Thursday, April 8, 2010
Patriots beat 6A Olive Branch
Marshall Academy continued its hot streak on the baseball diamond last week, picking up victories against District 1-AA foe West Memphis Christian and 6A public school Olive Branch.
MA 11 W. Memphis 0
Marshall improved to 9-0 in District 1-AA and moved closer to locking in the number one seed from the district with an 11-0 victory over West Memphis. One win in the upcoming three-game series against Kirk will assure the Patriots of a number one seed and fourth consecutive district championship.
Will Patton combined with two relievers to shut out the Black Knights. Patton (5-1) tossed the first two innings, walking one and striking out four. He allowed no hits.
The Patriots got on the scoreboard early as they built a 2-0 lead after one inning. With one out Elgin Lafever walked, stole second and advanced to third on a passed ball. Josh Vanderburg brought him home with an RBI groundout to the shortstop. Jake Omedeo followed with a double and scored on Jacob McMinn’s bloop single.
In the top of the third, Lafever layed down a perfectly executed drag bunt single to ignite the Patriots. Vanderburg followed with a walk and Jake Omedeo reached on an error scoring Lafever. After Vanderburg’s run was scored on a wild pitch, Joey Omedeo singled home Jake Omedeo. After three MA led 5-0.
Marshall tacked on two more runs in the fourth, fifth and seventh to secure the win.
Jake Omedeo was two for three with a pair of RBI. Joey Omedeo also had two hits and one RBI.
Parker James tossed two scoreless innings and Joey Brock kept the shutout in tact with three innings of no hit relief, striking out five.
MA 14 Olive Branch 8
In the first ever regular season matchup between the two schools, the Patriots got the best of Olive Branch 14-8 in a game played at Horn Lake High School as part of the DeSoto County Easter weekend tournament. Marshall jumped to a 10-0 lead after two and half innings of play, then kept tacking on runs to keep the Conquistadors at bay.
“I can’t say enough about how hard these kids played,” coach Johnny Ray said. “They never let the fact that Olive Branch being a 6A school bother them. They all played their hearts out.”
Patton got the starting nod. He was sharp through the first four innings, before tiring in the fifth.
“Will was hitting his spots with his fastball and getting his curve over for strikes,” Coach Ray said. “Against a good hitting team like Olive Branch you have to be able to do that.”
Against Patton, Olive Branch scored two runs in the third and three in the fifth. After issuing a lead off walk to start the sixth, Ray removed Patton and brought in John Wesley Ray. Ray was greeted by Keaton Hankins’ two-run homer but he settled in, retiring the next three batters in order, two by strikeout. After six, Marshall led 13-7
In the seventh, Cole Davis went to the mound for MA to try and get the last three outs. He issued a double and single, forcing Ray to bring in James to close it out. Three fly balls sealed the victory.
Marshall got on the board quickly to start the game as James hit a ringing double off the fence in left. One batter later Vanderburg scored James with a single. With two outs, Joey Omedeo reached base via a single and Ray brought him in with another Patriot base hit. MA closed out the scoring in the first inning by executing a double steal with runners at first and third, allowing Joey Omedeo to score.
In the top of the second, Brock reached base on an error. He advanced to second on Caleb Byrd’s sacrifice bunt and to third on a wild pitch. James knocked him in with a ground out to the short stop.
In the third, Marshall scored six runs, starting a rally after the first two batters of the frame were retired. Joey Omedeo hit a line drive that cleared the outfield wall for his first home run of the season. Ray and McMinn followed with singles and Brock, Byrd and James were each walked in succession. Lafever was hit by pitch forcing in another run and Jake Omedeo closed out the scoring with a single, plating two more.
After the Conquistadors scored two in the bottom of the third, Marshall answered right back. Ray walked and McMinn followed with his second base hit of the game on a perfectly executed hit and run, allowing Ray to move to third. With two outs Byrd scored Ray on an RBI groundout and James followed with a run scoring single. Marshall had reclaimed its 10 run cushion.
The Patriots failed to score in the fifth and Olive Branch pushed across three runs in the bottom half against a tiring Patton, avoiding the run rule.
In the sixth, Byrd singled and was removed in favor of pinch runner Andy Burleson. An error off the bat of James and a ground out by Lafever allowed Burleson to move to third. Vanderburg delivered with his fourth hit of the game, mounting the Patriots lead back to eight.
MA collected one more run in the seventh as Ray doubled and scored as Byrd reached on an error by the second baseman.
“I told the kids before the game that once we beat them it would be a feather in their cap,” Coach Ray said. “We did what we needed to do. We put the ball in play, ran the bases hard and kept the pressure on them.”
Marshall collected 16 hits in the contest, led by Vanderburg’s four for five performance and four RBI. Ray also had a nice day at the plate, going three for four with an RBI, a stolen base and three runs scored.
Patton picked up his second mound victory of the week and sixth of the season. He struck out six, walked three and scattered 10 hits.
“This victory just goes to show you what this team is capable of,” Coach Ray said. “If they will play together as a team the rest of the way, the sky is the limit.”
The Patriots’ win streak has now reached 12 games and their overall record is 21-3.
They hosted Kirk for a big district doubleheader Monday of this week. Thursday, they play at Kirk – junior varsity at 5 p.m. with varsity to follow. Friday, they face Millington at USA Stadium at 6:30 p.m. Next Tuesday, they play Oak Hill Academy at home – 4:30 varsity with JV to follow.
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