Tigers take down Patriots in first game of twin bill
The Marshall County Tigers welcomed Page to Joe George Field on Wednesday for a District 12AA doubleheader, looking to add to a two-game winning streak after losing five straight to start the season.
Brayden Gentry started on the mound for Tigers and took a 3-0 lead into the seventh inning before the Patriots tacked on two runs, but Gentry retired the last batter for a 3-2 win to give MCHS its third win in a row.
"Well first of all, we had outstanding pitching and outstanding defense," MCHS coach Mike “Monk” Reese said. "That was just tremendous defense and good pitching. Good baseball out of everybody.”
“You've got to be happy about that. First district win and we needed that."
The Tigers got a dominant pitching performance from Gentry, who threw just 88 pitches in the complete game win.
"Our defense was solid," Gentry said. "No errors, solid. We had a little scare in the seventh inning, but we were able to work through it. And our hitting was solid. We're finally finding our groove, putting the barrel on the ball and we're hitting them where they're not."
"His pitch count was really low," Reese added. "He had 72 pitches going into that last inning. What I like to look at in a complete game is about 10 or 15 pitches per inning. If he went out there in the seventh inning and had 95 pitches and ended up with 110 pitches and his mechanics were good and all, I feel pretty good about it (pitching a complete game). I don't think I've ever thrown a guy, maybe two or three times in my entire 35 years as a pitching coach, over 120 pitches."
The Tigers scored first in the low scoring affair as Nathan Derryberry was hit by a Tristian Carson pitch with the bases loaded for the early 1-0 lead, but MCHS left three runners on base to end the inning.
The two pitchers were stuck in a dual until the Tigers struck again in the fifth inning.
Jay Lyons started off the inning on first after being hit by a pitch and stole second to move into scoring position.
Thomas Hawkins delivered a RBI double into right field to score Lyons for a 2-0 lead. Derryberry then delivered his second RBI of the night on a single to right field to score Hawkins, but Derryberry was caught trying to take second base to end the inning with the Tigers leading 3-0.
The Patriots threatened to ruin the party with a Blake Smith lead-off double and was brought home by a Ben Pickman triple.
Pickman scored on a Payton Wigginton RBI into center field to push the score to 3-2, but Gentry remained calm and was able to get the next batter out to end the game.
"I just know I had to bare down and throw strikes and get that last out," Gentry stated. "That's all I needed to do and my team did it for me, actually."