Tigers complete trifecta against Cornersville

Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Marshall County High School honored their senior baseball players before their game against Cornersville on Thursday night. Pictured, from left, are Trent Wiles, Aaron Hobbs, Jay Murphy, Bubba Houghton, and Grayson Wiles. Tribune photos by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

The Marshall County Tigers (17-8) defeated Cornersville for the third time this season when they beat the Bulldogs 5-2 on Friday at home on Senior Night.

MCHS held a 3-1 lead through the first three innings of play before Cornersville (13-11) scored a run in the top of the fourth to whittle the deficit to 3-2.

The Tigers, however, were able to keep the Bulldogs at bay down the stretch, as they scored a run in each of the next two innings to open up a 5-2 advantage en route to claiming their sixth straight win over Cornersville.

Just six hits

Marshall County mustered only six hits and struck out five times against Bulldog staff ace David Looney, but took advantage of seven walks and two CHS errors. Grayson Wiles and starting pitcher Aaron Hobbs both tallied two hits and a RBI to lead the Tigers offensively, while catcher Chandler Harmon (2 RBI) and Lane Whitesell each had one hit.

Hobbs also went the distance on the mound to pick his third win of the year and allowed six hits and four walks in seven innings of work to go along with eight strikeouts. Harmon also aided Hobbs' cause by throwing out two Bulldog runners on the base paths to help snuff out a couple of Cornersville scoring threats.

"Its' the first time Aaron has pitched in three weeks so we needed to get him some work. He struggled at times, but he battled through it and that's what seniors are supposed to do," said MCHS coach Steve Reese. "Harmon is playing out of this world right now. When you've got a catcher that sees the whole field and can pick off base runners that's a big asset."

Bulldog leaders

Jody Sullivan went 2-for-3 with a double and a RBI to pace the Bulldogs at the plate, while Tyler Lowery, Aaron Fox, and Curt Taylor each had one hit.

"We battled and played hard so there's nothing to be down about. We had opportunities that we didn't capitalize on and they did. That was the difference in the game," said Cornersville coach Ben Putman.

Marshall County third baseman Dunn Crowder catches a throw from catcher Chandler Harmon before tagging out Cornersville's Tyler Lowery on a stolen base attempt in the top of the first inning.

The Bulldogs had a chance to take the lead in the top of the first inning when Tyler Lowery and Fox both singled to put men on first and second with two outs. Lowery then tried to advance to third on a pitch in the dirt, but was thrown out by Harmon on the play to end the inning.

That missed opportunity quickly came back to haunt CHS, as the Tigers pushed across two runs in the bottom of the first to grab a 2-0 lead. Following a leadoff walk by Hobbs, courtesy runner Blake Darnell advanced to third on a double by Lane Whitesell. Darnell then scored on a RBI groundout by Harmon before Wiles drove in Whitesell with a two-out RBI single.

Close game

The Bulldogs cut Marshall County's lead in half by plating a run in the top of the second to make it 2-1. After drawing a leadoff walk, Talley advanced to second on an infield single by Taylor before Sullivan belted a RBI double to deep left field.

The Tigers then opened up a 3-1 advantage in the bottom of the second when Bubba Houghton raced home on a RBI single by Hobbs after drawing a leadoff walk and advancing to second on a Trent Wiles sacrifice bunt.

Cornersville second baseman Chance Dyer throws out Marshall County's Ethan Poteete at first base in the bottom of the first inning.

Following a scoreless third inning, the Bulldogs tallied a run in the top of the fourth to narrow the gap to 3-2. Talley drew a leadoff walk and advanced to third on a MCHS throwing error before scampering home on a wild pitch.

Tiger runs

Marshall County stranded two men in scoring position in the bottom of the fourth, but notched a run in the fifth inning to extend their lead to 4-2. After Cameron Isley was hit by a pitch with two outs, pinch runner Jay Howard attempted to score on Wiles double, but ended up getting caught in a run down between third and home. Howard, though, caught a lucky break when a Bulldog player dropped the ball at third base, which allowed him to sprint home safely on the play.

Cornersville then left runners on first and second in the top of the sixth before Marshall County tacked on an insurance run in the bottom half of the frame with the help of a hit batsman, a passed ball, and a RBI bloop single by Harmon for the 5-2 final.