Tiger comeback falls just short
It only takes a few plays on the positive or negative side to change a baseball game and that’s what happened Monday night at Joe George Field in Lewisburg as the Marshall County Tigers were on the minus side of the ledger in a tough 8-7 District 12-AA loss to Murfreesboro Central Magnet School in the first leg of the home and away league series.
“We spotted them too many runs right there, we had the lead in the third inning and then we had a bad inning,” MCHS coach Mike “Monk” Reese said. “They made some plays and hit the ball, but our guys never quit, we battled and had the opportunity a couple of more times to take the lead and we just didn’t.”
The Tigers only committed two errors in the game on a pair of throwing miscues on two swinging bunts by Dawson Massengale and they both hurt, costing Marshall County three runs in a close contest.
Marshall County also left nine runners on base and still had a chance to tie or go-ahead as the game ended with the bases juiced.
Mitchell Ford (RBI, RS), Zack Graves (2RBI, RS), and Thomas Beardsley (2RBI) all had two hits apiece for the Tigers while Peyton Graves (2BB, RS, RBI, SB), Preston Shelton, Walker Whaley (2BB, RS, SB), and Tristan Griggs all had one base knock.
Hunter Huarez started on the mound for the Tigers and had a tough outing, lasting just 3.2 innings.
Huarez gave up seven runs (six earned) on three hits and he walked two and struck out five.
Colton Barber turned in another solid effort in relief for Marshall County, pitching the final 3.2 innings. Barber surrendered one run (unearned) on three hits and whiffed one and walked none.
Brady Sengkounmany pitched a solid 5.2 innings to pick up the win on the hill for MCM, giving up five runs (three earned) on eight hits while striking out three and walking four MCHS batters.
Jacob Moore picked up a hold for MCM and Patrick Norman earned the save, coming on to record the final out of the contest on a comebacker to the mound.
Marshall County trailed 1-0 after two innings before responding with a three-run bottom of the third with the big blow coming off the bat of Zack Graves, who stroked a two-run single to center field after Peyton Graves had tied the game on an RBI base hit.
In the top of the fourth inning, Matthew McDaniel led off with a base hit before Huarez walked three out of the next four batters to make it 3-2.
Massengale swung on a two-strike pitch and the ball rolled slowly down the third base side where Huarez picked it and slipped as he tried to throw to first base and two runs scored.
A two-run single by Michael Polly brought Barber in to the game and Dalton Jenkins greeted the Tiger reliever with a run scoring single to make it 8-3 before Barber got the next two outs.
MCHS came up with two unearned runs in the bottom of the inning and Central Magnet got one back on an unearned run in the top half of the fifth inning.
Murfreesboro Central Magnet left one stranded in the top of the sixth and Lewisburg could not capitalize on a second and third situation with two down in the home half of the sixth.
Barber set down MCM in order on three straight groundball outs in the top of the seventh and Zack Graves stroked a one-out single in the home half of the frame to get things going.
Pinch hitter Caleb McElhaney reached on an error and after a Marshall County strikeout, both runners moved up on a wild pitch before Beardsley drove in two runs with a single to left field to make it an 8-7 contest.
Walker Whaley walked and Huarez loaded the sacks when he was awarded first base on catcher’s interference.
Norman induced a grounder back to the box and ran to first, tagging the bag to end the game.
“These kind of games just tell you how even our district is,” Reese said. “It should be an interesting district tournament when it’s all said and done, so we can’t whine about it, we have to go up there tomorrow and make things even.”
“They had an opportunity to roll over and they didn’t, they stayed in there and we pecked away and next thing you know, we are back in the ballgame,” Reese said. “We were one pitch away from tying it and one hit away from winning it.”
MCM 010 610 0-8 6 4
MCHS 003 200 2-7 10 2
Murfreesboro Central Magnet: Porter Hendrixson 1-for-4, Matthew McDaniel 1-for-3, CJ Campbell 1-for-3, Stephen Laird 1-for-4, Michael Polly 1-for-3, Dalton Jenkins 1-for-3.
BB: Patrick Norman, Gage Swanson.
RS: Campbell 2, McDaniel, Norman, Laird, Swanson, Dawson Massengale, Polly.
RBI: Massengale 2, Swanson 2, Polly 2, Dalton Jenkins.
ROE: Massengale 2.
HBP: McDaniel, Campbell.
SB: Massengale, McDaniel, Laird, Campbell.
Team LOB: 4
E: Massengale 2, Norman, Jenkins.
DP: Norman, Hendrixson, Laird.
WP: Brady Sengkounmany (5.2IP, 8H, 5R, 3ER, 2K, 4BB).
Save: Patrick Norman (0.1IP, 0H, 0R, 0Er, 0K, 0BB).
Hold: Jacob Moore (1IP, 2H, 2R, 0ER, 1K, 1BB).
Marshall County: Mitchell Ford 2-for-4, Zack Graves 2-for-4, Thomas Beardsley 2-for-4, Peyton Graves 1-for-3, Preston Shelton 1-for-4, Walker Whaley 1-for-2, Tristan Griggs 1-for-1.
BB: Peyton Graves 2, Walker Whaley 2, Ryan Kirby.
RS: Peyton Graves, Ford, Zack Graves, Caleb McElhaney, Kirby, Caleb Grooms, Walker Whaley.
RBI: Beardsley 2, Zack Graves 2, Ford, Peyton Graves.
ROE: Kirby, McElhaney.
CI: Hunter Haurez.
GIDP: Colton Barber.
SB: Peyton Graves, Walker Whaley.
PIK: Walker Whaley.
Team LOB: 9
E: Zack Graves, Haurez.
LP: Hunter Huarez (3.1IP, 3H, 7R, 6ER, 5K, 2BB).
Relief: Colton Barber (3.2IP, 3H, 1R, 0ER, 1K, 0BB).
Tuesday, April 16
Marshall County 000 010 0-1 2 0
MCM 000 220 X-4 4 0
Marshall County: Mitchell Ford 1-for-3, Tristan Griggs 1-for-3.
RS: Ryan Kirby.
RBI: Walker Whaley.
SF: Walker Whaley.
HBP: Kirby, Preston Shelton.
Team LOB: 4
LP: Zack Graves (3.1IP, 2H, 2R, 2ER, 4K, 3BB).
Relief: Walker Whaley (2.2IP, 2H, 2R, 2ER, 2K, 2BB).
Murfreesboro Central Magnet: Patrick Norman 1-for-2, Steph Laird 1-for-2, CJ Campbell 1-for-2, Patrick Jones 1-for-1.
BB: Matthew McDaniel, Norman, Campbell, Laird, Dawson Massengale.
RS: Campbell 2, McDaniel, Hayden Petty.
RBI: Laird 2, Massengale, Campbell.
FC: Gage Swanson, Michael Polly.
SB: Jones 2, Norman, Campbell.
Team LOB: 6
WP: Patrick Norman (7IP, 2H, 1R, 0ER, 9K, 0BB).