Thursday, March 18, 2010
Patriots sweep North Delta
The Marshall Academy Patriots upped their season mark to 10-3 during a busy five-game week.
MA 3 North Delta 1
Patriot senior Parker James struck out a career high nine batters en route to his complete game effort as Marshall won its conference opener 3-1. James (3-0) went all seven innings, walking none and allowing six hits.
MA was facing Green Wave right-hander Jim Tom Copeland, who is one of the better pitchers in Class AA baseball. Copeland struck out 12, including the first six batters of the game, before Jacob McMinn reached on a single to start the third inning. After a passed ball and a sacrifice bunt by Josh Vanderburg moved McMinn to third, Joey Brock brought him home with an infield single.
The Patriots would hold that slim advantage into the fifth. The Green Wave rallied with a run of their own to tie the score. But, with runners on first and third, North Delta’s Gerri Lamm attempted a suicide squeeze that was popped up to James, who doubled off Bailey Guckert at first base.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Patriots’ John Wesley Ray singled with one out. Aaron McAlexander was inserted as a pinch runner and moved to second on Joey Omedeo’s base hit. A double steal attempt resulted in a throwing error by the Wave’s catcher Derrick Shawn, allowing both McAlexander and Omedeo to score.
James shut North Delta down in order in the seventh to seal the win.
“Against Copeland, I knew runs were going to be at a premium,” coach Johnny Ray said. “He will be one of the better pitchers we face this year. Parker did a great job of keeping their hitters off balance and we hit just enough to get the win.”
Brock was three for three at the plate and Ray was two for three. No other Patriots had multiple hits.
MA 6 North Delta 2
On Thursday the Patriots traveled to Batesville to conclude the conference series. Will Patton (2-1) got the starting nod in game one and turned in a masterful performance. Two unearned runs in the fifth inning would be all the Green Wave could muster as Patton went the distance. Other than the fifth, North Delta did not advance a runner past second base. For the game he struck out seven and walked only one.
“Will has been throwing the ball really well,” Coach Ray said. “I felt like this was maybe the best game I have seen him pitch. He controlled the strike zone from beginning to end and did not get rattled at any point.”
MA scored four in the second inning to take the early advantage. Brock doubled home Jake Omedeo, who had been hit by pitch to start the frame. Elgin Lafever and Vanderburg each followed with a run scoring singles. The final run of the inning came after a Green Wave error on a James batted ball.
Marshall tacked on a single run in the third as Caleb Byrd singled home Ray and another in the fourth on McMinn’s RBI sacrifice fly that scored Jake Omedeo.
MA 9 North Delta 3
Going for the sweep, MA sent Brock to the hill. He matched his two teammates’ previous mound performances, leading the Patriots to a 9-3 victory. In six innings of work, the hurler struck out seven, walked one and allowed six hits. Only two of the three runs the Green Wave scored were earned. Ray closed out the game with a scoreless seventh, striking out two and allowing one hit.
Brock upped his season record at 2-1.
The Patriots scored seven of their nine runs in the second and third innings to mount a comfortable 7-0 lead. Joey Omedeo led off the second with a double over the head of the Green Wave left fielder and scored two batters later on Byrd’s single. The big blow of the inning was Jake Omedeo’s two RBI single to give the Pats a 5-0 advantage.
Lafever, McMinn and Byrd had two hits each to pace the Patriots 11-hit attack.
For the series, the MA pitching staff struck out 25, walked two and gave up only 18 hits.
“When your pitchers pitch like that you know you are going to have a chance to win every game,” Coach Ray said.
“That was a remarkable performance from all three starters. That is what I expect from our upper classmen on the mound.”
Center Hill 5 MA 1
After three big wins in conference against North Delta, the Patriots traveled to Olive Branch to face the Mustangs of Center Hill High School. Marshall made a competitive showing but in the end fell to the 4A school 5-1 as their win streak was snapped at seven.
The Patriot offense managed only five hits, scoring their lone run in the first on McMinn’s RBI single.
Ray, an eighth grader, suffered the loss on the mound. He allowed three earned runs, working into the sixth inning before giving way to freshman Aaron McAlexander. Ray held the Mustangs in check for most of the game, striking out four and walking none. The Mustangs scored two in the second and didn’t score again until the sixth when they pushed across three runs against Ray and McAlexander.
“That says a lot about our young arms to hold a senior laden team down,” Coach Ray said. “They gave us an opportunity but we just couldn’t get anything going offensively.”
MA 5 Lake Cormorant 4
Freshman Dustin Allen went the distance on the mound, scattering seven hits to improve his record to 2-0 on the year. Parker James was two for two with a double, two runs batted in and two stolen bases. Ray had a pair of RBIs and was one for three at the plate.
Marshall will face Indianola on Monday March 22, at home. Both teams are undefeated in conference play, MA 3-0 and the Colonels 6-0, having swept North Delta and West Memphis Christian. The winner of the series will be the frontrunner for the District 1AA championship.
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