Marshall 11s top S. Williamson
Coming off a 7-5 victory over Giles County the previous day, the Marshall County 11-year old All-Stars advanced to the Cal Ripken District 8 championship game by defeating the South Williamson Shockdawgs 8-5 in the loser's bracket final on Monday night at the Richard Cashion Sports Complex.
Having beaten Marshall County 9-8 in the second round of the tournament, South Williamson held the upper hand early on in Mondays contest after inching out to a 2-0 lead through the first two innings of play.
Marshall County, however, quickly turned the tables on the Shockdawgs and pushed across eight runs over the next three frames to seize an 8-2 advantage before staving off a late South Williamson comeback attempt.
With Monday's win, Marshall County also qualified for the 11-year State Tournament, which will start on July 4 in Pulaski.
Bolstered by a pair of four-run innings, Marshall County pounded out 10 hits against three Shockdawg hurlers. Christian Stacey led Marshall County's offensive attack by going 2-for-2 with a walk, a double, 2 RBI, and two runs scored. Peyton Graves and Ryan Kirby tallied two hits apiece as well, while Conner McVey (1 RBI), Zach Graves, Mason Collins, and A'ky Howard each had one hit.
Marshall County relief pitcher Logan Courtemanche turned in another strong performance out of the bullpen and picked up the win after yielding two runs in four innings of work on one hit and three walks to go along with five strikeouts. Zach Graves then assumed the role of closer and yielded two runs over an inning and two-thirds on two hits and two walks.
South Williamson starting pitcher Devers Crowder suffered the loss and allowed four runs over three innings on six hits and two walks. Zach Switzer (1 RBI), George Zakrewski (1 RBI), Ashton Kelley, and Will Weithman each notched one hit for the Shockdawgs.
Foes go up
Things looked promising for South Williamson early on, as they grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first inning with the help of a Kelley single, a wild pitch, and an error before scratching out another run in the bottom of the second on a RBI sacrifice bunt by Matthew Stevenhagen to open up a 2-0 advantage.
Marshall County swung the momentum in their favor in the top of the third by plating four runs in the frame to pull ahead 4-2. Following a leadoff single by Kirby, Peyton Graves hit into a fielder's choice before Zack Graves and Stacey both drew walks to load the bases with one out. After McVey drove in Peyton Graves with a RBI single, Zach Graves scored on a passed ball to tie the game at 2-2. Stacey then came home on a wild pitch before Courtemanche plated courtesy runner Brady Calahan with a RBI groundout.
In the top of the fifth, Marshall County stretched their lead to 8-2 by crossing home plate four more times in the frame with help of a Peyton Graves walk, a single by Zach Graves, a Stacey two-run double, a walk by Jarrett Foster, an error, a Collins walk, and a double steal.
After trimming the deficit to 8-3 in the bottom of the fifth on a RBI groundout by Austin Nephew, the Shockdawgs made things interesting in the sixth inning, as they tallied two runs on a RBI single by Switzer and a Zakrewski RBI groundout to narrow the gap to 8-5 with two outs and runners still on second and third.
Zach Graves, though, secured the victory for Marshall County by striking out Crowder to end the game.