MMC holds off Nichirin

Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Marshall Medical Center shortstop Knox Barnes tags out Nichirin's Landon Darnell after Darnell got caught in a run down between second and third base in the top of the first inning. Tribune photos by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

On Monday night, Marshall Medical Center (1-2) picked up their first win of the season when they defeated Nichirin 8-7 in five innings at Jonathan D. Hollingsworth Memorial Park.

MMC appeared headed for an easy victory after racing out to an 8-0 lead through the first two innings of play, but Nichirin came storming back and tallied seven runs over the next two frames to whittle the deficit to 8-7.

Nichirin, however, was unable to complete the comeback, as they failed to score in the top of the fifth before the game's time limit expired in the bottom half of the inning.

MMC gets breaks

Marshall Medical Center finished with just five hits overall against Nichirin starting pitcher Hunter Bradford and reliever Jacob Autry, but took advantage of three walks, two hit batsmen, and three errors.

Thomas Hawkins went 2-for-3 with 2 RBI and two runs scored to lead MMC at the plate, while Knox Barnes, Trent Richardson, and Jacob Harris each had one hit.

Bradford suffered the loss on the mound and yielded eight runs in three innings of work to go along with five strikeouts.

Nichirin shortstop Hunter Haurez throws out Marshall Medical Center's Jackson Coward at first base in the bottom of the first inning.

Nichirin mustered only four hits against three Marshall Medical Center hurlers, but were aided by six walks and four MMC errors. Landon Darnell paced Nichirin offensively by going 2-for-2 with a walk, a RBI, and a run scored, while Bradford (1 RBI) and Hunter Haurez both had one hit.

Winning pitcher

Marshall Medical Center starting pitcher Jackson Coward picked up the win after yielding four runs over three innings. Reliever Nathan Derryberry earned the save and allowed just one hit over two scoreless innings.

Nichirin left the bases loaded in the top of the first inning before Marshall Medical Center struck for three runs in the bottom half of the frame to grab a 3-0 lead.

Barnes drew a leadoff walk prior to advancing to third on a wild pitch and a Coward groundout. After Hawkins drove in Barnes with a RBI single, Richardson reached base on catcher's interference and Derryberry was hit by a pitch to load the bases with one out. Hawkins and Richardson then both raced home on a groundout by Caleb Crowell thanks to some aggressive base running.

Marshall Medical Center continued to pad their lead in the second inning and crossed home plate four more times in the frame on the strength of a Harris infield single, a single by Barnes, an error, a Hawkins RBI single, a catcher's interference call, a Derryberry bases loaded walk, a wild pitch, and a steal of home by Richardson to forge an 8-0 advantage.

Clawing back

Nichirin began to claw their way back into the game in the top of the third and plated four runs in the inning with the help of a walk by Joseph Freeland, a single by Darnell, a Haurez RBI single, a RBI single by Bradford, a wild pitch, and a MMC throwing error to close the gap to 8-4.

In the top of the fourth, Marshall Medical Center's lead continued to evaporate, as Nichirin tallied three runs in the frame thanks to two errors, a bases loaded walk by Quinton Martinez, a RBI single by Darnell, and a passed ball to slice the deficit to 8-7. Martinez then attempted to score on a wild pitch, but Derryberry tagged him out at home plate before retiring the next two Nichirin batters on a strikeout and a groundout to maintain MMC's tenuous one-run lead.

That proved to be Nichirin's last scoring opportunity, as Derryberry worked around a hit batsman in the top of the fifth to sew up the win for Marshall Medical Center.