Timely Autry hit spoils MMC comeback attempt
Nichirin, looking to bust a two-game losing streak, led 5-0 in Monday night's Marshall County Babe Ruth League nightcap before Marshall Medical Center (MMC) came back to tie the game in the fourth inning.
Nichirin backstop Jacob Autry, who has been red-hot at the plate, knocked in the go-ahead run in the bottom of the fourth to put the game away.
Blake Distelow went the distance on the mound for Nichirin, giving up five earned runs on four hits, striking out 12 and walking eight MMC batters in the game.
Nate Thomason led off the game with an infield single and Knox Barnes reached on an error before Distelow struck out the next three MMC batters to end the early threat.
Hunter Huarez and Distelow walked to start the home half of the first inning and Autry reached on an error to load the sacks before MMC starting pitcher Jackson Coward hit Joseph Freeland with a pitch to score Huarez.
Distelow struck out the side in the top of the second inning, and in the bottom of the stanza, Nichirin scored five runs thanks to three errors in the field by MMC.
Autry capitalized on the MMC miscues with a two-run double and Huarez also drove home a run with a base knock to right field.
MMC loaded the bases again in the top of the third inning on three consecutive walks and an Austin Grubbs fielder's choice RBI scored a run, but once again Distelow got out of more damage on an inning-ending whiff.
Coward set down Nichirin 1-2-3 in the bottom of the third inning.
In the top of the fourth, the MMC bats came alive as they scored four runs to tie the game at 5-5.
Coward and Caleb Crowell knocked in the runs with two-run, two-out singles.
Coward struck out the first Nichirin batter in the bottom of the inning before Huarez reached on an infield error.
Ahead to stay
Distelow followed with a base hit to center field before Autry sent Huarez to the plate with a run-scoring single to right field, making it 6-5.
Cameron Burrow and Kolton Fitch added RBI in the frame to give Nichirin a three-run lead at 8-5.
A pair of Nichirin errors and a base on balls to Guy Vanhooser in the top of the fifth loaded the bases for a potential MMC comeback, but Burrow came to the mound and struck out the next MMC to end the game and pick up the save.
MMC 001 40-5 4 5
Nichirin 140 3x-8 4 3
MMC: Nate Thomason 2-for-3, Jackson Coward 1-for-2, Caleb Crowell 1-for-2.
RBI: Coward 2, Crowell 2, Grubbs 1.
Nichirin: Jacob Autry 2-for-3, Hunter Huarez 1-for-2, Blake Distelow 1-for-2.
RBI: Autry 3, Huarez 1, Freeland 1, Fitch 1.
WP: Blake Distelow
Save: Cameron Burrow
LP: Jackson Coward