Hawks rally past Dusters

Friday, June 6, 2014
Marshall County third baseman Bryce Wunderlin throws out Ravenwood's Luke Yates at home plate in the top of the fourth inning after fielding a groundball by Matthew Dudas. Photos by Louis Scheuchenzuber

Ravenwood salvaged a split of a doubleheader with the Marshall County Dusters by pulling out a 6-5 victory in the second game at Joe George Field.

Playing five innings instead of the usual seven, the Dusters (6-3) appeared to be in control of the game after building a 5-0 lead through the first three frames. Marshall County, however, stumbled down the stretch, as the Hawks crossed home plate six times over the final two frames to escape with the one-run victory.

Ravenwood finished with five hits against two Marshall County hurlers, but were aided by six walks and two Duster errors, which led to three of the Hawks six runs.

"I was disappointed with how we finished the game. We made too many errors at the end of the game and it cost us," said Marshall County coach Mike Reese.

Luke Yates tallied two hits to lead the Hawks at the plate, while Daniel Hopfensperger, Bailey Whitten and Peter Clifford each had one hit.

Duster starting pitcher Bubba Houghton suffered the loss after allowing six runs, three earned, in four and a third innings of work on four hits and five walks. Lane Whitesell came on in relief of Houghton and yielded one hit and one walk over two-thirds of an inning.

The Dusters, meanwhile, mustered only four hits in the contest. Whitesell paced Marshall County offensively by going 2-for-3 with a double, a RBI, and a run scored, while Blake Darnell (1 RBI) and Ethan Evans both tallied one hit.

Whitten picked up the victory on the mound for Ravenwood after relieving starting pitcher Matthew Smith and registered four strikeouts in two and two-third perfect innings of work.

The Hawks left the bases loaded in the top of the first inning before Marshall County scored a run in the bottom of the second to grab a 1-0 lead. Following a leadoff walk by Derrick McKnight, courtesy runner Madison Peete advanced to second on a bunt by Josh McKnight. After Houghton drew a walk, Peete moved to third on a wild pitch before Darnell laced a RBI single into left field.

Marshall County left fielder Josh McKnight catches a fly ball by Ravenwood's Trey Ferguson in the top of the fourth inning.

In the bottom of the third, the Dusters took advantage of some control problems by Smith and pushed across four runs in the frame to forge a 5-0 lead. Evans singled and Isley drew a walk to put men on first and second with one out before Whitesell plated Evans with a ground rule double. After Chandler Harmon was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Derrick McKnight drew a RBI walk to make it 3-0. Smith then plunked Josh McKnight and Houghton to bring home two more runs.

Ravenwood put a dent in Marshall County's lead in the top of the fourth and tallied two runs in the frame thanks to a Whitten single, a single by Yates, a Hopfensperger RBI double, and a wild pitch to cut the deficit to 5-2.

The Hawks then completed their comeback in the top of the fifth by crossing home plate four times in the frame with the help of a Clifford single, three walks, a hit batsman, and two Marshall County errors to seize a 6-5 advantage.

Whitten took care of the rest and retired the Dusters in order in the bottom of the seventh to seal the win for Ravenwood.