Thursday, March 29, 2007
Marshall improves to 14-2
By BARRY BURLESON
The Marshall Academy baseball team scored 42 runs in four games last week and upped its team batting average to near .400.
The Patriots split a doubleheader against a solid Winona team and then defeated both West Memphis and North Delta to improve their season mark to 14-2.
It was a pitcher’s duel in game one on the road versus Winona Christian School Tuesday, March 20.
MA led 1-0 in the bottom of the sixth inning with one out and nobody on base. An error put one runner on and the next Winona player hit a two-run homer. The Patriots fell 2-1.
“They had a lefty on the mound, and he kept us off balance,” coach Jimmy Hicks said.
The Patriots could muster just five hits – two from Hunter Bolden, including a solo home run in the top of the sixth. Getting one hit each were Tyler Childers, Seth Milliorn and Justin Gray.
Marshall’s own lefty, Will Patton, “did a fantastic job” on the hill, his coach said. Patton gave up just one hit, the home run, and “deserved to win,” Hicks said.
“It was a playoff-caliber game, a tense game,” he said. “Winona is the best team we’ve played all year. They will probably play for the sate title in Class A. They’re very solid - well coached.”
The Patriots bounced back in game two to knock off Winona Christian 8-5.
MA’s bats worked a bit better in the nightcap. Sanders and Gray led a seven-hit attack with two each. Adding one hit each were Milliorn, Chase Samples and Bo Bonds.
Winning pitcher Jimmy Palmer gave up four hits and struck out three in five innings of work. Bolden tossed the sixth and seventh inning ins relief.
“We’re a team that’s not striking a lot of guys out, but our defense is very solid,” Coach Hicks said.
Marshall drove across the big bridge to West Memphis, Ark., Thursday afternoon and returned with an easy 21-1 win. The Patriots led 6-1 going into the sixth and scored 15 runs with no outs.
The stars of the hitting show were Childers and Sanders with four each. Sanders was four of four with two home runs and two doubles and six runs-batted-in. His homers were three-run and two-run blasts. Childers was four of six with a grand slam in the sixth and four RBIs.
Adding two hits each were Milliorn, Gray and Bonds. Bolden, Samples and Jake Omedeo had one each. Samples had two RBIs.
“We turned it on (in the sixth) and put an end to it,” Hicks said.
Wesley Harris was the winning pitcher for the Patriots.
Marshall Academy finished the week with an 11-6 win at North Delta, avenging an earlier season loss when some of the athletes were still playing basketball.
Shane Campbell threw all seven innings and earned the mound win. He struck out two and gave up just two earned runs.
Milliorn and Sanders carried the big bats on this day. They had three hits and two RBIs each, including back-to-back home runs in the first inning. Sanders stole three bases and Milliorn one.
Bonds followed with three hits and two RBIs, including a double. Childers had two hits, including a two-run homer. Adding one hit each were Palmer, Gray and Samples, who slapped a triple.
The Patriots have six players hitting near or above the .400 mark – Milliorn at .700, Childers at .475, Bonds at .436, Bolden at .431, Samples at .424 and Sanders at .397. The team has 109 RBIs going into this week’s games.
The Patriots opened district play Tuesday with a trip to Lee Academy (Ark.) They are scheduled to visit Covenant Christian in Huntsville, Ala., Saturday at 2 p.m. for a doubleheader but Hicks said those games could be rescheduled. Next Tuesday, April 3, MA host Lee (Ark.) at 4 p.m. (B-game and 6 p.m. (varsity).
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