Tigers complete sweep at Pulaski
How sweet it is.
Behind a 7-2 win at Pulaski Tuesday night, the Marshall County Tigers completed the regular season sweep over Giles County and in turn, got an early jump in the District 12-AA race.
"It was a little harder tonight, we had several opportunities to put the game away early and didn't necessarily get that big hit we got last night," MCHS coach Mike "Monk" Reese said. "We still did a good job, we kept hanging in there and making our plays and winning our side on defense."
The Bobcats swept the Tigers last season in the two regular season matchups, winning a pair of 4-3 games, but it is MCHS that has dominated regular season play since 2003 with Lewisburg sweeping the series seven times with the only other Giles County sweep coming in 2004.
"You have to feel good about sweeping your first two district ballgames," Reese said. "We know we are still sitting at the top today."
On Tuesday night at the storied Sam Davis Park, MCHS used the old winning baseball formula---throw, hit, catch and run---and they all came into play as the Tigers banged out 13 hits, made just one late error, ran the bases with precision and got some great pitching from junior Brayden Gentry and senior Hunter Bradford.
Gentry took the ball to start the game and pitched superbly, giving up two runs on four hits in five innings on the hill to pick up the win.
Gentry, who struck out nine and walked two Bobcat batters, was mixing and matching his pitches, holding Giles County hitless through 3 2/3 innings until opposing starting hurler Blade Matthews singled to center field.
"Gentry pitched great, he had a no-hitter there for a couple of innings and only gave up a couple hits," Reese said. "So we are encouraged by that and he did an outstanding job,"
Meanwhile, the Marshall County bats were doing the talking with a pair of one run innings bookended by a three-spot and a deuce.
Austin Wood led the hitting clinic, going 3-for-4 with 3RBI, while Madison Peete (RBI), Ethan Poteete, Brett McGehee (2RBI) and Gentry (RBI) all had two hits apiece for the Tigers.
After a scoreless first inning, McGehee and Gentry slashed back-to-back singles before Wood knocked in McGehee with a base hit to right field in the visitors half of the second inning.
Gentry struck out the side in order in the bottom of the second inning and the Tigers made it a 4-0 ballgame in the third inning on a two-run single by McGehee and an RBI base knock by Wood.
"It's nice to get that cushion, I felt comfortable but never relaxed," Reese said. "Because you never know about what can happen in this ballpark."
Gentry struck out the first two batters in the bottom of the third inning and Wood made a running catch in right field to retire the Bobcats.
Wilson Limbaugh led off the fourth inning with a base on balls Poteete got beaned before Matthews got the next two Tiger batters out.
After a double steal, McGehee walked to load the bases and Gentry helped himself out with an RBI single, followed by the hot-hitting Wood, who drilled a base hit to center field, scoring Poteete.
Giles County got two runners on base with two outs in the home half of the fourth inning, but Gentry recorded an inning ending strikeout, sending the contest to the fifth frame.
A Peete one out walk turned in to run number seven for the Tigers when Poteete lashed a two-out, laser one-hopper off the fence in left field.
Bobcats strike back
A one-out walk, an error, a bad cutoff throw and a single led to Giles County scoring twice in the bottom of the fifth, making it a 7-2 contest.
MCHS got two runners on in the sixth, but did not score and Bradford came to the mound in the home half of the inning and surrendered a leadoff single to Matthews before setting down the next three Bobcats in order to end the threat.
"I wouldn't say that Gentry got tired there, we just needed to change some things up right there," Reese said.
The Tigers squandered another scoring chance in the top of the seventh inning before Bradford gave up a leadoff double to Miquel Hayes in the bottom of the stanza.
Bradford went into full submarine mode, getting the next batter out looking before a inducing a pair of infield groundouts to end the game.
"I'm proud of Bradford, he came in and did an outstanding job for us," Reese stated. "That is what we have been working for him to do is come in and pitch that sixth and seventh inning and give that down look there and he did a good job."
Marshall County 013 210 0-7 13 1
Giles County 000 020 0-2 8 0
Marshall County: Austin Wood 3-4, Madison Peete 2-4, Ethan Poteete 2-4, Brett McGehee 2-4, Brayden Gentry 2-3, Wilson Limbaugh 1-4, Tristan Underwood 1-5.
RBI: Wood 3, McGehee 2, Poteete 1, Gentry 1.
Giles County: Blade Matthews 2-3, Miguel Hayes 1-2, Sam Hatfield 1-2, Max Jett 1-3.
RBI: Jett 1, Hatfield 1.
WP: Brayden Gentry (5IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, 9K, 2BB)
Save: Hunter Bradford (2IP, 1H, 0R, 0ER, 2K, 0BB)
LP: Blade Matthews
Next game: Friday April 1; Lawrenceburg at MCHS, 5 p.m.