Dusters down Hawks
The Marshall County Dusters (6-2) notched their third straight win on Wednesday afternoon when they defeated the Ravenwood Hawks 9-5 at home in the first game of a doubleheader.
Marshall County got off to a fast start offensively and built an 8-2 lead through the first three innings of play before claiming the four-run victory.
Lane Whitesell led a nine-hit attack by the Dusters, as he went 3-for-3 with a triple, a homerun, 3 RBI, and two runs scored. Jay Murphy also added two hits and 2 RBI, while Dunn Crowder belted a solo homerun. Connor Bush, starting pitcher Cameron Isley, and Bubba Houghton each tallied a hit for Marshall County as well.
"I was happy with the way we hit the ball. We swung the bats well and hit a lot of line drives," said Dusters coach Mike Reese.
Despite struggling with his control at times, Isley picked up the victory on the mound for Marshall County and yielded five runs over six innings on five hits and nine walks while recording seven strikeouts. Whitesell then came on in relief of Isley and allowed a hit and a walk in one scoreless inning of work.
Matthew Dudas (1 RBI), Stephen Marconcini (1 RBI), starting hurler Trey Ferguson, Bailey Whitten, Peter Clifford, and Bryce Akridge notched one hit apiece for the Hawks. Ferguson suffered the loss on the mound after giving up eight runs over two and a third innings on seven hits and two walks.
Ravenwood stranded a runner at second in the top of the first inning before the Dusters plated two runs in the bottom half of the frame to grab a 2-0 lead. After Isley roped a one-out double into the right centerfield gap, courtesy runner Ethan Evans advanced to third on an error while Chandler Harmon reached first base on the play. Evans then scored on a RBI single by Murphy before Houghton drove in courtesy runner Blake Darnell with a RBI double.
The Hawks tallied two runs in the top of the second thanks to a pair of bases loaded walks by Jackson Stone and Matthew Smith, but Marshall County mounted an immediate response and pushed across three runs in the bottom half of the inning to pull back ahead 5-2.
Bush reached base on an error before Isley hit into a fielder's choice. Following a walk by Harmon, Whitesell smacked a two-run triple to right field before coming home on a ground rule double by Murphy.
In the bottom of the third, the Dusters continued to pad their lead and tacked on three more runs to open up an 8-2 advantage. Crowder belted a solo homerun over the left field fence to lead off the inning before Marshall County loaded the bases with one out on a Limbaugh walk, a single by Bush, and a hit batsman. After Limbaugh scampered home on a passed ball, Harmon plated Bush with a sacrifice fly.
Ravenwood made things interesting in the top of the sixth by scoring three runs in the inning with the help of three walks, an error, and a pair of RBI singles by Dudas and Marconcini to whittle the deficit to 8-5.
Whitesell, though, slammed the door on the Hawks comeback hopes, as he blasted a solo homerun in the bottom of the sixth to give Marshall County a 9-5 lead before holding Ravenwood scoreless in the top of the seventh to close out the win for the Dusters.