Early-game struggles take down Tigers

Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Brayden Gentry went a solid five innings for the Tigers in their 9-3 loss to CPA Monday night at Lewisburg. Photos by Anthony S. Puca

The Marshall County Tigers had a chance to make a little headway up the District 12AA standings Monday night, taking on first place CPA, but some sloppy fielding and not enough offense did MCHS in via a 9-3 loss to the Lions.

"We made a couple of boo-boos there in the first and second inning and then we settled down and played some good baseball," MCHS coach Mike "Monk" Reese said. "They have a nice ballclub and that's why they are in first place right now."

Pitching standouts

Brayden Gentry went head-to-head with Vanderbilt signee David Bates on the mound and Gentry pitched well enough to win, giving up three earned runs in five innings of work.

Gentry gave up six hits, struck out nine and walked two, while Bates picked up the win as he tossed five innings of two-hit ball, striking out six and issuing five bases on balls.

Another Vanderbilt signee, CPA catcher Phillip Clark did heavy damage at the plate, going 3-for-4 with two RBI.

After Gentry recorded the first two outs of the game, the Tigers gave up two unearned runs to get into an early hole against the talented Bates, who sports a tough slider for an out pitch.

Mistakes' damage

"He (Bates) has fine, really nice slider and that was his out pitch and he worked well with the catcher who are both Vanderbilt signees," Reese said. "We just made some mistakes and they took advantage of it."

Derrick McKnight rips an RBI single in the bottom of the second inning.

Marshall County fought back in the bottom of the second inning when Derrick McKnight came up with a two-out RBI double to cut the CPA lead in half.

The Lions were the recipient of another MCHS error in the top of the fourth that made it 3-1 and Wallace Barnett drove home run number four for CPA.

Bates sailed along and in the top of the fifth inning, Clark's RBI made it 5-1.

CPA lead

CPA scored one run in the sixth and two more in the top of the seventh, sending the game to the bottom of the seventh with the Tigers trailing 8-1.

Madison Peete walked and Wilson Limbaugh followed with a single for the still fighting Tigers.

A ground out moved both runners up and Stuart Warner made it 8-3 with a two-run double to center field, but CPA reliever Devin McKnight, who had come for Bates in the sixth inning, struck out the next MCHS batter and the game ended on CPA's third double play of the contest.

Ethan Poteete tags out a CPA runner trying to advance to third base.

Road bound

More than likely, the Tigers (12-14, 3-6) will have to go on the road for the first round of the District 12AA tournament that begins next week.

"We are going to be on the road, regardless of what happened tonight," Reese said. "A lot of things can happen in the tournament and I tell the guys, the fifth place team last year finished third in the state and they were one inning away from being in the finals in the state too."

CPA 202 101 2-8 9 2

MCHS 010 000 2-3 4 4

CPA: Phillip Clark 3-for-4, Sam Knell 2-for-4, Wallace Barnett 2-for-4, Jacob Webster 1-for-3, Cain Patterson 1-for-4

RS: Webster 2, Wright Nabors 1, Lane Harris 1, Early Holley 1, Barnett 1, Seth Townsend 1, Patterson 1.

2B: Webster, Clark, Barnett, Patterson

3B: Knell

RBI: Clark 2, Knell 1, Barnett 1

SAC: Harrison Whiteside

FC: Webster

SB: Knell, Webster, Clark, Whiteside

MCHS: Wilson Limbaugh 1-for-2, Stuart Warner 1-for-2, Tristan Underwood 1-for-4, Derrick McKnight 1-for-3

RS: Nathan Thomason 1, Limbaugh 1, Austin Wood 1

RBI: Warner 2, Derrick McKnight

SAC: Limbaugh

FC: Brett McGehee

HBP: Warner, Limbaugh

WP: David Bates (5IP, 2H, 1R, 1ER, 6K, 5BB)

Save: Devon McKnight (2IP, 2H, 2R, 2ER, 2K, 2BB)

LP: Brayden Gentry (5IP, 6H, 5R, 3ER, 9K, 2BB), Brett McGehee (2IP, 3H, 3R, 1ER, 3K, 1BB)