Thursday, June 19, 2008
MA 7-3; tournament June 26-29
By BARRY BURLESON
Coach Johnny Ray sees progress about midway through his Marshall Academy Patriots’ busy summer baseball schedule.
“I believe they’re buying into what I’m preaching” said Ray, who took over the MA program just a few weeks ago. “We must learn from our mistakes and improve. No doubt, we can be a very, very competitive team.”
Ten games into the summer schedule, the Patriots stand 7-3. MA lost three of four in the tough Olive Branch Tournament.
“We played very good competition, and we did compete well,” Ray said.
The tourney losses were 15-5 to Lewisburg, 12-2 to St. Benedict and 7-6 to DeSoto Central. MA beat Rossville 12-2 in the four-day event.
“We lost 7-6 Sunday (June 8) to DeSoto Central, a 5A team, and it’s a game we should have won,” he said.
Marshall’s other victories are 10-7 over Tipton Rosemark and 12-6 over St. George’s, plus four more wins over Rossville, Tenn. – 10-6, 11-0, 2-1 and 9-1.
Tyler Childers and newcomer Parker James are leading the Patriots in hitting, both 17 of 31 from the plate (.550 averages). Childers has a team-best six home runs and James a team-leading 15 runs-batted-in.
Jake Omedeo is 13 of 27 with the bat, a .480 average, and another newcomer, catcher Josh Vanderburg, is 11 of 25, a .440 average.
“Josh has done a very good job behind the plate,” Ray said. “He’s filled a big need for us.”
Will Patton has pitched two complete games, the latest a 2-1 home win over Rossville Thursday night.
“Hunter (Bolden) is swinging the bat good and he has pitched well,” Coach Ray said.
He said Chris Gardner is being eased back into the pitching rotation after some much-needed rest from a busy spring season.
“He threw four solid innings Thursday, plus he’s swinging the bat good, too,” Ray said.
Harris Gholson pitched a complete game shutout, 11-0, versus Rossville on Wednesday of last week.
“He’s learning, and that’s what we’re using the summer for, to give the inexperienced kids an opportunity to show what they can do to help our team,” Coach Ray said.
The Patriots were scheduled to host Byhalia Monday night.
They host Olive Branch Wednesday, June 18, in a doubleheader starting at 5 p.m. and then play a doubleheader at home Thursday, June 19, versus Lewisburg beginning at 5 p.m.
Next Tuesday, June 24, Marshall plays the West Tennessee Stixx at 6:30 p.m. at Bolivar City Park.
Marshall Academy will host a summer baseball tournament starting Thursday, June 26, at Patriot Field and wrapping up Sunday, June 29.
The schedule follows.
June 26 – 3 p.m., Oxford vs. Center Hill; 5:30 p.m., Byhalia vs. Oxford; 8 p.m., Byhalia vs. Marshall Academy.
June 27 – 12 noon, Hernando 17U vs. Kirk Academy; 2:30 p.m., Hernando 16U vs. Kirk; 5 p.m., Southaven vs. Center Hill; 7:30 p.m., Byhalia vs. Hernando.
June 28 – 9 a.m., Marshall vs. Center Hill; 11:15 a.m., Southaven vs. Kirk; 1:30 p.m., Kirk vs. Center Hill; 3:45 p.m., Southaven vs. Hernando 16U; 6 p.m., Hernando 17U vs. Byhalia; 8:15 p.m., Marshall vs. Hernando 16U.
June 29 - 1 p.m., Oxford vs. Hernando 17U; 3:15 p.m., Southaven vs. Hernando 17U; 5:30 p.m., Marshall vs. Oxford.
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