Thursday, April 2, 2009
Pats take three from Kirk
Marshall Academy swept three district games from rival Kirk to highlight a successful week on the baseball diamond.
Marshall 12 Kirk 2
Chris Gardner improved to 3-0 on the mound as he went the distance in the run ruled shortened game. He struck out six and walked none.
Marshall scored early and often, taking a 9-0 lead after two innings of play. Hunter Bolden got the Patriots on the board in the first as he started a two out rally. He singled, stole second and was singled home by Parker James. James stole second and was singled home by Caleb Byrd.
In the second, Joey Omedeo led off with a single, followed by Tyler Childers’ walk. Elgin Lafever singled to load the bases. Bolden walked and James was hit by a pitch to give MA a 4-0 advantage. Byrd delivered a huge blow with a three RBI double. The scoring in the inning concluded when Josh Vanderburg reached on an error, allowing Byrd to score.
MA scored three runs in the top of the fifth without registering a hit. Joey Brock reached on another Raider error. Joey Omedeo and Childers both walked, Bolden was hit by a pitch and James delivered a sacrifice fly.
Marshall 17 Kirk 4
This game belonged to Bolden. His four-for-four effort with three home runs, a double and six RBI singlehandedly was enough to carry the Patriots.
In the first, Bolden gave MA a 2-0 advantage with a towering shot to centerfield. The home run came on a 3-0 count which usually comes with an automatic take.
“I gave Hunter the green light because he has been swinging the bat so well,” coach Johnny Ray said. “He is really seeing the ball well right now.”
The Pats stretched the lead to 5-0 in the second. Byrd singled, followed by back-to-back doubles by Vanderburg and Gardner. Gardner’s hit scored two runs and he later scored on Childers’ sacrifice fly.
Bolden led the third off with his second home run of the game to give MA a 6-0 lead. James followed with a single and eventually came around to score on Byrd’s single..
In the fifth, holding a 9-1 advantage, Gardner led off the inning with a hustle double. Joey Omedeo singled and then Childers got in on the long ball derby. His mammoth shot to left field put the Patriots up 12-1. MA added another run in the inning as Lafever singled, advanced to second on Bolden’s walk and scored on James’ single.
A lackadaisical defensive effort in the fifth prolonged the game, Coach Ray said, as the Raiders scored three runs to keep the game alive.
MA responded by putting up four more runs, concluded by Bolden’s third shot of the game. This one was a three-run blast.
Joey Brock went the distance on the mound to improve to 3-1. He struck out 11 and walked only one. However, he did hit three batters and scattered four hits in six innings of work.
“That was a great performance from our team,” Ray said. “To get two big wins in conference against Kirk was huge for us. I know they had a couple injuries that depleted their team, but we will take it.
“Individually, Hunter’s performance was amazing. It is great to see his hard work is paying off. As a leader of this team he has stepped his game up”
MA 11 St George’s 8
The Patriots trailed 4-0 in the second but that’s when the bats came to life. Back to back doubles by Byrd and Vanderburg plated the first run in the second.
In the third, Childers led off with a bunt single, followed by a double by Bolden, an RBI single by James and an RBI single by Jake Omedeo. After Byrd walked, Vanderburg doubled again to score two runs. With two outs, Chris Gardner had an 11-pitch at bat that led to a walk to load the bases. Childers delivered a clutch single that scored two runs.
“To me Chris’s at bat was the biggest at bat of the game,” Ray said. “He fouled off several pitches and gave Tyler a chance to hit. Tyler delivered in the clutch for us.”
That gave the Patriots a 7-5 lead.
In the fourth, Bolden tripled down the right field line and scored on James’ sacrifice fly.
With the score tied at 8 in the sixth, the Gryphons made a crucial error to open the doors for MA. Joey Omedeo led off with a routine ground ball to second base but it was misplayed. Childers immediately followed with a single. After Lafever’s sacrifice bunt moved the runners to second and third, Bolden delivered again with a two-RBI single and advanced to second on the throw to the plate. James added the 11th run as he singled Bolden home.
Jordan Brock picked up the win in relief of starter Harris Gholson. The only runs allowed by Brock were unearned in the sixth inning. The Gryphons went quietly in the seventh with a strikeout and two fly balls.
“Jordan has really been a pleasant surprise for us,” Ray said. “He has been effective in relief because he throws strikes. He got a late start, coming out after basketball was over, and has been a welcome addition to the pitching staff.”
St George’s starting pitcher, Kellon Hibbard, is the son of former Major League pitcher Greg Hibbard
“This team is maturing right before our eyes,” Coach Ray said. “A week ago, a 4-0 deficit could have been devastating”
Marshall 8 Kirk 1
Marshall jumped to an early 5-0 lead and rode the pitching of James to its district sweep of Kirk.
Childers got the Patriots started as he led off the bottom of the first with a solo home run to right center field. It was his his fifth of the year, which ties him with Hunter Bolden for the team lead.
MA didn’t stop there as they added four more in the frame, starting with two outs. James doubled, and Vanderburg beat out an infield single for an RBI. Jake Omedeo added a run-scoring double, which was followed by Byrd’s walk. Joey Omedeo followed with a two-RBI single that made it 5-0.
Lafever led off the second with an infield single and advanced to second on an error. James walked and Vanderburg again delivered a clutch hit to plate the Patriots’ sixth run. After Jake Omedeo was hit by pitch to load the bases, Byrd drew a walk which forced in MA’s seventh run.
MA stretched the lead to 8-0 in the third after Childers was hit by pitch, stole second and scored when Hunter Bolden doubled.
James turned in his best performance of the season on the mound, according to Coach Ray. Battling flu-like symptoms, he battled through five innings, allowing only one hit, which came in his last inning of work. He walked three and struck out five. The only Raiders run came in the fifth, after a single and two infield errors.
“Parker’s ability to go out and pitch under those conditions says a lot about his competitive nature,” Ray said. “He wanted the ball and gave the team everything he had.”
Jordan Brock and Will Patton turned in scoreless innings of relief, striking out two each.
The Patriots (14-6 overall and 7-2 in the district) were scheduled to host Lee (Clarksdale) Monday for a doubleheader and then host North Delta Tuesday. They travel to Clarksdale Thursday for a single game at 6:30. Friday, the Pats host Ingomar at 5 p.m. Next Monday, April 6, MA hosts Carroll for a twinbill starting at 5 p.m.
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