Dusters halt Cubs
The Marshall County Dusters reached the 20-win mark for the summer season by defeating the Columbia Cubs 6-0 in five innings on Monday night in the second game of a doubleheader at Joe George Field.
After scoring just two runs in the first game of the evening, the Dusters (20-9) saw their bats heat up in the second contest and finished with seven hits and two walks against two Columbia hurlers.
Blake Darnell led Marshall County's offensive attack by going 2-for-2 with a double, a RBI, and a run scored. Ethan Evans (2 RBI), starting pitcher Cameron Isley (1 RBI), Lane Whitesell (1 RBI), and Dunn Crowder (1 RBI), and Zach Smith tallied one hit apiece for the Dusters as well.
Isley also earned the victory on the mound and allowed three hits and a walk in three scoreless innings of work while piling up seven strikeouts. Chandler Harmon came on in relief of Isley and yielded only one hit over two innings to go along with four strikeouts.
Jackson Cook notched two hits to pace the Cubs at the plate, while Drew Williamson and Nathan Ribley each had one hit. Columbia starting pitcher Blake Edwards suffered the loss and gave up six runs over three plus innings on six hits and two walks.
The Cubs had a chance to get on the board in the top of the first inning after putting runners on second and third with no outs thanks to a Cook single, a walk by Hayden Dodson, a wild pitch, and a stolen base. Isley, though, quickly settled down and retired the next three Columbia batters on a pair of strikeouts and a groundout to escape the inning unscathed.
In front to stay
Marshall County grabbed a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Connor Bush scored on a RBI groundout by Isley after drawing a leadoff walk and advancing to third on an errant pickoff throw.
In the bottom of the second, the Dusters pushed across another run to open up a 2-0 advantage. Wilson Limbaugh reached first on an error before Smith hit into a fielder's choice to replace Limbaugh on the base paths. Smith then came home when Darnell roped a RBI double over the left fielder's head.
Isley worked around a two-out single by Cook in the top of the third before Marshall County pushed across two runs in the bottom half of the frame to extend their lead to 4-0. After Isley belted a two-out double to deep right field, courtesy runner Madison Peete scored on a Lane Whitesell RBI triple. Crowder then drove in Whitesell by ripping a RBI double down the left field line.
The Dusters continued to pad their lead in the fourth inning and tacked on two more runs to forge a 6-0 lead. Following consecutive singles by Smith and Darnell, both men moved up 90 feet on a wild pitch before Evans smacked a two-run single into left centerfield.
Ribley singled with one out in the top of the fifth, but Harmon preserved the shutout by fanning the next two Cub hitters to end the game.