Late Comeback propels Elks past Marshall Medical Center
The Elks (7-1) staved off a potential upset bid by Marshall Medical Center on Tuesday night when they rallied for a 9-5 victory at Jonathan D. Hollingsworth Memorial Park after overcoming a late two-run deficit.
MMC (1-7) appeared to have the defending Marshall County Babe Ruth League champs on the ropes and held a 3-1 lead through the first five innings of play. The Elks, however, came storming back in the bottom of the sixth and exploded for eight runs in the frame to seize a 9-3 lead before taking home the four-run victory.
Thanks to Tuesday's win, the Elks remained in a tie for first place in the league standings with A-Plus Collision Center.
Aided by their late offensive explosion, the Elks finished with nine hits and two walks against Marshall Medical Center starting pitcher Jackson Coward, who suffered the loss. Iendi Biggers and starting hurler Austin Wood both tallied two hits and 2 RBI to lead the Elks offensive attack, while Gage Anderson (2 RBI), Will Johnson (1 RBI), Tyler Wunderlin (1 RBI), Jay Lyons, and Will Vanhooser each had one hit.
Wood also went the distance on the mound to earn his fourth win of the season and yielded 10 hits and four walks in seven innings of work to go along with nine strikeouts.
Knox Barnes paced MMC at the plate by going 3-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored. Thomas Hawkins (1 RBI) and Caleb Crowell each notched two hits for Marshall Medical Center as well, while Trent Richardson (1 RBI), Nathan Derryberry (1 RBI), and Grayson Whaley had one hit apiece.
MMC left a man in scoring position in each of the first two innings, but scratched out a run in the top of the third to grab a 1-0 lead. Barnes led off the inning with a single and advanced to second on a groundout by Richardson before coming home on a Hawkins RBI groundout.
The Elks quickly counterpunched and tied the game at 1-1 by pushing across a run in the bottom of the third. After belting a leadoff double, Wood stole third before racing home on a sacrifice fly by Biggers.
Marshall Medical Center pulled back ahead in the top of the fourth when Whaley scored on a error after singling with one out and advancing to third on a passed ball and a wild pitch.
In the top of the fifth, MMC tacked on another run to open up a 3-1 advantage. Barnes drew a leadoff walk before advancing to third on an errant pickoff throw. Richardson then plated Barnes by serving an RBI bloop single into right field..
All of Marshall Medical Center's hard work went by the boards in the bottom of the sixth, as the Elks crossed home plate eight times in the inning on the strength of two errors, a Lyons single, a two-run single by Anderson, a Mitchell Ford walk, a bunt single by Vanhooser, a Wunderlin RBI bloop single, a two-run double by Wood, a Biggers RBI single, and a RBI single by Johnson to take a 9-3 lead.
MMC tried to mount a comeback of their own in the top of the seventh and plated two runs thanks to a Barnes single, an error, a wild pitch, and a RBI single by Derryberry to whittle the deficit to 9-5 before Crowell singled to put men on first and third with two outs.
Wood, though, finally secured the victory by striking out Whaley to end the game.