Thursday, April 14, 2011
By BARRY BURLESON
Marshall Academy baseball continues to dominate in District 1-AA.
The Patriots claimed their fifth straight district championship last week with a sweep of Kirk Academy.
“I’m very proud of the kids’ efforts and what they’ve accomplished,” said Bart Jenkins, in his first year as head coach of the Pats. “It’s tough to win any district, and to win five straight titles, that’s a tremendous accomplishment. I’m happy to be a part of it.”
MA, 10-2 in the district and 17-9 overall, will wrap up the regular season this week and then get a bye in the first round of the state playoffs. The second round is set for April 25-30.
The Patriots had 41 hits in the three-game series last week versus the Raiders and won two games by 10 runs and the other by 14.
“That’s the best we’ve swung the bats all year,” he said. “We had quality at-bats from all our kids.”
Game 1 vs. Kirk
Josh Vanderburg drilled a three-run homer to end the game in the bottom of the sixth by the 10-run rule. The final Tuesday, April 5, in Holly Springs was 13-3.
MA connected for 14 hits.
J. Vanderburg almost hit for the cycle, with a single, double and the home run. He had four runs-batted-in. Joey Brock also had three hits, including a double. Adding two hits each were Elgin Lafever, Aaron McAlexander and Kevin Fitzpatrick.
Jordan Brock was the winning pitcher. In four innings on the mound, he gave up four hits, walked three and struck out two. Dustin Allen and Joey Brock pitched in relief. Allen struck out one and Joey Brock fanned two.
Game 2 vs. Kirk
McAlexander carried the hottest bat in game two of the series Thursday at Grenada. He had four hits, including two doubles, and four RBIs. Marshall rolled 14-4.
J. Vanderburg was on fire again, too. He was three for three from the batter’s box, with a solo home run, and two RBIs.
Jacob McMinn also had multiple hits, going two for two with two RBIs.
The Pats had 14 hits.
Joey Brock picked up the mound win. He threw three innings – giving up three hits and striking out four. Allen tossed two innings of relief. He gave up three hits and fanned one.
MA scored five of its 14 runs in the top of the sixth to go up by 10. Then relief man Tyler Cook pitched to three batters and got three outs in the bottom of the sixth.
Game 3 vs. Kirk
The Patriots wrapped up the offensive outburst with 14 more hits in a 14-0 win over the Raiders to close the series Thursday at Grenada.
Six of the hits came in the fifth and all were pinch hits by MA reserves. Eleven Pats batted in the top of the fifth.
The only MA players with multiple hits were Fitzpatrick, Vince Hoyt and Chase Carpenter with two each. Carpenter had a double. Hoyt had two RBIs.
Dustin Allen blasted a solo home run over the left field fence in the second.
McAlexander started on the hill and went three innings to get the victory. he struck out four and gave up three hits. Throwing an inning each in relief were Cole Davis and Fitzpatrick. Davis gave up two hits. Fitzpatrick struck out one and gave up a hit.
Patriots vs. Jaguars
It was a lackluster showing for the Patriots Saturday as they lost 11-1 to Class 6A public school DeSoto Central at Southaven.
“Letdowns come back to the coach,” Jenkins said. “From the start, I put us behind the eight-ball. The lack of effort was my fault. I could have given us a better chance.”
It was their third loss to the Jaguars this season – the first two by 7-5 scores.
Marshall could manage just three hits off the Jaguars. Chad Mitchell crushed a double off the center field wall in the fourth. McAlexander and Fitzpatrick a single each.
MA’s only run came in the first off no hits.
DeSoto Central had 12 hits.
Davis started on the mound for the Pats and took the loss. Throwing in relief were Cook, Evan Hickman and Hoyt.
The Patriots hosted Memphis-Area Home Education Association Tuesday. They welcome West Union to Holly Springs Thursday for a twinbill starting at 4 p.m. They go to Evangelical Christian (Tenn.) for a 4:30 p.m. contest Friday.
Then they will have a first-round bye (one week off) when the playoffs start.
“I’m not sure how to handle that, but I think it will work to our advantage with the number of games we’ve played,” he said. “We can work out some kinks and do some scouting.”
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