Thursday, May 10, 2007
Patriots ousted in round two
By BARRY BURLESON
Marshall Academy left 17 runners stranded in scoring position in its state playoff quarter-final series versus Winston Academy.
That, accompanied by nine errors in the two games, helped spell elimination for the Patriots. MA finishes an impressive 27-5, which appears to be the most wins in school history, according to head coach Jimmy Hicks.
“We had lots of opportunities against Winston and didn’t cash in,” he said. “You have to make your breaks, and we didn’t make them.
“It’s sad. We didn’t want it to end, but I’m real proud of them. They did a lot of good things this season. This is a young team (only three seniors) and making it to the second round was a different environment for our guys. We have the experience under our belt now, and hopefully we can take advantage of that in years to come.”
MA vs. Winston - Game 1
Marshall, playing at home April 30, kept game one close until the fifth inning. That’s when Winston went up 6-1 on a three-run homer and then cruised to the 13-4 victory.
“They had nine hits and 13 runs,” Hicks said. “That doesn’t match up.”
Patriot pitchers issued seven bases on balls and hit two Winston batters. MA committed five errors in the field. And offensively Marshall had seven players in scoring position and only one crossed home plate.
“Going into the fifth we were still in the game, but you will never win doing that (mistakes),” Hicks said.
The Patriots had just five hits, led by Milliorn’s three of four showing with a run-batted-in and a stolen base. Tyler Childers and Bo Bonds had one hit each. Childers had an RBI and Bonds a stolen base. Pinch runner Mitchell Cartwright swiped two bases.
Will Patton took the mound loss. He struck out four and gave up five hits and worked into the top of the fifth. He was relieved by Shane Campbell, who gave up one hit and struck out one in the inning. Hunter Bolden threw in the sixth and seventh innings. He struck out three and gave up three hits.
MA vs. Winston - Game 2
The Patriots saw a 3-0 lead evaporate in game two Wednesday, May 2, at Louisville, and lost 10-4.
The story was similar to game one. MA committed four errors and left 11 base runners stranded in scoring position.
“Maybe it was our youth, I don’t know, plus we had some guys out of position,” Coach Hicks said. “The majority of our guys are freshmen and sophomores. But that’s no excuse. We just didn’t make the plays we needed to make to win the ball game, and Winston is a solid team. Give them credit.”
MA grabbed the early momentum by scoring three runs in the top of the second inning. Caleb Byrd, Chase Samples and Justin Gray all singled. Gray’s hit drove in Byrd. Childers walked, and then Hunter Bolden’s hit drove in two more runs, but Marshall then left the bases loaded.
Winston tied it in the bottom of the third on a couple of hits, a couple of walks and a Marshall error. The home team went up 5-3 in the fifth.
MA scored one in the top sixth to get within one. Winston iced the win with five runs in their half of the sixth.
The Patriots outhit Winston - 12 to 11.
Gray was the top man at the plate for Marshall. He was was three of four with two singles, a double and an RBI. Childers and Milliorn had two hits each. Childers also stole three bases. Bolden had one hit and two RBIs. Also getting one hit each were Stevie Brigance, Byrd, Samples and Campbell.
Milliorn, who has suffered arm problems, made his first start of the year on the mound. He struck out eight in five innings of work and gave up eight hits. He threw 100 pitches.
“He really battled,” Coach Hicks.
Campbell tossed one inning in relief. He gave up three hits.
Winston (22-7) advances to a state semi-final series.
Hicks, who completed his fourth season at the helm, said the MA program is moving in the right direction. Graduating seniors are Bonds, Samples and Josh Asplund.
“We should be in the hunt again next year,” he said. “Our kids are still excited. They got a taste of success, and they want to keep it going.”
MA will play a tough summer schedule, he said, against some quality teams.
“That will get us more prepared for these (playoff) situations,” Hicks said.
The Patriots finished with a team batting average of .334 with 257 RBIs. They had 56 doubles, 17 triples, 18 home runs and 104 stolen bases. MA’s on-base percentage was .450.
“Those are some pretty impressive stats,” Hicks said.
Milliorn hit .558, Childers .388; Bo Bonds .379,Tyler Sanders .365, Bolden .361 and Samples .323. Milliorn led the team in RBIs with 45 and stolen bases with 21. He also had a team-best 12 doubles and six triples. Top home run leaders, with four each, were Childers, Bolden and Sanders.
Patton was the top mound man with a 10-2 record. Campbell was 7-2 and Milliorn 2-1. MA pitchers had 179 strikeouts and issued 92 walks. The batting average of their opponents was a slim .215.
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