Diamond Wilcox halts Dusters
After dropping a 5-4 decision to Summertown earlier in the day, the Marshall County Dusters fell to 0-2 in the Boro Classic when they were defeated 3-2 by the Knoxville based Diamond Simcox Academy on Thursday night at Blackman High School.
Aided by strong performance from starting pitcher Andy Dugan, Diamond Simcox Academy held a 3-0 lead through the first six innings of play before holding off a Duster rally attempt in the top of the seventh inning to hang on for the one-run victory.
Only 5 hits
Despite their late offensive flurry, Marshall County (17-6) mustered just five hits overall to go along with three DSA errors. Lane Whitesell went 2-for-3 with a run scored to lead the Dusters at the plate, while Jay Murphy, Josh McKnight, and Zack Smith each had one hit.
Dugan picked up the win on the mound and yielded just two hits in five scoreless innings of work while issuing no walks and recording six strikeouts. Thomas Sims then came on in relief of Dugan and allowed two runs over the final two innings on three hits.
Marshall County starting pitcher Cameron Isley turned in a solid effort on the mound, but suffered the loss after giving up three runs in six innings of work on four hits and three walks while compiling six strikeouts.
Mike Fitzgerald (1 RBI) and left fielder Dylan Shinsky tallied two hits apiece to pace Diamond Simcox Academy offensively. Shinsky also made an incredible sliding, over the shoulder catch in the top of the second inning to rob the Dusters' Ethan Poteete of a potential extra base hit.
DSA left the bases loaded in the first inning, but struck for three runs in the bottom of the second to take a 3-0 lead. Ben Bailey drew a leadoff walk and stole second before scoring on a Marshall County throwing error while Austin Bumbalough reached second base on the play. After Shinsky legged out a bunt single, Fitzgerald laced a RBI single into right field to drive in Bumbalough. Tyler Lugo then drew a walk to load the bases with one out before Isley hit Jonah Hartline with a pitch to bring home Shinsky.
The Dusters had a chance to cut into the deficit in the top of the third when Smith roped a one-out double into the left centerfield gap, but Dugan retired the next two Marshall County batters on a pop out and a strikeout to extinguish the threat.
After Dugan worked around a Whitesell single in the fourth inning, the Dusters were unable to capitalize on two Diamond Simcox Academy errors in the top of the sixth and ended up leaving runners on first and third.
The Dusters finally got on the board in the top of the seventh to make things interesting. Following a leadoff single by Whitesell, Murphy reached base on an infield single to put runners on first and second with no outs. Whitesell then came home on a McKnight infield single and a DSA throwing error before pinch runner Madison Peete scored when Derrick McKnight hit into a 6-4-3 double play to whittle the deficit to 3-2. That proved to be Marshall County's last gasp, as Sims struck out the next Duster hitter to end the game.