South Williamson tops Tomahawks

Wednesday, July 2, 2014
Marshall County's Will Vanhooser went 2-for-3 with 2 RBI in the Tomahawks 5-2 loss to South Williamson on Thursday night. Tribune photo by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

Home field advantage proved to be a nonfactor for the Marshall County Tomahawks, as they lost 6-2 to the South Williamson Red Hawks in their opening game of the 14-year old Babe Ruth District 8 tournament at Jonathan D. Hollingsworth Memorial Park.

South Williamson grabbed the momentum early and built a 4-0 lead through the first three and a half innings of play. Marshall County plated two runs in the bottom of the fourth to slice the deficit to 4-2, but the Red Hawks held the Tomahawks scoreless the rest of the way while tacking on two insurance runs to advance in the winner's bracket.

Quiet bats

Although they drew five walks, Marshall County County's bats were silent for much of the evening, as they mustered just three hits overall against South Williamson starting pitcher Taylor Massey and reliever Stuart Gilbert. Will Vanhooser went 2-for-3 with 2 RBI to lead the Tomahawks at the plate, while Jacob Autry had one hit.

Massey picked up the victory on the mound and yielded two unearned runs in five and two-third innings of work on three hits and four walks. Gilbert then came in and yielded just one walk over an inning and a third.

The Red Hawks, conversely, finished with eight hits against two Marshall County hurlers. Eric Whitlock spearheaded South Williamson's offensive attack by going 3-for-3 with a triple, a RBI, and two runs scored. Gilbert also tallied two hits, a RBI, and a run scored for South Williamson as well, while Massey, Chance Lawhun, and Caleb Whitlock each had one hit.

Tomahawk starting pitcher Nathan Derryberry suffered the loss after yielding four runs, two earned, over four innings on five hits. Jackson Coward then came on in relief of Derryberry and gave up two runs, one earned, in two innings of work on three hits and a walk.

First-inning scores

The Red Hawks grabbed an early 2-0 lead by pushing across two runs in the bottom of the first inning. After Preston Crawford reached base on an error, Eric Whitlock roped a RBI triple into the right centerfield gap prior to coming home on a Graham Robinson RBI groundout.

South Williamson then stretched their lead to 3-0 in the top of the third on a RBI single by Gilbert before opening up a 4-0 lead in the fourth inning when Whitlock scored on a passed ball after singling and advancing to third on an errant pickoff throw.

Marshall County finally got on the board in the bottom of the fourth and tallied two runs in the frame to narrow the gap to 4-2. After being hit by a pitch with one out, Autry advanced to third when the Red Hawks made two errors on a groundball by Derryberry while Derryberry reached second base on the play. Autry was then thrown out at home on a fielder's choice by Jarvis Lyttle, but Lyttle stole second a few moments later before Vanhooser laced a two-run single into centerfield.

Further in front

South Williamson gave their pitching staff some more wiggle room by plating two runs in the top of the sixth to forge a 6-2 advantage. Following consecutive singles by Gilbert and Lawhun, Whitlock legged out a bunt single to load the bases with one out. Robinson then drove in Gilbert with a RBI fielder's choice while Lawhun also scored on the play thanks to a Tomahawk throwing error.

Marshall County had a couple of chances to make things interesting late, but left runners on first and second in each of the last two innings en route to falling into the loser's bracket.