Thursday, April 9, 2009
Patriots stun Colts with last-inning rally
Marshall Academy earned a crucial split with district rival
Lee (Clarksdale) March 30 by scoring six runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to win game two.
MA entered this week atop the District 1-AA standings.
Lee 6 Marshall 3
With two weeks left in the regular season, two of the top three teams in the district squared off at Patriot Field March 30.
Marshall Academy, leaders in the district with a 7-2 record, faced off with Lee (Clarksdale), which entered the contest with a 5-3 mark.
The Patriots sent their ace, Chris Gardner, to the mound, and he gave them a great effort. But, MA allowed five runs to score on errors and could not muster anything on the scoreboard after the first inning.
“It’s a shame Chris threw as well as he did and had nothing to show for it at the end,” coach Johnny Ray said. “We had the right people in position to make the plays but just didn’t execute. You can’t give a good team like Clarksdale Lee extra opportunities.”
Marshall 9 Lee 8
“I have been around this game for a long time, and the ending to this one was one of the more remarkable finishes I have ever witnessed,” Ray said.
MA found itself trailing 8-3 entering the bottom of the seventh. A leadoff double by junior Tyler Childers was just the beginning. Joey Omedeo, Hunter Bolden and Parker James followed with singles to make the score 8-4. Josh Vanderburg followed with a deep drive to left that scored Joey Omedeo and then Jake Omedeo and Caleb Byrd also reached base safely with singles.
John Wesley Ray, followed with another single to make the score 8-7. Gardner reached on an error by the third baseman which evened the score at eight. Childers was hit by pitch which loaded the bases bringing Joey Omedeo to the plate. He responded with his second hit of the inning and third of the game to complete the dramatic comeback.
“Hitting is contagious,” Coach Ray said. “Once Tyler led off the inning, everything just gained momentum for us from there. This team is very capable of accomplishing something special if we can gel together.”
Will Patton (3-1) earned the win in relief with one inning of scoreless work. Jordan Brock also tossed a scoreless frame to keep the Patriots within striking distance.
Marshall upped its district-leading mark to 8-3.
Game three of the conference series was postponed until Thursday, April 16, because of weather.
Ingomar 6 MA 3
Ingomar came in to Holly Springs Friday with a record of 12-2 and ranked as one of the top 1A schools in the state.
The Patriots jumped to an early 3-0 lead as Childers knocked in two runs with a single and Joey Omedeo followed with an RBI groundout in the third. The Falcons responded with the help of a hit batsmen and a pair of walks to tie the score at three after five.
Ingomar countered with its ace pitcher, Josh Hodges, who is a Northeast Mississippi Community College signee. Hodges consistently lit the radar gun up with 88-92 miles per hour fastballs. The 6’7 senior is garnering the interest of pro scouts and could be selected in the upcoming Major League draft. Hodges struck out five in one and two-thirds innings.
“Hodges is by far the best we have seen this year,” Ray said. “It is good for our kids to see that level of talent. It will only make us better down the road.”
MA had its chances. The Patriots’ Vanderburg singled to start the sixth inning. He immediately stole second and advanced on a wild pitch to third with no outs. However, he was stranded at third and the score would remain tied going into the seventh.
Marshall again failed at its chance to extend the game. A pair of infield errors with two outs in the top of the seventh opened the flood gates for the Falcons to score three runs without registering a hit.
The Patriots wasted a pair of fine pitching performances from Patton and Jordan Brock. Patton went the first three innings, striking out five and not allowing any runs. Brock was the hard-luck loser, giving up no hits and three unearned runs in one and two-thirds innings of work. His season record evens at 1-1.
The Patriots hosted Carroll on Monday of this week in a district twinbill.
The Patriots (15-8 overall) play at Carroll on Thursday; at Lewisburg, which is ranked 12th in state by Clarion Ledger with a 15-3 record, on Saturday; and at St, George’s in Germantown on Monday, April 13.
Photo by Ronnie Day
Chris Gardner of Marshall delivers a pitch against the Colts.
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