Lawrence County shuts out Storm in first-round clash
Lawrence County rained on the Marshall County Storm's parade on Friday night, as the Wildcats rolled to an 11-0 victory in six innings at Sam Davis Park in the first round of the 13-year old Babe Ruth District 8 tournament behind a dominant pitching performance from starting hurler Spencer Tidwell.
Effectively mixing his curveball with an overpowering fastball, Tidwell kept the Storm off balance at the plate the entire contest and came within one out of recording a perfect game, as he yielded just one hit in six scoreless innings of work while issuing no walks and recording five strikeouts.
Cameron Burrow singled with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning to account for Marshall County's lone hit of the game.
Lawrence County, conversely, got contributions throughout their lineup and pounded out 12 hits against three Storm pitchers to go along with five walks and six Marshall County errors. Tidwell (1 RBI) and Caden Hood both tallied two hits to lead the Wildcats offensive attack, while Grayson Brewer (4 RBI), Cam Huson (1 RBI), Skye McNatt (1 RBI), Dillon Daniel, Tanner Couch, Evan Morgan, Logan Coleman, and Kade Rochelle had one hit apiece.
Storm starting pitcher Hunter Haurez suffered the loss and allowed three runs over three and two-third innings on eight hits and three walks.
Marshall County managed to extinguish a couple of early Lawrence County scoring threats by throwing out a runner on the base paths in each of the first two innings of play, but the Wildcats persistence paid off in the top of the third, as they pushed across two runs in the frame to take a 2-0 lead.
Following a two-out infield single by Howard, Tidwell drew a walk before Brewer drilled a two-run double to deep left field.
Lawrence County then opened up a 3-0 advantage in the top of the fourth when Coleman scored on a RBI single by McNatt after drawing a two-out walk and advancing to third on a Rochelle bloop single.
In the top of the fifth, the Wildcats stretched their lead to 6-0 by plating three runs in the inning with the help of a single by Howard, a Tidwell single, a Brewer RBI fielder's choice, a passed ball, and an error.
Lawrence County brought the mercy rule into effect in the sixth inning, as they crossed home plate five times in the frame thanks to four errors, two walks, and a pair of RBI singles by Tidwell and Huson to forge an 11-0 advantage.
Tidwell then retired the first two batters in the bottom of the sixth inning on a fly out and a strikeout, but Burrow lined a single over the outstretched glove of the second baseman to spoil Tidwell's perfect game attempt.
Marshall County was eliminated from the tournament the following evening when they were defeated 22-15 by Columbia in the first round of the losers bracket.