Shelbyville tramples Tigers

Wednesday, April 30, 2014
The Marshall County Tigers greet Jay Murphy at home plate after Murphy blasted a mammoth two-run homer in the top of the third inning against Shelbyville. Tribune photos by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

On Friday night, the Marshall County Tigers (17-9) laid an egg at Shelbyville Central High School, as the Golden Eagles thrashed MCHS 17-4 in five innings.

Shelbyville (6-20) enjoyed their best offensive performance of the season and pounded out 16 hits against four Marshall County pitchers to go along with four walks. The Tigers also compounded their pitching staff's problems by committing eight errors, which led to 11 of the Golden Eagles' 17 runs.

Errors' damage

"When you make eight errors, it allows more hitters to come to the plate. They capitalized on our mistakes and it adds up to a lopsided score," said MCHS coach Steve Reese.

Alex Birdsong (3 RBI), Tyler Dennis (2 RBI), and Colton Melson (2 RBI) tallied three hits apiece to help ignite Shelbyville's offensive explosion, while Trevor Sanders (3 RBI) and Jacob Davidson both added two hits and 3 RBI.

Marshall County starting pitcher Stuart Warner suffered his first loss of the season after allowing five unearned runs over two innings on five hits. Brooks Leftwich was the Tigers' most effective reliever and yielded one hit over two-thirds of a scoreless inning.

Few hits

Marshall County finished with only six hits and two walks against two Shelbyville hurlers. Jay Murphy (2 RBI) and Wilson Limbaugh notched two hits apiece to pace the Tigers at the plate with Murphy belting his fifth homerun of the season. Chandler Harmon and Grayson Wiles also registered one hit and 1 RBI for MCHS.

Golden Eagle starting pitcher Jacob Price picked up the win on the mound and allowed four runs in four innings of work.

Marshall County grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning when Limbaugh came home on a RBI single by Wiles after leading off the frame with a single and advancing to third on a Murphy single.

Marshall County's Wilson Limbaugh slides safely into second base after hitting a double in the top of the third inning against Shelbyville.

Warner held Shelbyville scoreless in the bottom of the first, but ran into trouble in the second inning, as the Golden Eagles pushed across five runs in the frame with the help of a leadoff single by Sanders, four Tiger errors, a Melson RBI bunt single, a RBI fielder's choice by Tommy Canonico, and a pair of RBI singles by Birdsong and Dennis to seize a 5-1 lead.

Catching up

MCHS put a dent in Shelbyville's lead by plating three runs in the top of the third to whittle the deficit to 5-4. After Limbaugh doubled to lead off the inning, Harmon ripped a RBI double to left field before Murphy blasted a mammoth two-run homer to straightaway center.

The Golden Eagles, however, hit Marshall County with another haymaker and crossed home plate six times in the bottom of the third on the strength of a RBI single by Melson, a Canonico sacrifice fly, a RBI double by Birdsong, a Sanders two-run single, and a RBI single by Davidson to open up an 11-4 advantage.

Shelbyville then delivered the knockout blow by tallying six more runs in the bottom of the fourth behind a bases loaded walk by Birdsong, a Dennis RBI single, a Tiger error, a two-run double by Davidson, and a Maddin Reeves RBI single to forge a 17-4 lead.

Birdsong then came on in relief of Price in the top of the fifth and struck out the side to keep the mercy rule intact.