Thursday, April 12, 2012
Patriots lose two; big week ahead
By BARRY BURLESON
The Marshall Academy Patriots dropped two non-district contests on the baseball diamond last week.
MA committed four errors and handed out eight walks in a 10-8 home loss to St. George’s (of Memphis, Tenn.) Thursday evening.
The Pats out-hit the Gryphons 10 to seven.
Marshall trailed 3-0 heading to the bottom of the second. That’s when the home team got five of its hits and five runs.
Matt Rappa led off the inning with a double and Aaron McAlexander and Jacob McMinn followed with singles – McMinn’s scoring Rappa. Elgin Lafever’s bunt single loaded the bases. Dakota Dailey and Kevin Fitzpatrick followed with hits, and each had two RBIs.
In the top of the third, McAlexander made the defensive play of the game – a diving catch in left-center field.
The Patriots added two more runs in the bottom of the third to go up 7-3. Rappa again started the inning with a hit and he was driven home by McAlexander’s single. McAlexander scored on Lafever’s groundout to shortstop.
St. George’s rallied to knot the score in the top of the fourth.
MA went back on top 8-7 in the bottom of the inning without getting a hit.
Then the Gryphons pulled out the win with one run in the fifth and two more in the sixth. The Marshall defense committed three straight errors in the top of the fifth.
The Patriots left a runner stranded in each of the last three innings.
Evan Hickman pitched four innings and took the mound loss – giving up five hits, four walks and seven runs. He struck out three. McAlexander threw three innings in relief. He gave up two hits and three runs, walked four and struck out one.
The Gryphons committed three errors.
Leading the Marshall offense were Lafever with three hits, including a double, Rappa with two hits, also getting a double, and McAlexander with two singles. Adding a hit each were Dailey, Fitzpatrick and McMinn.
The Pats had only two hits after the third inning.
MA vs. Southaven
Class AA Marshall Academy let a 4-2 lead in the late innings slip away Saturday afternoon at Class 6A public school Southaven and lost the game 6-4.
Lafever, Fitzpatrick and Rappa were the leading hitters with two each. Dailey had a double. Hickman, Vince Hoyt and McMinn each had a single.
Cole Davis was the losing pitcher. In five innings atop the hill, he gave up seven hits and walked one. Fitzpatrick pitched one inning. He gave up four hits and walked two.
The Patriots, 11-12 overall against a schedule filled with much bigger schools, goes into a huge week to wrap up the regular season.
“We are a lot better baseball team than our record indicates,” coach Bart Jenkins said. “The kids are playing hard. Please come out and support them this week.”
They hosted District 1-AA foe Indianola Academy Monday in a make-up game. Next up is a three-game series versus rival Kirk Academy with the district championship on the line. MA went to Grenada Tuesday for a single game, and then hosts the Raiders Thursday at 4 p.m. for a doubleheader.
The top two teams from the district advance to the state playoffs.
The Patriots will host Harding Academy (of Memphis) Friday with the B-game starting at 4 p.m. They will travel to Lafayette Saturday (at a time to be announced).
The state playoffs start next week. The District 1-AA champion will receive a first-round bye and not play until the following week. The District 1-AA runner-up will meet the District 2-AA champion in a best two-of-three series next week.
Marshall hosts Kirk Thursday at 4 p.m. in a big District 1-AA doubleheader.
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