of work on seven hits and four walks. Justin Parsons came on in relief of Dietz in the top of the fifth and tossed one scoreless inning.

Tiger hitting

Chandler Harmon (1 RBI), Aaron Hobbs, Lane Whitesell, Jay Murphy, Grayson Wiles, Bubba Houghton, and Connor Bush notched one hit apiece for Marshall County. MCHS starting pitcher Ethan Poteete suffered the loss after allowing eight runs, five earned, over two innings on five hits and four walks.

The Tigers were their own worst enemy early on, as the Rams pushed across three runs in the top of the first inning with the help of four MCHS errors and a Dietz RBI single to take a 3-0 lead.

Ross then put their foot on MCHS' neck in the top of the second by plating five runs in the frame on the strength of a RBI single by Warman, an Aynes RBI fielder's choice, a double steal, a Burton RBI single, and a sacrifice fly by Eric Hammerle to forge an 8-0 advantage.

"We had a bad first inning and that carried into the second inning," said Marshall County coach Steve Reese. "We made a bunch of errors in the first inning and you can't do that when you're playing against one of the better teams from Ohio."

Lone score

The Tigers finally got on the board in the bottom of the fourth and plated one run in the frame to narrow the gap to 8-1. Following a one-out single by Wiles, pinch runner Jay Howard advanced to second on a Houghton single before both runners moved up 90 feet on a wild pitch. Harmon then served a RBI single into left field to drive in Howard.

The Rams mounted an immediate response and scored three runs in the top of the fifth thanks to a Haynes double, a single by Naegele, an error, a Warman RBI triple, and a sacrifice fly by Aynes to stretch their lead to 11-1.

In the bottom of the fifth, Parsons worked around a leadoff walk by Hobbs with the aid of a 4-6-3 double play to sew up the victory for Ross.