Reliever steps up as Dusters down Columbia
Coming off a 9-2 loss to Summit earlier in the afternoon, the Marshall County Dusters evened their record at 1-1 by defeating the Columbia Cubs 5-1 in the Southern Athletic Fields Invitational on Thursday at Columbia Central High School behind a stellar pitching performance from emergency starter Madison Peete.
The two team were locked in a 1-1 tie through the first four innings of play, but the Dusters grabbed a 2-1 lead in the top of the fifth before crossing home plate three more times in the seventh inning to pull away for the four-run victory.
Ethan Poteete was scheduled to start on the mound for Marshall County, but was forced to leave the game in the top of the first inning after suffering a knee injury while running to first base.
Peete, however, answered the call when opportunity knocked and racked up 10 strikeouts in seven innings of work while yielding one unearned run on just two hits and a walk en route to earning the win.
"Madison pitched great. He's got good velocity and fools you a little bit. He did a good job against a triple A ballclub," said Dusters coach Mike Reese.
Marshall County finished with eight hits against two Columbia hurlers. Connor Bush did the most damage at the plate for the Dusters by going 2-for-3 with a walk, a RBI, and a run scored. Cameron Isley (1 RBI), Chandler Harmon (1 RBI), Peete (1 RBI), Bubba Houghton, Ethan Evans, and Blake Darnell tallied one hit apiece for Marshall County as well.
Jackson Cook and Jensen Petteway each singled to account for both Cub hits. Columbia reliever Dalton Rector suffered the loss after allowing four runs over four innings on six hits and a walk.
The Cubs grabbed a 1-0 lead by plating a run in the bottom of the second. After beating out an infield single and advancing to second on a Duster throwing error, Petteway moved to third on a groundout by Blake Edwards prior to scoring on a wild pitch.
Columbia's lead would prove to be short lived, as Marshall County tied the game at 1-1 in the top of the third when Bush raced home on a RBI double by Isley after drawing a two-out walk.
Rector retired the Dusters in order in the fourth inning, but Marshall County scratched out a run in the top of the fifth to pull ahead 2-1. Following an infield single by Houghton, Derrick McKnight reached base on an error before Evans was hit by a pitch to load the bases with no outs. Houghton was then tagged out at home on a botched squeeze play, but Bush drove in McKnight with a RBI single to put the Dusters on top.
In the top of the seventh, Marshall County tacked on three more runs to open up a 5-1 advantage. After the Dusters loaded the bases with two outs on an Evans single, a double by Darnell, and a hit batsman, Rector issued a walk to Harmon to bring home Evans. Darnell then scored on a wild pitch before Peete legged out an RBI infield single.
The Cubs put a runner at second with no outs in the bottom of the seventh thanks to two throwing errors, but Peete snuffed out Columbia's rally attempt by retiring the next three batters on a pair of strikeouts and a groundout to wrap up the win for Marshall County.