Tigers defeat Cascade

Friday, April 25, 2014
Marshall County starting pitcher Stuart Warner, shown here against Page, tossed a three-hitter to help lead the Tigers to a 6-1 win over Cascade. Photos by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

The Marshall County Tigers moved into a tie for third place in the District 12-AA standings with Page by beating the Cascade Champions 6-1 at home on Monday night.

After Marshall County (16-7, 5-4 District) built a 4-0 lead through the first five innings of play, Cascade (14-11, 1-8 District) tallied a run in the top of the sixth to trim the deficit to 4-1 before the Tigers tacked on two insurance runs in the bottom half of the frame to claim their second straight win.

"Teams are going to go through slumps, but you have to battle through them and hopefully this was a turnaround game for us," said MCHS coach Steve Reese. "It's a crazy District so there is still an outside shot for us to finish second, but we need some help. We have to take care of business though and win tomorrow."

Sophomore starting pitcher Stuart Warner turned in another quality performance on the mound to run his record to 5-0 on this season, as he tossed a three-hitter while issuing three walks and notching four strikeouts.

"Stuart has been absolutely outstanding this year and I can't say enough good things about him. He's been great," said Reese.

Marshall County's Grayson Wiles, shown here against Warren County, went 2-for-2 with a walk and a run scored to help lead the Tigers to a 6-1 win over Cascade.

The Tigers, meanwhile, finished with eight hits and two walks against two Champion hurlers. Catcher Chandler Harmon did the most damage at the plate for MCHS by going 2-for-3 with a triple, a homerun and 2 RBI. Grayson Wiles and Connor Bush tallied two hits apiece as well, while Warner added a two-run homer. Bubba Houghton also notched one hit for Marshall County.

Colton Weaver, Chandler Monajjem, and Blake Floyd each had one hit for Cascade with Weaver driving in the Champions lone run of the game. Cascade starting pitcher Sam Gardner suffered the loss and allowed six runs over five and a third innings.

The Tigers pounced on the Champions early and pushed across three runs in the bottom of the first inning. Hobbs drew a leadoff walk before advancing to third on a Whitesell sacrifice bunt and a Cascade error, while Whitesell reached second base on the play. After Isley drove in Hobbs with a RBI groundout, Whitesell was thrown out at home plate by Cascade third baseman Heath Presley on a fielder's choice by Jay Murphy. Harmon then belted a two-run homer over the left field fence to give MCHS a 3-0 lead.

Marshall County stretched their lead to 4-0 in the bottom of the third when courtesy runner Jay Howard raced home on a passed ball after Harmon lined a triple to centerfield.

Cascade had a chance to cut into the deficit in the top of the fifth and put runners on first and second with one out thanks to an error and a walk, but Warner retired the next two Champion batters on a fly out and an infield pop up to extinguish the threat.

In the top of the sixth, Cascade spoiled Warner's shutout bid by plating a run with the help of a bunt single by Monajjem, a errant pickoff throw, a passed ball, and a Weaver RBI single to narrow the gap to 4-1.

The Tigers mounted an immediate response and stretched their lead to 6-1 when Warner cranked a two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth after Wiles reached base on a one-out single.

Warner then worked around a leadoff walk by Presley in the top of the seventh with the aid of a sliding catch by Wiles in right field to seal Marshall County's victory.