Tigers blow out Grundy Co.
On Thursday night, the Marshall County Tigers (5-1) successfully kicked off the Rocket/Tiger Classic by crushing the Grundy County Yellow Jackets 11-1 at home in five innings.
Aided by a five-run third inning, the Tigers pounded out 11 hits against two Grundy County pitchers to go along with eight walks and two Yellow Jacket errors.
First baseman Cameron Isley spearheaded MCHS' offensive attack by going 3-for-3 with a walk, 2 RBI, and a run scored. Jay Murphy (2 RBI) and Bubba Houghton (1 RBI) tallied two hits apiece for the Tigers as well, while Dunn Crowder (2 RBI), Grayson Wiles (1 RBI), Aaron Hobbs, and starting pitcher Lane Whitesell each had one hit.
"We stung the ball tonight and we're starting to swing the bats pretty well," said Marshall County coach Steve Reese. "We jumped on them in the third inning and kept the fire burning. We never looked back after that."
Whitesell looked sharp in his first start of the season on the mound and yielded just one run in five innings of work on four hits while issuing no walks and recording eight strikeouts en route to picking up the win.
"I was tickled to death with the way Lane pitched. He threw the ball really well," said Reese. "His fastball was really moving and his breaking ball was falling off the table."
Zach Sanders went 2-for-2 with a run scored to pace Grundy County (9-4) at the plate, while starting pitcher Elijah Bean and Dylan Cleek both had one hit. Bean also suffered the loss on the mound after allowing four runs over two and a third innings on four hits and six walks.
The Tigers grabbed an early 1-0 lead by scratching out a run in the bottom of the first inning. After reaching base on a Yellow Jacket throwing error, Hobbs advanced to second on a Whitesell groundout before Murphy smacked a two-out RBI single into right field.
Grundy County tied the game at 1-1 in the top of the second on a RBI groundout by Schylar Burgess, but Marshall County seized a 2-1 advantage in the bottom half of the frame when Grayson Wiles raced home on a wild pitch after leading off the inning with a single and advancing to third on a pair of groundouts by Crowder and Connor Bush.
In the bottom of the third, the Tigers broke the game open by pushing across five runs in the inning to stretch their lead to 7-1. Following consecutive singles by Whitesell and Houghton, Murphy drew a walk to load the bases with no outs. Isley then plated courtesy runner Jay Howard and Houghton with a two-run single to make it 4-1, before Wiles drew a walk to reload the bases. After Crowder laced a two-run double down the right field line to drive in Murphy and Isley, Wiles scored on a wild pitch.
MCHS opened up an 8-1 advantage in the bottom half of the fourth when Murphy rumbled home on a wild pitch after drawing a leadoff walk and advancing to third on a Isley walk and a fielder's choice by Wiles.
The Tigers then brought the mercy rule into effect in the bottom of the fifth by plating three runs in the frame on the strength of a Houghton RBI single, a RBI single by Murphy, and a Wiles bases loaded walk to wrap up their 11-1 triumph.