Commodores stave off Marshall County

Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Marshall County backstop Austin Grubbs (10) looks up as the ball sails out of the ballpark for a homerun in the bottom of the fourth inning. Tribune photos by Anthony S. Puca

The host Marshall County squad and the reigning Tennessee state champion Bellevue Commodores were both trying to come up with their first win of the 12U Babe Ruth Southeast Regional Tournament in Lewisburg on Friday night and in a close battle, Bellevue prevailed 6-1.

Besides a first inning two-run shot by Ben Wallace, Marshall County starting hurler Preston Shelton turned in a strong performance on the mound, allowing just two earned runs on five hits, while walking two and whiffing eight batters in five innings of work.

One runner

Bellevue's Jacob Hanai (32) gets caught in a rundown as Marshall County catcher Austin Grubbs (10) and third baseman Sam Williams (3) close the trap for the out.

Bellevue starter Wesley Jean allowed a single Marshall County base runner through the first two innings and the hometown boys gave away three runs in the top of the third inning via a couple of fielding boo-boos and fell into a 5-0 hole.

In the bottom of the frame, Shelton banged a two-out base hit and stole second base before Jean slammed the door with an inning ending strikeout.

Shelton gave up a leadoff walk in the top of the fourth before retiring the next three Bellevue batters in order.

Preston Shelton (25) pitched admirably Friday night versus Bellevue, giving up just two earned runs in five innings, but the Commodores prevailed 6-1.

In the home half of the inning, Jean retired the first two Marshall County batters before Austin Grubbs whacked a long homerun over the left field fence, making it a 5-1 ballgame.

No more runs

Wade Williams led off the fifth with a bunt single, but Shelton was not giving up any more runs as he struck out the next three Commodore batters.

Matthew Fuller walked, leading off the home portion of the fifth inning and one out later, Connor Lewis moved Fuller to second on a sacrifice bunt.

Shelton slashed a single to left field, putting Marshall County runners on the corners.

Shelton stole second base on the next pitch and Carson Blackwell walked, loading the sacks for the orange and white clad home squad, but Jean came up huge once again on an inning ending strikeout.

In the top of the sixth inning, Ross Wilkerson belted a one-out homerun off Blackwell, who relieved Shelton on the mound, making it a 6-1 contest.

Jean whiffed the first two Marshall County batters in the bottom of the sixth before Blake Aldridge extended the game with a base hit to left field.

Final moments

Aldridge stole second base, but Jean closed the game out on a ground ball to shortstop, earning the Bellevue pitcher game MVP honors.

Jean gave up just four hits in the contest, while striking out nine and walking two Marshall County batters.

Shelton (2-3, 2SB) had two hits for Marshall County, while Grubbs (1-2, HR, RS, RBI, BB) and Aldridge (1-2, BB) each had one base knock.

Wilkerson (2-3, HR, RS, RBI, SB) had two hits for Bellevue, while Williams (1-3, SB), Eli Pile (1-3, 2RS, 2SB), and Wallace (1-2, HR, 2RS, 2RBIs, BB) all had one hit apiece.