CPA slips past Tigers

Friday, April 4, 2014
Marshall County catcher Chandler Harmon throws out CPA's Jacob Gunter at first base after fielding a bunt in the top of the second inning. Tribune photos by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

After defeating Christ Presbyterian 3-2 the previous evening, the Marshall County Tigers were unable to complete the sweep of the Lions, as they dropped a 5-4 decision to CPA on Tuesday night at home.

Marshall County (10-3, 2-2 District) appeared to be in good shape after building a 4-2 lead through the first five innings of play.

The Tigers, however, let the game slip through their fingers in the latter stages of the contest, as the Lions (8-6, 1-3 District) tallied two runs in the sixth inning before scoring the game winning run in the top of the seventh to salvage a split of the season series.

CPA mustered just five hits overall against three Tiger pitchers, but were aided by four walks and six Marshall County errors, which contributed to three of the Lions' five runs.

Mistakes' result

"We just made too many mistakes. You can't make mistakes against a good ballclub and they're a good ballclub," said MCHS coach Steve Reese. "We're in a District where the sixth place team can beat the first place team. It's a very well balance District. If you don't come ready to play, you can get beat."

Andrew Knell went 2-for-4 with a RBI and a run scored to lead CPA at the plate, while Houston Nichols, Carson Shrode, and Jacob Gunter each had one hit.

Tiger reliever Aaron Hobbs suffered the loss and allowed one run in one inning on two hits and two walks. Marshall County starting pitcher Lane Whitesell had to settle for the no decision after yielding four runs, one earned, in five plus innings of work on three hits and two walks. Brooks Leftwich also pitched one scoreless inning for MCHS.

Marshall County's Jay Murphy slides safely into second after hitting a double in the bottom of the first inning.

The Tigers finished with eight hits and five walks against Lion starting pitcher Graham Hawley, but left nine men on base overall. Grayson Wiles (1 RBI) and Hobbs notched two hits apiece to pace MCHS offensively, while Cameron Isley (2 RBI), Whitesell (1 RBI), Jay Murphy, and Chandler Harmon each had one hit.

Opening blast

CPA fired the opening salvo and plated a run in the top of the first inning on a RBI sacrifice bunt by Seth Thomas to grab a 1-0 lead.

Marshall County mounted an immediate response and pushed across two runs in the bottom half of the frame to seize a 2-1 advantage. After drawing a leadoff walk and advancing to second on a Whitesell sacrifice bunt, Hobbs moved to third on a wild pitch before scoring on a RBI groundout by Isley. Murphy then smacked a two-out double into the right centerfield gap prior to coming home on a Wiles RBI single.

In the top of the second, the Lions knotted the game at 2-2 when Jordan Baker scored on an error after drawing a leadoff walk and advancing to third on an errant pickoff throw and a sacrifice bunt by Gunter.

The Tigers stranded a runner in scoring position in the third inning, but pushed across two runs in the bottom of the fifth to pull ahead 4-2. Following a leadoff triple by Harmon, Hobbs was hit by a pitch before Whitesell and Isley delivered consecutive RBI singles.

Lead disappears

Marshall County's lead evaporated in the top of the sixth, as CPA tallied two runs in the frame to retie the contest at 4-4. Nichols drew a walk and Shrode was hit by a pitch before both runners scored on a Thomas sacrifice bunt thanks to a Tiger throwing error.

After the Tigers left the bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth, the Lions scored the go ahead run in the top of the seventh with the help of a Gunter single, a walk, and a RBI single by Knell to seize a 5-4 lead. Hawley then worked around a one-out single by Wiles to close out the win for CPA.