Tigers ousted from playoffs after tournament defeats
On Friday, the Marshall County Tigers (18-11) saw their season come to an abrupt end when they lost a pair of District tournament games at Christ Presbyterian Academy.
After falling 9-4 to the second seeded CPA Lions (22-10) in the second round of the tournament, the Tigers were forced to make a quick turnaround and dropped a 1-0 decision to the Cascade Champions (19-13) in the loser's bracket later that evening.
In their first contest of the day, Marshall County jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning thanks to a RBI single by Chandler Harmon, but the Lions came roaring back and crossed home plate five times in the bottom half of the frame on the strength of an Andrew Knell single, a hit batsman, a double steal, a two-run homer by Carson Shrode, three walks, and a Sam Knell two-run single to seize a 5-1 advantage.
In the bottom of the second, CPA stretched their lead to 6-1 when Andrew Knell scored on a RBI single by Houston Nichols after reaching second base on a MCHS throwing error.
The Tigers pushed across two runs in the top of the fifth with the help of a Lane Whitesell RBI double and a RBI single by Grayson Wiles to whittle the deficit to 6-3, but the Lions stretched their lead to 8-3 in the bottom half of the inning on a two-run homer by Wallace Barrett.
After Marshall County narrowed the gap to 8-4 in the top of the sixth on a RBI single by Connor Bush, CPA tacked on an insurance run thanks to a Peyton Allen RBI triple to open up a 9-4 advantage before holding MCHS scoreless in the seventh inning.
The Tigers finished with 11 hits and two walks against Lion starting pitcher David Bates, but hit into two double plays and had another runner thrown out on the base paths. Aaron Hobbs went 3-for-4 with a run scored to lead Marshall County at the plate, while Whitesell and Bush both added two hits and a RBI. Wiles (1 RBI), Harmon (1 RBI), Bubba Houghton, and Ethan Poteete each notched a hit for Marshall County as well.
MCHS starting pitcher Brooks Leftwich suffered the loss after allowing five runs, three earned, in two-thirds of a inning on three hits and three walks. Poteete then came on in relief of Leftwich and yielded four runs over five and a third innings on six hits and two walks.
The Tigers faced an early deficit in their second contest of the night, as the Champions jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning when Colton Weaver scored on a RBI fielder's choice by Nolan Barnes after reaching base on a one-out single, stealing second, and advancing to third on a single by starting pitcher Sam Gardner.
The Tigers had a chance to tie the game in the bottom of the second when they put runners on first and third with no outs thanks to a Murphy double and a Wiles single. Marshall County, however, came away empty handed, as Champion right fielder Dylan Marlin threw out Murphy at home plate after catching a fly ball by Stuart Warner before Gardner struck out the next MCHS batter to end the inning.
After working around a leadoff double by Harmon in the bottom of the fourth, Gardner silenced the Tigers' bats the rest of the way and did not allow a hit over the final three innings to close out the win for Cascade.
Although he issued four walks, Gardner limited Marshall County to just three hits overall while racking up 11 strikeouts.
Harmon, Murphy, and Wiles each tallied one hit to lead the Tigers at the plate. Marshall County starting pitcher Cameron Isley was the tough luck loser on the mound and allowed just one run over seven innings on five hits and three walks to go along with five strikeouts.