Thursday, March 27, 2008
Patriots stun highly-ranked Oxford
By BARRY BURLESON
Coach Jimmy Hicks called it perhaps the biggest baseball win in the history of Marshall Academy.
His Patriots shocked the Oxford Chargers 7-6 Tuesday, March 18, at home. MA, a Class AA private school, entered unranked among Mississippi Private School Association teams by The Clarion-Ledger. Oxford, a Class 4A public school, entered ranked fifth in the state among all Mississippi High School Activities Association teams of all classifications.
“It was a great game,” said Hicks, in his fifth season as head coach of the Patriots. “I know it’s the biggest win since I’ve been here. It lets our guys know they can beat anybody in the private school association. Mentally, it was huge for us.”
The Patriots are looking to return to the playoffs and advance further than a second round series, bettering last year’s performance.
MA rallied for the win over the Chargers. It led 3-1 going into the seventh, but Oxford scored five in the top of the last inning to go up 6-3.
“We kind of came off the field with dropping heads after the top half of that inning,” Hicks said. “I told them we could feel sorry for ourselves and just be happy to play them close or we could do something about it and get four runs.”
His Patriots did something about it but not until two outs and nobody on base.
Nick Tate walked. Tyler Childers singled. Hunter Bolden doubled. Justin Gray walked. Tyler Sanders got an infield hit. Jake Omedeo walked. Caleb Byrd walked.
The result was a nerve-racking, 7-6 win and a big celebration before the cheering home crowd.
“It took a lot of fight to come back,” Hicks said. “I was very proud of them. It was a win the kids will never forget.”
The Patriots had seven hits and committed three errors.
Bolden led the offensive with two doubles. Childers followed with two singles. Jake Omedeo and Tate each had a double, and Sanders added a single.
Will Patton (3-0) pitched in the seventh inning only and got the mound win. He gave up three hits. Bolden started on the mound and “did an excellent job,” Hicks said. He gave up one hit in three innings of work. Shane Campbell threw three innings of middle relief and gave up two hits.
Marshall vs. Indianola
The Patriots kept winning and improved to 4-0 in conference play with a sweep of Indianola at home Thursday.
MA went up by three in the third inning of game one and went “on cruise control” from there, Hicks said. That 4-1 score held throughout.
Marshall had just four hits. Indianola’s bats were even quieter – producing three hits.
The Colonels’ Caleb Bradshaw drilled a home run over the left field fence to put his team up 1-0 in the top of the first.
But the Patriots bounced back with two runs in the bottom of the first and two in the bottom of the third.
Childers was two of three at the plate with a double. Gray and Omedeo each singled.
Campbell (3-1) was the winning pitcher. He threw just 48 pitches in seven innings.
“That’s impressive,” Hicks said.
The second game was a rout from the start. The Patriots racked up 10 runs in the first inning and went on to clobber the Colonels 15-3 in five innings.
MA had 15 hits and made two errors.
Tate was two of three with a double and a three-run homer. Childers was two of three with a single and a two-run homer. Omedeo was two of two with two singles. Bolden was two of three with two singles.
Getting one hit each were Gray, Sanders, Byrd, Joey Omedeo, Campbell, Joey Brock and Jordan Brock.
Hunter Bolden, who recorded the pitching win, Harris Gholson and Joey Brock combined for a one-hitter. Indianola’s lone hit came off of Gholson in the fourth.
“All three pitchers did a good job,” Hicks said.
Marshall vs. Myrtle
The Patriots took it on the chin, 13-6, Saturday at home versus Class A public school Myrtle.
MA fell behind 8-0 in the fourth and couldn’t rally against a hard-hitting Myrtle squad.
“We walked 11 (including hit batters), and eight of those scored,” Coach Hicks said. “Plus, Myrtle is a good team. They really swung the bats. It’s hard to come back from the kind of deficit.”
Myrtle sophomore pitcher Jimel Judon was masterful before giving up four hits in the third and being pulled. He got the win.
MA used five pitchers. Patton (3-1) started and got the loss. He was relieved by Chris Gardner, Jordan Brock, Campbell and Joey Brock.
Myrtle scored one in the first, three in the third, four in the fourth, three in the fifth and two in the seventh. MA got three in the fourth and three in the sixth.
Childers, Bolden, Gray and Sanders each had two hits. Adding a hit each were Jake Omedeo, Byrd, Joey Omedeo and Wesley Harris.
Justin Hood had three hits to lead Myrtle.
The Patriots (8-2 on the season) were scheduled to visit district foe Carroll Academy Monday for a double header. They host Carroll Thursday with a B-game at 4 p.m. and a varsity game at 6 p.m. They host Magnolia Heights Friday at 4 p.m. and then go to Oxford Saturday at 5 p.m. Next Monday, March 31, MA visits Lee (Marianna, Ark.) for a district twinbill.
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