Tigers let a big one slip away
After losing at Nolensville Monday night, the Marshall County Tigers regrouped and readied themselves for the second leg of the District 12-AA home and away clash with the Knights at Joe George Field in Lewisburg Tuesday night.
The Tigers sent Hunter Huarez to the hill in hopes of gaining the split with the Knights and the ace righty turned in a stellar performance, scattering four hits and two earned runs in 5.1 innings while striking out 13 Nolensville batters, but it wasn’t enough in a tough 4-2 loss.
“Hunter threw a heck of a ballgame, I thought we had them right there, but they came back on us and we still kept battling,” MCHS coach Mike “Monk” Reese said. “I’m not down on us, we are going to bounce back, we are young and we are going to get better.”
“Hunter did a good job, he kept battling and we are proud of him.”
The Tigers managed just three hits apiece off of Nolensville starting pitcher Kyler Hayes and reliever McKinley Wagner as Colton Barber led the way, going 2-for-2 and a base on balls.
Mitchell Ford, Preston Shelton, Zack Graves, and Huarez all had one hit apiece for Lewisburg with Ford and Graves coming up with RBIs.
Huarez worked his way out of a two-on, two-out jam in the top of the first inning and Hayes set down MCHS in order in the home half of the frame.
In the top of the second inning, Huarez etched the rare four strikeout inning after one Nolensville batter reached base on a passed ball after a swinging third strike.
Hayes worked his way out of a two-on, two-out situation in the bottom of the second inning and after a leadoff double by Tyler Smith and a subsequent wild pitch that sent Smith to third base, Huarez struck out the next three Knights in order to squash the scoring threat.
With one down in the bottom of the third, Walker Whaley reached second base on an outfield error and came home on a Ford shot to center field to make it 1-0.
Ford went to third on the throw home, but was left stranded there when Hayes got the next two Tigers’ out.
Marshall County left nine runners stranded on base in the game and the Knights left eight on the bags.
“We needed a couple more hits,” Reese said. “At the crucial times we had men in scoring position and didn’t get that big hit, it just didn’t happen tonight.”
There were no hits in the fourth inning and Nolensville left one runner stranded in the top of the fifth.
Whaley reached on a one-out error in the bottom of the inning and after a strikeout, Shelton hit a grounder to third, but the throw went awry and the Tigers had runners on the corners with two outs.
Hayes came up with a whiff for the third out and Dawson Conder ripped a one-out single to center field in the top of the sixth to get things moving for the Knights.
Bryan Cluck followed with a base hit to put Nolensville runners on the corners and pinch hitter Parker Price walked to load the sacks.
Aiden Young followed with a fly ball to right field that was misplayed and Conder scored to tie the game.
Zack Graves came to the hill for the Tigers and Smith made it a 2-1 contest with a sacrifice fly RBI and then the Knights took a 3-1 lead when Price stole home after a rundown play between first and second base was mistimed by MCHS.
The Tigers failed to score in the home half of the inning and in the top of the seventh, Smith led off with a home run down the left field line to make it a 4-1 contest.
Huarez led off the bottom of the seventh inning with an infield single, but Nolensville reliever Wagner came up with a groundout and lineout to put the Tigers down to their last out.
Graves kept the game alive when he reached on an outfield error that scored Whaley to make it 4-2.
Wagner induced a ground ball to third base to end the game and keep the Knights unbeaten in District 12-AA play so far this season.
“Right now Nolensville is the team on top, they are undefeated, so they are the team to beat, but’s it’s still early,” Reese said. “You don’t want to not learn something from a loss, so we are going to learn something from it and move on.”
District 12-AA Standings
Nolensville (8-6, 4-0)
Murfreesboro Central Magnet (11-5, 3-1)
Forrest (7-5, 2-2)
Marshall County (4-8, 1-3)
Community (7-7, 1-3)
Giles County (4-6, 1-3)
Nolensville 000 003 1-4 5 3
Marshall County 001 000 1-2 6 1
Nolensville: Tyler Smith 1-for-4, Tyler Hummel 1-for-4, Carson Robble 1-for-2, Dawson Conder 1-for-4, Bryan Cluck 1-for-3.
BB: Robble 2, Tyler Hammonds, Parker Price.
RS: Robble, Conder, Cluck, Price.
2B: Smith, Cluck.
RBI: Smith, Robble.
ROE: Aiden Young.
SB: Cluck, Conder, Young, Ethan Syling.
Team LOB: 8
E: Holden Collett, Hammonds, Hummel.
WP: Kyler Hayes (6IP, 3H, 1R, 0ER, 7K, 2BB).
Save: McKinley Wagner (1IP, 3H, 1R, 1ER, 1K, 0BB).
Marshall County: Colton Barber 2-for-2, Mitchell Ford 1-for-4, Preston Shelton 1-for-4, Zack Graves 1-for-4, Hunter Huarez 1-for-3.
BB: Thomas Beardsley, Barber.
RS: Walker Whaley 2.
RBI: Mitchell Ford, Zack Graves.
ROE: Whaley 2, Shelton.
FC: Walker Whaley.
Team LOB: 9
E: Peyton Graves.
LP: Hunter Huarez (5.1IP, 4H, 3R, 2ER, 13K, 4BB).
Relief: Zack Graves (1.2IP, 1H, 1R, 1ER, 1K, 0BB).
Thursday, April 4
Lewis County 100 010 00-2 6 3
Marshall County 200 000 1-3 3 1
Lewis County: Slade Mosely 2-for-3, Blake Carroll 1-for-3, Zac Benson 1-for-4, Jerrid Runions 1-for-3, AT Brewer 1-for-2.
BB: Carroll, Moseley, Ethan Lindsey, Mikey Ortiz.
RS: Carroll, Benson.
2B: Carroll, Runions.
SAC: Brewer, Runions.
ROE: Denton Webb.
HBP: Cameron Cotham.
SB: Runions 2, Brewer, Lindsey, Benson.
Team LOB: 7
E: Carroll 2, Webb.
Marshall County: Preston Shelton 1-for-3, Zack Graves 1-for-3, Tristan Griggs 1-for-3.
BB: Thomas Beardsley 2, Peyton Graves 2, Shelton, Zack Graves, Colton Barber, Ryan Kirby.
RS: Shelton, Zack Graves.
2B: Zack Graves
SAC: Mitchell Ford.
ROE: Ford, Kirby.
FC: Barber, Kirby, Shelton, Walker Whaley.
Team LOB: 9
WP: Zack Graves (4.2IP, 2H, 1R, 0ER, 5K, 2BB).
Starter: Walker Whaley (3.1IP, 4H, 1R, 1ER, 3K, 2BB).