Cascade tops Tigers in District 12-AA clash
The Marshall County Tigers (7-5, 2-1) welcomed Cascade to Lewisburg on Monday night just one year removed from a state tournament appearance in just its second year in 2A ball after moving up from 1A in 2013.
Despite being district opponents for just three years, the Champs (8-7, 1-2) and the Tigers already have the inklings of a rivalry as Marshall County has won the initial meeting the past two seasons before Cascade won the next game and subsequently knocked Lewisburg out of the playoffs the past two seasons.
The 2016 season find the teams in a different trajectory with the Champions in the depths of a five game losing streak and the Tigers on a five game winning streak and coming off a sweep of Ohio powerhouse Wyoming High over the weekend.
That momentum would be slowed once again by Cascade after the Champions jumped out to a 7-0 lead after two innings en route to an 8-3 win.
"First of all they jumped out on us early and we had to play catchup the whole time," MCHS coach Mike Reese said. "And when we were starting to catch up, we made a few errors."
The Champions made its initial push in the opening innings with two outs on the board when Shane Hill tallied a triple to bring home two early runs, followed by a Trent Sutton RBI single.
Lane Simpson followed with another run-scoring single to give the visitors a 4-0 cushion heading into the bottom of the first.
Champs in charge
The Champions struck again in the second inning when Hayden Edmonson drilled a double to the fence to bring in Cole Tune for the 5-0 lead before coach Reese walked to the mound and brought in Josh McKnight in relief of Stuart Warner after just one inning.
"I came out and I was throwing strikes, but I guess I was just floating the ball in there," Warner stated. "I guess they've been hitting the ball lately and we didn't get a whole lot of hits there at first."
"This is the only ball game since my freshman year that I haven't thrown into the sixth inning," Warner added. "So, bad ballgame and I feel terrible because I'm a senior leader and I felt I let the team down tonight."
The Champion continued to score on a Brady Parker sacrifice that resulted in Keenan Patton crossing home plate and Edmonson would score the seventh run after a passed ball before McKnight would finally retire the side.
Tigers fight back
The Tigers made a push at the Champs in the third as Ethan Poteete singled to bring in Madison Peete and Tristian Underwood hit an RBI base hit to left field to bring Poteete in for a score to cut the lead to 8-2, but after a Brent McGehee double, a fly out left runners stranded on second and third.
McKnight warmed up after the second inning and pitched a near perfect game, not allowing a run for the remainder of his time on the mound and culminating with a strikeout of Seth Gardner to end the fifth with Cascade threatening with runners on second and third.
"Josh came in and did some good stuff for us which is a positive thing," Reese said. "It's early in the year and that's what you're looking for, someone to come in and do some positive things."
The Tigers could never put together much of a run offensively as Trent Sutton came up big every time Marshall County would get a runner on base and after Underwood came up with his second RBI of the night to cut the score to 8-3, his pinch runner would get caught stealing second to end the game and giving the first round of 2016 to the Champions.
"It's a whole different game tomorrow night," Reese said. "You've got to put this one behind you just like a win, take 24 hours and put this one out of your mind. It's another district ballgame, you have to rebound and you have to put everything behind you, think about to positive things and move on."
Cascade 431 000 0-8 8 2
MCHS 002 000 1-3 8 4
Cascade: Hayden Edmondson 4-4, Trent Sutton 2-4, Shane Keel 1-3, Lane Simpson 1-4.
2B: Edmondson 2.
RBI: Keiron Patton, Shane Keel 2, Trent Sutton, Brady Parker, Hayden Edmondson, Lane Simpson.
MCHS: Tristan Underwood 2-4, Brett McGehee 2-3, Stuart Warner 1-4, Wilson Limbaugh 1-3, Ethan Poteete 1-3, Derrick McKnight 1-3
RBI: Ethan Poteete, Tristan Underwood 2.
WP: Trent Sutton
LP: Stuart Warner (1IP, 5H, 7R, 4ER, 2K, 1BB), Josh McKnight (6IP, 3H, 1R, 0ER, 7K, 1BB)