Whaley, Anderson lift storm over Grassland
The Marshall County Storm opened up play in the 13U Babe Ruth Tournament Friday night and needed a dramatic come from behind effort to knock off Grassland 5-2 at the Jonathan D. Hollingsworth Memorial Field in Lewisburg.
Storm hurler Grayson Whaley surrendered two unearned runs in the top of the first inning before blanking the Franklin squad the remainder of the contest to pick up a big complete game win for manager Mike Mills' squad.
Whaley gave up just one hit over the final six innings and ended up with nine strikeouts in the contest as Marshall County righted the defensive ship after the shaky first stanza.
Two first inning errors by the storm, combined with a pair of RBI base knocks by Ben Guzman and Kellen Vogelfonger gave Grassland a 2-0 lead.
Grassland starting pitcher Jacob Desher turned in a solid performance, tossing three shutout innings before Matthew Scribner came to the hill in the bottom of the fourth, giving up a lone single to Gauge Anderson in the frame.
Whaley gave up a two-out single to Guzman in the top of the fifth and Vogelfonger followed with a base on balls, but Whaley got out of the jam on a pop-up to third baseman Raymond Cooksey.
In the top of the sixth, the Storm rolled in as Caleb Crowell got things going when he took one for team, leading off the inning.
Whaley reached on an infield error and Cooksey followed with an RBI single, getting the Storm on the scoreboard.
The tying run crossed home moments later on a passed before Anderson delivered the go-ahead run via a solid single to right field.
Devin Aydelott drew a base on balls, but Anderson was caught napping on the play for the first out.
A strikeout put Grassland one out away from getting out of the inning, but the Grassland pitching staff lost the strike zone as Blake Distelow, Cameron Ruiz, Mitchell Ford, and Crowell all reached on consecutive base on balls to make it a 5-2 ballgame.
Whaley got stronger as the game went on and in the top of the seventh, the big righty retired the side in order to end the ballgame and send the Storm to the second round versus Putnam County on Saturday.
Anderson (2-3, RBI) had a pair of base knocks in the contest, while Ruiz (1-3, BB), Cooksey (1-3, RBI, BB), and Aydelott (1-2, RS, 2BB) all had one hit for the Storm.
Ford walked once and knocked in a run, Carson Stacey walked twice, and Distelow touched the dish once and walked.
Crowell scored a run, drove home one Storm runner, walked twice and turned in a solid performance behind the dish for Marshall County.