Tigers outslug Shelbyville

Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Marshall County senior baseball players (from left to right) Cameron Isley, Chandler Harmon, Connor Bush, Dunn Crowder, Brooks Leftwich, Ethan Evans, and Lane Whitesell were honored before the start of the Tigers' game against Shelbyville on Friday. Tribune photos by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

Playing in a steady rain for much of the evening, the Marshall County Tigers (11-14) stormed past Shelbyville (9-15) on Friday thanks to a deluge of early runs when they defeated the Golden Eagles 15-5 in five innings at home on Senior Night.

MCHS put the game out of reach in the bottom of the first inning and pushed across 12 runs in the frame to race out to a 12-0 lead before cruising to their 11th win of the season.

"It was a good night for the seniors. I was glad we were able to get everything in for the parents and the players. The win was just gravy," said Marshall County coach Mike Reese. "I've got a great group of seniors and a great group of senior parents."

Pitching woes

Although the Tigers pounded out 10 hits overall, Shelbyville's pitching staff had trouble finding the strike zone, as four Golden Eagle hurlers combined to issue nine walks while uncorking seven wild pitches.

Lane Whitesell and Stuart Warner both tallied three hits and 3 RBI to lead Marshall County's offensive attack with each player belting a homerun. Ethan Poteete went 2-for-2 with a walk and 3 RBI for MCHS as well, while Dunn Crowder (1 RBI) and Connor Bush had one hit apiece.

Marshall County starting hurler Brooks Leftwich delivers a pitch to home plate in the top of the first inning against Shelbyville.

Tiger starting pitcher Brooks Leftwich picked up the win after allowing three runs in two and a third innings of work on four hits and six walks. Brayden Gentry came on in relief of Leftwich and yielded two runs over an inning and a third on two hits and two walks, while Warner gave up two hits over a scoreless inning and a third.

Noah Mason and Logan Landers both notched two hits to pace Shelbyville at the plate. Golden Eagle starting pitcher Wesley Griggs lasted just two-thirds of an inning and yielded eight runs on three hits and four walks en route to suffering the loss.

Threat stops

Shelbyville had an opportunity to take the lead in the top of the first inning after putting runners on second and third with no outs thanks to a Landers double and a walk by Mason, but Leftwich retired the next three Golden Eagle batters on a pair of strikeouts and a fly out to escape the jam.

The floodgates then opened up in the bottom of the first, as the Tigers crossed home plate 12 times in the frame on the strength of seven walks, a hit batsman, a Crowder RBI single, a Whitesell two-run single, a pair of RBI singles from Warner, a Poteete two-run single, and six wild pitches to forge a 12-0 lead.

After trimming the deficit to 12-1 in the top of the second on a RBI single by Will Warner, Shelbyville scored two more runs in the third inning with the help of bases loaded walks from Madden Reeves and Will Warner to narrow the gap to 12-3.

Pouring it on

In the bottom of the third, Marshall County plated two runs to stretch their lead to 14-3. Whitesell cranked a solo homerun to deep left field to make it 13-3 before Crowder drew a walk. Crowder then advanced to second on a wild pitch prior to coming home on a two-out RBI bloop single by Poteete.

The Golden Eagles tallied two runs in the top of the fourth to cut the deficit to 14-5, but Stuart Warner brought the mercy rule into effect in the bottom of the fifth by smacking a solo homer over the left field fence to cap the Tigers' 15-5 triumph.