Spring Hill completes sweep over Tigers
Marshall County had its hands full on Wednesday night as the Tigers welcomed defending Class AA champion Spring Hill in the 2017 home opener.
The Raiders went up 10-0, before the Tigers roared back with a six run fifth but Spring Hill countered with six more runs in the sixth to end the game early on the 10-run rule.
"In spurts we played pretty good," MCHS coach Mike Reese said. "And it's early. We've had four scrimmages and we looked pretty good at that. But you know, when you've got to open up the district against the defending state champions, you've got to bring your 'A' game and we haven't done that yet."
"I think we're very capable of having a good ball club and I'm hoping that we're gonna keep developing," Reese added.
The Raiders (2-0, 2-0), who have been to the state tournament six of the last seven years that includes two runner-up finishes to go along with last season's first ever championship, return seven of nine position players and three of four starting pitchers.
But the Tigers (0-2, 0-2), who battled with the Raiders during a near 4-2 upset last season in Spring Hill, return two aces in Nathan Derryberry and Braden Gentry, but are seeing several new faces on the field in 2017.
"I'm playing a lot younger guys, playing new faces out there and they've got to take on their own personality and identity and we're hoping that they're gonna find that by the time we roll into the district tournament. Hopefully we'll see a good ball club."
The Raiders started out strong, taking a 3-0 lead into the third inning before starting pitcher Derryberry found his groove by sitting down three in a row to keep the lead manageable.
The Tigers started off the third with a single to center field by catcher Jacob Autry before his courtesy runner, Allante' Watts was caught stealing second.
Hunter Haurez drew a walk on the next at-bat, but Austin Woods and Mitchell Ford went down to end the inning.
The fourth inning would be a big one for the Raiders as Brenon Sanders delivered a one-out infield single, before stealing second base to move into scoring position.
Nathan Massey reached on an error to put runners on the corners.
Matt Wilson knocked an RBI single to left field to push the lead to 4-0, before Taylor Warwick grounded out to second for the second out of the inning.
Trevecca Nazarene signee Austin Dunston hit a grounder to second, but in a play that changed the outcome of the game, the would-be third out rolled under second baseman Brett McGehee's glove, allowing two runs to score for a 6-0 Raiders’ lead.
MTSU signee Bryson Thomas was hit by the next pitch, before Matt Joslin jacked a double deep to the left field fence to score two more runs.
The Raiders scored one more run for the 9-0 lead, before Derryberry struck out Nathan Hale to end the inning.
The Tigers were blanked again in the fourth inning and the Raiders scored one more run as Matt Wilson was hit by a pitch before stealing second and home to give the Maury County squad a 10-0 lead.
The Raiders made a strategic error in the bottom of the fifth by replacing Colton Teal with Hayden Scutter, who struggled mightily with control issues.
Preston Shelton started the inning with a double deep into right field, before Scudder walked Autry and Gentry, setting up a Woods single to center field to score Shelton and Watts.
Ford drew the third walk of the inning, before McGehee walked to score the third Tiger run of the inning.
Thomas Hawkins hit into a fielder's choice throw to home, but the catcher overthrew the double play attempt at first base, allowing another Tiger run to score to trim the lead to 10-4.
Shelton drew another walk in his second at-bat of the inning to push the score to 10-5, before Autry drew his second walk of the inning to score another run.
Gentry hit a ground out to shortstop to end the inning with three batters stranded on base, but gained a lot of ground with the 10-6 score.
The Raiders erased the Tigers’ damage from the fifth inning as Spring Hill brought 12 batters to the plate for six runs on five hits to extend the four-run game to a 16-6 lead after the top of the sixth.
2016 AA Mr. Baseball Gauge Gillian was brought in for the Tiger's sixth inning at-bat and after giving up a walk to start the inning, Gillian struck out Ford and walked McGehee before finally getting Hawkins to hit into a double play to end the contest.
"Obviously I'm not too happy with them right now, but I don't think they're happy with themselves," Reese stated. "We had some spurts there in the third or fourth innings that showed what we are capable of doing against a good ball club. It's early and we're going to get where we want to be."
Wednesday, March 15 at Marshall County
Spring Hill 120 616-16 15 1
Marshall County 000 060-6 4 6
Spring Hill: Taylor Warwick 3-for-5, Brenon Sanders 3-for-4, Brycen Thomas 2-for-4, Matthew Joslin 2-for-4, Andy Hale 2-for-4, Hunter Whitwell 1-for-5, Nathan Massey 1-for-3, Matt Wilson 1-for-2
2B: Hale, Sanders, Thomas, Joslin
RBI: Wilson 2, Warwick 2, Joslin 2, Whitwell 2, Hale, Massey, Sanders, Thomas
RS: Sanders 3, Wilson 3, Thomas 2, Warwick, Dunston, Joslin, Whitwell, Hale, Shaun Ballard, Kirbu Krivsky, Caleb Church
ROE: Dunston, Massey, Thomas, Whitwell
FC: Whitwell 2
HBP: Wilson, Thomas, Joslin
SB: Warwick, Sanders
WP: Colton Teal
Marshall County: Austin Wood 1-for-2, Brett McGehee 1-for-1, Preston Shelton 1-for-2, Hunter Haurez 1-for-1
2B: Preston Shelton
RBI: Wood, McGehee, Thomas Hawkins, Shelton, Jacob Autry
BB: McGehee 3, Wood 2, Autry 2, Mitchell Ford, Logan Bailey, Shelton, Haurez, Braden Gentry
RS: Ford, McGehee, Hawkins, Shelton, Allante’ Watts, Gentry
FC: Wood, Hawkins, Gentry
E: Shelton 3, Wood, McGehee, Nathan Derryberry
LP: Nathan Derryberry (5IP, 10H, 10R, 3ER, 4K, 0BB), Colton Fitch ( 0.1IP, 5H, 6R, 4K, 0BB), Colton Barber ( 0.2IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 0K, 0BB)
March 13 at Spring Hill
Marshall County 000 000 0-0 4 2
Spring Hill 030 120 X-6 12 0
Marshall County: Jacob Autry 2-for-2, Thomas Hawkins 1-for-3, Nathan Derryberry 1-for-3
1B: Hawkins, Derryberry, Autry
BB: Logan Bailey
LP: Hunter Haurez (4IP, 8H, 4R, 3ER, 3BB, 1K), Preston Shelton (2IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, 2BB, 0K)
Spring Hill: Brenon Sanders 3-for-4, Brycen Thomas 2-for-3, Andy Hale 2-for-2, Taylor Warrick 1-for-3, Austin Dunson 1-for-3, Hunter Whitwell 1-for-4, Nathan Massey 1-for-3, Matt Wilson 1-for-2
1B: Sanders 3, Thomas 2, Whitwell, Hale 2, Warwick, Dunston, Wilson
BB: Hale 2, Thomas, Matthew Joslin, Warwick
RS: Hale 2, Sanders 2, Warwick, Shaun Ballard
RBI: Massey 2, Warwick, Dunston, Sanders, Wilson
SB: Warwick, Hale, Sanders
WP: Brycen Thomas (6IP, 4H, 0R, 0ER, 1BB, 10K), Camryn Kennedy (1P, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 0K)