Marshall County pulls away from Venom

Friday, June 17, 2011

After beating Grassland 12-1 earlier in the evening, the Marshall County Dusters (12-4) completed the sweep of the doubleheader by defeating the Venom 9-2 in five innings at home in the second game.

Bolstered by a late offensive flurry, Marshall County finished with seven hits and four walks against two Grassland pitchers. Aaron Thomason (1 RBI) and Matt Sharp (2 RBI) both tallied two hits to lead the Dusters at the plate, while J.B. Reese (2 RBI), Dylan Kilpatrick (1 RBI), and Ryan Richardson each had one hit.

Marcus Green started on the mound for Marshall County and yielded one unearned run on one hit and a walk in two innings of work to go along with two strikeouts. Sharp then came on in relief and allowed one run on four hits and two walks over the final three frames.

The Duster defense also aided their pitching staff's cause by turning two double plays and committing just one error.

Grassland grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning on a RBI single by Ryan Tate, but Marshall County answered with two runs in the bottom half of the frame to pull ahead 2-1. After Reese and Jack Whaley both drew walks, Thomason was hit by a pitch to load the bases with no outs. Reese then scored on a Brandon Bush RBI fielder's choice to tie the game at 1-1 before Whaley stole home when courtesy runner Danny Gordon intentionally got caught in a run down between first and second base.

In the second, Marshall County plated two more runs with the help of a leadoff single by Richardson, a Kilpatrick RBI triple, and a RBI single by Sharp to push their lead to 4-1.

The Venom narrowed the gap to 4-2 in the third thanks to a John Tully triple and a wild pitch, but the Dusters broke the game open in the fourth by crossing home plate five times in the frame on the strength of two walks, a hit batsman, a pair of RBI singles by Sharp and Thomason, a Reese two-run triple, and a passed ball to open up a 9-2 cushion.

"They were pretty competitive in the second game, but our pitching and defense kept us ahead until our bats got going," said Marshall County coach Mike Reese.

Sharp then escaped a no out bases loaded jam in the fifth with the help of a 6-4-3 double play to secure the Dusters' 10th straight win.