Thursday, March 5, 2009
MA begins season with three victories
By BARRY BURLESON
The Marshall Academy Patriots are off to a 3-0 start on the baseball diamond under new head coach Johnny Ray.
MA started its season Monday, Feb. 23, at home versus Memphis-area Home Education Association and earned an 8-4 victory.
Tyler Childers and Josh Vanderburg hit back-to-back doubles down the left field line for the Patriots in the bottom of the first inning.
“That set the tone from the beginning,” Coach Ray said. “We were able to get some solid hits which the rest of the team fed off of.”
Parker James, Hunter Bolden and Joey Brock also added doubles later in the game, and Vanderburg had a triple and run-batted-in in the fifth to give MA its final margin of victory.
Patriot pitchers Chris Gardner and Parker James combined to strike out 13 Eagles and allow just three hits.
“Pitching was good at times and bad at times as we walked seven and hit another batter,” Coach Ray said. “For it being the first outing for both, we got pretty much what we expected. They will continually get better as the year goes along. We need both to throw more strikes and limit pitch counts so they can go deeper in games.”
Marshall got eight runs on eight hits. Childers was two for four with a double and two runs scored. Vanderburg was two for three with a double and a triple and was also hit by a pitch. Bolden was one for three with a double, sacrifice fly and three RBI.
Gardner (1-0) got the mound win. In four innings of work, he gave up one hit, one run (earned), struck out six and walked four.
James recorded the save. In three innings atop the mound, he gave up two hits, three runs (all earned), struck out seven and walked three.
Marshall vs. Marvell
The Patriots swept Marvell (Ark.) Academy 17-1 and 11-1 on Wednesday of last week.
In game one of the doubleheader, Joey Brock picked up the win with four solid innings, allowing one run on one hit and striking out seven. He walked one.
MA jumped out to a 5-0 lead after one and never looked back.
Vanderburg, Bolden and Will Patton had a double, single and double, respectively, in succession to give Marshall the early advantage. Jake Omedeo and Caleb Byrd also had RBI singles in the first inning. After three innings the Patriots led 10-1, then put it away with seven in the fourth.
MA scored 17 runs on 13 hits.
Patton was three for four with a double and two RBI. Evan Hickman was two for two with two RBI. Also, Josh Thompson had a double, a walk and two RBI.
In game two, Patton dominated on the mound, striking out 10 in four innings. He allowed two hits, three walks and no runs. Harris Gholson pitched the last inning, allowing one run which was unearned.
No Patriot had multiple hits, but Bolden connected for an RBI triple, and Jake Omedeo and Tyler Cook both added RBI doubles.
“These type games allow me to get several kids in and get their feet wet,” Coach Ray said. “The coaching staff saw some good things out of our kids and also know that we have got a long way to go to be ready for conference play.”
“I was impressed with how Joey and Will pitched. Both threw a lot of strikes and gained confidence in their outings. They are both going to be counted on a lot as we start getting into the meat of our schedule.”
Marshall Academy was slated to host Lee (Ark.) for a doubleheader Tuesday. Wednesday, the Patriots go to Magnolia Heights for a 5 p.m. contest. Thursday, they travel to Lee (Ark.) for a single game at 4 p.m. Friday, they play at Thrasher at 5 p.m.
Next Monday, March 9, the Patriots host Indianola Academy at 4 p.m., and then Tuesday, March 10, they host Lake Cormorant High School at 6 p.m.
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