April 24, 2014
The first two hitters in Marshall Academy’s lineup combined for six RBIs Friday as the Patriots advanced to the second round of the Class A state playoffs.
“We got Dakota (Dailey) and B.W. (Langston) in the batter’s box at the right time,” coach Bart Jenkins said. “Both are hitting over .400.”
Sparked by three RBIs each from those two and a strong seven-inning mound performance by Matt Miller, MA blanked Greenville Christian 8-0 to sweep the best-of-three series.
“We got a solid outing from Matt,” Jenkins said. “I’m confident that if he gets through the second and third innings, he can bring it home, and he did.”
Miller, in pitching the shutout, gave up five hits, struck out five and walked only one.
Dailey got the offense started in the bottom of the first with a leadoff hit. He advanced all the way to third on an error and Langston sent him home with a sacrifice fly.
Uncharacteristically, the Pats made two errors in the bottom of the second but escaped without the Saints scoring.
“We’ve played great defense all year,” Jenkins said. “Two errors in one inning is not very indicative of this team.”
Marshall added two more runs in the second. Andrew Herrington led off with a double, and with two outs, Thomas Faulkenbery walked. Dailey drove in both runners with a hit up the middle.
In the fifth, Caleb Jobe and and Herrington each knocked in a run with singles. It was 5-0.
Then the Patriots killed any hopes of a Greenville Christian rally with three runs in the bottom of the sixth. Dailey had a double and an RBI and Langston a single and two RBIs.
Miller faced the minimum three batters in the top of the seventh as MA advanced to face Delta Academy this week in the quarter-finals.
Coach Jenkins praised his team’s base-running and (Left) Matt Miller pitches the win Friday. (Right) Dakota Dailey touches second and heads for third. its leadership.
“We make very few mistakes on the bases,” he said. “It might appear we are not as aggressive as in the past, but we actually run better and smarter.
“The team morale is great, and the leadership on this team is unmatched.”
At Greenville on Wednesday of last week, Josh Mask had two hits and two RBIs and Faulkenbery two hits and an RBI as Marshall rallied to beat the Saints 6-4.
The Patriots fell behind 3-0 in the third.
“We had one really bad inning,” Jenkins said.
MA answered with three in the top of the fourth and one each in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings.
Greenville Christian plated one run in the bottom of the seventh but couldn’t complete its own comeback.
“We did not hit a lot of balls hard,” Jenkins said. “We left probably 12 or 13 runners on base.
“We executed the bunt game well and defended the bunt game, too. That’s the main reason we won, and that’s playoff baseball.”
Chance Lykens got the pitching victory with four innings of relief work. He gave up three hits and an unearned run, while striking out two and walking two.
MA was scheduled to visit Marks for game one versus the Raiders on Tuesday, The Pats (13-6) will host games one and two (if needed) Friday at 5 p.m. The winner of this series moves on to face either Benton or Carroll in the north half title series.
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