Thursday, March 15, 2012
MA starts 2-0 in district
By BARRY BURLESON
Carroll Academy batters could muster just two hits in 12 innings versus Marshall Academy pitching last week.
Aaron McAlexander and Evan Hickman each threw one-hitters against the Rebels in 10-0 and 11-1 wins to start District 1-AA play.
“Both games were very, very well-pitched,” coach Bart Jenkins said. “Carroll battled well at the plate. They’re difficult to strike out.”
The Patriots, meanwhile, produced 24 hits in the two games.
“I felt over the summer we would have a much, much better hitting team this year,” Jenkins said. “We swing the bat extremely well, in my eyes.
“We’re even having quality at-bats when we’re not producing runs.”
The Patriots, on Tuesday of last week at home, scored three runs in the first inning and seven in the fifth to end the game early based on the 10-run rule.
Marshall had 10 hits. Getting two each were Elgin Lafever, McAlexander and Matt Rappa.
On the mound, in addition to just giving up one hit, McAlexander struck out two and walked four.
At Carroll Thursday, MA exploded for six runs in the first inning but could not put it away early. The Pats stretched the lead late and again won by 10, this one going seven full innings.
Hickman, who got the complete game victory from the mound, also had three hits, including a two-run homer over the right-field fence.
On the hill, in addition to just giving up the one hit, the senior struck out seven, walked none and hit one Carroll batter.
Other top Patriots from the plate in the 14-hit attack were Lafever, Rappa, Vince Hoyt and Tyler Cook, all with two hits each.
Game two of a scheduled doubleheader at Carrollton was rained out.
“It’s good to start out 2-0 in the district,” Coach Jenkins said. “That puts us in the driver’s seat, but the road will get tougher. It will be a grind.
“I’m pleased with effort, from top to bottom. We have to continue to work hard and improve, and it should be a good year.”
MA vs. Center Hill
The bats remained hot Saturday and the Patriots got more solid pitching as they beat Class 5A public school Center Hill 9-1.
MA had 11 hits.
Jacob McMinn carried the big stick for Marshall. He had three hits and knocked in a pair of runs.
Getting two hits each were Lafever, Kevin Fitzpatrick and Rappa. Hickman and Dakota Dailey had solo hits and a pair of RBIs apiece.
Cole Davis was the winning pitcher. In five innings of work, he gave up four hits and struck out three. He walked three and one Mustang batter was hit by a pitch.
Cook threw the sixth and seventh innings. He gave up no hits and no runs, struck out one and walked two.
The Pats scored one run in the first, one in the second, four in the third and three in the fifth.
The Patriots, 6-4 overall, are playing in the Oxford Tournament through Thursday of this week. Next Tuesday, March 20, they host Indianola Academy.
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