Tigers take down CPA 5-2

Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Marshall County starting pitcher Stuart Warner allowed just two runs in six plus innings of work to help lead the Tigers to a 5-2 victory over CPA. Tribune photos by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

After posting a 2-2 record at the Smokey Mountain Invitational over the weekend, the Marshall County Tigers registered a big District win on Monday night when they defeated the Christ Presbyterian Academy Lions 5-2 at home.

Having finished second in the District last year en route to reaching the Class AA State Tournament, CPA (10-5, 1-2 District) had Marshall County on the ropes early on and held a 2-0 lead through the first three innings of play.

Getting into gear

The Tigers (6-8, 2-1 District) finally got their offense going after that point and pushed across five runs over the next two frames to seize a 5-2 advantage before snuffing out a Lion rally attempt in the top of the seventh to hold on for the victory.

"This was an unbelievably big win because CPA split with Spring Hill. Every District game is so important because the regular season champion automatically advances to the Region tournament," said Marshall County coach Mike Reese.

Tiger starting pitcher Stuart Warner turned in a solid outing on the mound to pick up his second win of the season, as he yielded two runs in six plus innings of work on seven hits and two walks to go along with three strikeouts.

"We got a great performance from Stuart Warner. We started pitching them backwards. Instead of leading off with fastballs, we led off with breaking balls. Then we finished them off with fastballs," said Reese.

Great relief

Cameron Isley then came on in relief of Warner in the top of the seventh and retired all three Lion batters he faced to earn the save.

The Tigers mustered only four hits overall, but capitalized on four walks and four Lion errors. Lane Whitesell wielded the biggest bat for Marshall County and went 2-for-3 with two doubles and 3 RBI. Connor Bush and Isley each tallied a hit and a run scored for MCHS as well.

Marshall County shortstop Wilson Limbaugh throws out CPA's Jordan Baker at first base in the top of the third inning.

Lion starting pitcher David Bates suffered the loss after allowing five runs over four plus innings on three hits and four walks. Phillip Clark (1 RBI) and Jordan Baker notched two hits apiece to pace CPA at the plate.

The Lions pounced on the Tigers at the start of the game and jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first innings behind a pair of two-out RBI singles by Clark and Jacob Gunter.

Missed chance

Marshall County had a chance to cut into the deficit in the bottom of the first after putting runners on first and second with one out thanks to two CPA errors, but Bates escaped the inning unscathed when Whitesell lined into a 4-6 double play.

Bates held MCHS scoreless over the next two frames, but the Tigers plated a run in the bottom of the fourth to narrow the gap to 2-1. Following a leadoff walk by Chandler Harmon, courtesy runner Ethan Evans raced home when Whitesell blasted a RBI double to deep centerfield.

After Warner worked around a one-out double by Baker in the top of the fifth, Marshall County crossed home plate four times in the bottom half of the frame with the help of a Wilson Limbaugh walk, a bunt single by Bush, a hit batsman, two errors, and a Whitesell two-run double to take a 5-2 lead.

The Lions brought the potential tying run to the plate in the top of the seventh after putting men on first and second with no outs on an error and a Trey Bonds single.

Isley, however, slammed the door on CPA's comeback hopes and retired the next three Lion hitters on a fly out, a lineout, and a strikeout to preserve the win for the Tigers.