Thursday, March 19, 2009
Pats 4-2 in district
Marshall Academy dropped two of three to district foe Indianola last week and knocked off non-district opponent Lake Cormorant.
MA entered the Lewis Harris Memorial Tournament this week in neighboring Tennessee with a 9-3 overall mark.
Indianola 4 Marshall 1
Coach Johnny Ray said Marshall Academy wasted the pitching efforts of senior Chris Gardner as Indianola’s Dalton Deloach tossed a complete game, four hitter for the Colonels.
For MA, Gardner went the first six, allowing only one unearned run and striking out 10. He walked none and gave up two hits.
“I really hated that we could not get Chris any run support,” Ray said about the March 9 home contest. “He stepped up for us and pitched like the ace of the staff that he is.”
The Patriots’ lone run came in the bottom of the fourth, after IA took a 1-0 lead in the top half of the frame. Jake Omedeo led off the inning with a double and scored on Parker James’ single up the middle. James advanced to second on the throw home and eventually stole third but was stranded there as the Patriots couldn’t get the run across. That would prove to be costly.
The scored stayed tied at 1 into the seventh, when James relieved Gardner. James walked the first two batters, and eventually faced a second and third situation with one out. A double into the right center gap by Zach Whitfield plated one run, then a throwing error allowed the other two to score.
Talking about his decision to remove Gardner in the seventh, Coach Ray said, “Chris did an outstanding job but his pitch count was nearing 100 and I didn’t want to risk injury. It is too early in the season to go any further than that. With the quality arms that we had available, I felt we made the right decision. Our other guys just have to step up and deliver in the clutch.”
Marshall got a lead-off walk in the seventh by Elgin Lafever, which gave the Patriots hope, but the next three batters were unsuccessful. MA fell 4-1.
Marshall dropped to 7-2 on the season and 3-1 in conference play. That was the first conference loss for the Patriots in over two seasons.
MA 4 Lake Cormorant 1
The combined pitching of senior Harris Gholson and sophomore Jordan Brock was the difference as the Patriots improved to 8-2 with the March 10 home win.
Gholson started and went the first five, allowing only a single run in the fourth inning. He improved his season record to 2-0 as he struck out four and scattered five hits. Jordan Brock relieved Gholson and was sharp in his two innings of work, picking up the save. He walked one and struck out one and did not allow a hit.
The Patriots plated three runs in the fourth to overcome a 1-0 deficit. James led off the inning with an infield single and advanced to second on a groundout. Joey Brock reached on an error two batters later, allowing James to score. After Joey Omedeo walked, Tyler Childers blasted a two-run double to left center field.
Gardner gave MA a little breathing room in the bottom of the fifth as he doubled home Aaron McAlexander. He was pinch running for Jake Omedeo, who had walked with one out in the frame.
MA had seven hits in the 4-1 win with Childers being the only one with multiple hits. He slapped a double and single.
The Patriots erupted for five runs in the sixth inning to put the game out of reach en route to the 12-5 conference victory. The Patriots, playing on the road Thursday, had a season high 16 hits. Senior Hunter Bolden paced the attack with a three for four effort, along with five runs batted in.
James got the Patriots on the board early as he singled home Bolden and Josh Vanderburg, who had walked. The Patriots, in the fourth, took the lead for good at 6-3. They got big hits from Childers, who had a two-RBI double, and Bolden, who scored Childers from third on a sacrifice fly.
In the sixth Bolden again found himself in position to get runs home and he delivered a three-run homer, which put the game out of reach.
Will Patton improved to 2-0 on the season as he continually worked himself out of trouble in his five innings of work. He allowed only three hits, but walked seven. Jordan Brock picked up his second save in as many chances as he tossed two solid innings of relief.
Indianola 6 Marshall 5
In the rubber match of the three game set, Indianola scratched out a one-run victory, scoring two in the bottom of the seventh.
MA’s bats went cold just like the weather, as temperatures were in the 30s with light rain.
The Patriots managed seven hits, but couldn’t string many together in succession. They still had their chances to win. Up 5-4 in the seventh with two outs and nobody on, the Colonels hit three straight doubles to come away victors.
“That was devastating,” Ray said. “We have to find a way to get those last three outs. Teams that want to contend for a championship don’t give away games like that. It just boiled down to the fact that Indianola wanted it more than we did. They have heart.”
Marshall was up 2-1 in the fourth as Bolden and Gardner delivered run-scoring hits. In the bottom of the fourth, Indianola regained the lead on a two-run homer by Deloach. The Patriots took advantage of a couple Colonel miscues in the sixth to regain the lead as Childers and Elgin Lafever both scored runs.
Lafever was the only Patriot with multiple hits as he went two for three. MA lost 6-5.
Marshall fell to 4-2 in conference play, second behind Kirk Academy’s 5-1 mark.
The Patriots will face the Raiders in a three-game set on Monday (two games at Grenada) and Thursday of next week (one game at home). Next Tuesday, MA hosts non-district opponent St. George’s.
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