Reese earns first win as Tigers knock out Knights
After helping to lead Marshall County's baseball program to numerous victories as an assistant coach over the last three decades, Mike Reese notched his first win as the head coach of the Tigers on Monday evening when MCHS (1-0) hammered the Hume-Fogg Knights 17-0 in five innings at Rose Park in Nashville.
"It obviously feels good and I'm excited for the guys," said Reese. "It's always exciting to start the season with a win and I'm proud of the way the guys played. It was also nice to come up and play in a college ballpark. I think it was a good experience for our players."
Although inclement weather has hampered the practice schedules of virtually every team throughout middle Tennessee over the last three weeks, the Tigers appeared to be in midseason form at the plate, as they pounded out 14 hits and drew 10 walks against two Hume-Fogg pitchers.
Designated hitter Dunn Crowder led Marshall County's offensive outburst by going 2-for-3 with a walk, a double, 4 RBI, and two runs scored. Chandler Harmon (3 RBI), Lane Whitesell (3 RBI), Ethan Poteete (3 RBI), and Cameron Isley (2 RBI) tallied two hits apiece for the Tigers as well, while starting pitcher Stuart Warner (1 RBI), Connor Bush, Jay Howard, and Thomas Hawkins each had one hit.
Warner also looked sharp on the mound and earned the victory after yielding just one hit in four scoreless innings of work to go along with two strikeouts. Brooks Leftwich then came on in relief of Warner and tossed one perfect inning.
"We swung the bats well and committed only one error. We still want to get better, but I'll take that," said Reese. "We also pitched well and didn't walk any batters.
Josh Gunter singled in the fourth inning to account for Hume-Fogg's lone hit of the contest. Knight starting hurler Calvin Smith suffered the loss and gave up 12 runs in two plus innings of work.
The Tigers came out swinging and crossed home plate four times in the top of the first inning on the strength of three walks, a RBI infield single by Whitesell, a Crowder RBI single, and a two-run single by Poteete to take a 4-0 lead.
Marshall County then doubled their lead in the second inning by pushing across four more runs in the frame to open up an 8-0 advantage.
Bush drew a leadoff walk before advancing to second on a Howard sacrifice bunt. After Harmon singled to put runners on the corners, Whitesell belted a RBI double to deep left field to drive in Bush. Following a balk by Smith, which allowed courtesy runner Ethan Evans to score, Whitesell come home on a RBI bloop double by Isley to make it 7-0. Warner then drove in Isley with a RBI single to cap the scoring in the inning.
Hume-Fogg had a chance to get on the board in the bottom of the second when Sam Ertelt reached base on an error and stole second with no outs, but Warner retired the next three Knight batters on a groundout, a strikeout, and an infield popup to extinguish the threat.
The Tigers then brought the mercy rule into effect by touching home plate nine times in the top of the third with the help of a bases loaded walk by Whitesell, a Crowder three-run double, a RBI double by Isley, a Poteete RBI single, and a three-run double by Harmon to stretch their lead to 17-0.