Dusters finish 4th at SE Regional

Friday, August 1, 2014
Marshall County's Bubba Houghton, shown here against Oakland, recorded his team's lone hit in the Dusters' 10-0 loss to the Mobile Rawdogs. Tribune photo by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

Having posted a 2-1 record in pool play, the Marshall County Dusters (27-13) had to settle for fourth place in the Senior Babe Ruth Southeast Regional Tournament after suffering a pair of losses to the Mobile Rawdogs and Fairfax, Virginia in the double elimination portion of the tournament on Saturday in Andalusia, Alabama.

First game

Looking to defend their 2013 Senior Babe Ruth World Series title, the Rawdogs defeated the Dusters 10-0 in five innings en route to eventually claiming the Southeast Regional tournament championship. Marshall County was then ousted from the tournament when they dropped a 9-1 decision to Fairfax later that afternoon.

Mobile wasted no time getting on the board and pushed across five runs in the bottom of the first inning to take a 5-0 lead. The Rawdogs then plated three more runs in the second inning to forge an 8-0 advantage before tacking on two runs in the bottom of the third to bring the mercy rule into effect.

Mobile blistered the ball throughout the contest and pounded out 12 hits overall with five going for extra bases. Tracey Hadley led the Rawdogs offensive onslaught by going 3-for-4 with three runs scored. Brian Lane added two doubles and 2 RBI for Mobile as well, while Jansen Acton (2 RBI), Gunner Hendrix (2 RBI), Rob Perteet (1 RBI), Will Wit (1 RBI), Hunter Cucnbuma, Jordan Taylor, and Justin Ware each had one hit.

Duster starting pitcher Josh McKnight suffered the loss and surrendered eight runs over two innings on nine hits and two walks. After averaging six runs per game in their three pool games, Marshall County saw their bats go silent against the Rawdogs and mustered just one hit in the contest. Bubba Houghton singled to account for the Dusters lone hit of the game, while Dunn Crowder drew two walks.

Mobile starting pitcher Will Shaw picked up the win and yielded just one hit and one walk in three scoreless innings of work to go along with five strikeouts. Elliot Johnson then came on in relief of Shaw and allowed only one walk over the final two innings.

Second game

Having lost 10-2 to Fairfax in pool play, Marshall County trailed just 1-0 through the first four innings of play in Saturday's game before Virginia tallied three runs in the bottom of the fifth to stretch their lead to 4-0.

The Dusters then trimmed the deficit to 4-1 in the top of the sixth when Houghton drew a RBI walk after Marshall County loaded the bases with one out on singles by Connor Bush, Lane Whitesell, and Cameron Isley.

Fairfax, however, put the game out of reach in the bottom of the sixth and crossed home plate five times in the frame to open up a 9-1 advantage before holding the Dusters scoreless in the top of the seventh.

Bolstered by their late offensive surge, Virginia banged out 10 hits against two Marshall County hurlers. George Watkins wielded the most dangerous bat for Fairfax and went 3-for-3 with a double, 1 RBI, and three runs scored. Jake D'Ercole also notched two hits for Virginia, while Mikey Thomas (2 RBI), Josh Beck (1 RBI), Zach Thurston (1 RBI), Jimmy Nickles, and A.J. Catalano each had one hit.

Fairfax starting pitcher Kyle McGill went the distance on the mound to earn the win and yielded just one run in seven innings of work on six hits and a walk.

Whitesell notched two hits to pace the Dusters at the plate, while Bush, Isley, Crowder, and Madison Peete each had one hit. Houghton started the game on the mound for Marshall County and suffered the loss after giving up four runs, only one earned, over four innings on four hits and a walk.