Gentry, Tigers dominate on Senior Night

Wednesday, May 3, 2017
Tiger pitcher Brayden Gentry fires a strike during a two-hit, six strikeout win over Coffee County Thursday night.
Tribune photos by Mike Inglsbee

After dropping a disappointing 13-9 contest at home versus Lewis County on Tuesday, the Marshall County Tigers were back in action two days later to play host to 3A Coffee County with the regular season winding down.

While the Tigers could not muster much offense against the Panthers on Tuesday, the blue and white jumped all over the Raiders from the get-go, taking a 7-1 lead after three innings and used the dominant pitching from senior Brayden Gentry to maintain same final score.

The difference from the Lewis County game was hitting," Gentry, who pitched one out short of a complete game, said. "Right off the bat against Coffee County we hit the ball."

"With the regular season coming to an end my plan was to go out there with the mindset to pitch to the best of my ability and make my team proud," Gentry said. "Coffee County being a 3A team didn't really have an effect on me. I know they have a good team but so do we."

Gentry did make his team proud, pitching 6 2/3 innings of two-hit ball with a game-high six strikeouts and 17 first pitch strikes before getting pulled due to the pitch count.

Gentry also helped himself at the plate with two RBI, along with fellow senior Thomas Hawkins, who added two RBI in the game that gave the Tigers an early 2-0 lead in the first inning.

Catcher Jacob Autry also added two RBI and Nathan Derryberry chipped in a game-high two hits.

The Tigers wasted little time getting on the scoreboard as Jay Lyons started off the game with a walk before Brent McGehee followed with an infield single.

Designated hitter Thomas Hawkins starts off the Tigers scoring efforts with a two-run single in the first inning.

Hawkins set the tone for the game on the next at bat as the designated hitter smacked a single into right field to bring home Lyons and McGehee for a 2-0 lead.

Derryberry followed with a double to left field that dropped a foot short of a home run, but Raider pitcher Hayden Skipper forced Gentry and Logan Bailey into ground outs to end the early threat.

The Raiders stayed close in the third as Jacob Duncan reached on an error before Noah Anderson blooped a single into right field to close the gap to 2-1.

The Tigers blew the game wide open in the third inning as Austin Wood drew a walk, McGehee reached on a single, before Derryberry knocked a single to center to load the bases.

Gentry stroked a single past the outstretched arms of the Raider shortstop to bring home two runs for a 4-1 lead, before Autry delivered a double into right field to push the lead to 6-1.

Will Brannon delivered the final run of the game with a shot to first base to bring home Allante Watts for a 7-1 advantage.

With lead firmly intact, Gentry dominated the Raiders for the rest of the contest by allowing just one hit over the last four inning, before the senior pitcher was pulled before the last batter and McGehee finished up the job by forcing a Scottie Duke strikeout.

"I was happy about my performance, don't get me wrong I would have loved to finish the whole game," Gentry said. "That was a little bit of a disappointment, but my pitch count got me."

Nathan Derryberry guns down a Coffee County runner at first base in the third inning.

The Tigers lost a close 3-2 game in Fayetteville versus Lincoln County on Friday, but have one more chance at honing their skills before the start of the District 12AA Tournament with a trip to Shelbyville on Tuesday.

"Getting ready for the tournament (at Shelbyville)," MCHS coach Mike Reese said. "We will focus on putting the ball in play with men in scoring position and continue to work on fundamental, sound baseball."