Thursday, May 8, 2014
Marshall goes out in state semis
By BARRY BURLESON
Marshall Academy didn’t exit the Class A state baseball playoffs quietly.
The Patriots, in the third and decisive game of their series versus Benton Friday night, put together a strong rally in the late innings before falling 8-7.
“Our effort gave us a chance,” coach Bart Jenkins said. “It easily could have gone our way.
“Sometimes you get the bounces in baseball and sometimes you don’t. That’s the way it is.”
The Pats went to Benton Wednesday of last week and took game one of the series. Then they dropped the next two at home.
“I couldn’t be prouder of any group of kids I’ve ever coached,” Jenkins said. “The past four years I’ve watched this group grow up and they made a great run.”
The Raiders scored three runs in each of the first two innings and added two more in the top of the fifth to take a commanding 8-1 lead.
That’s when the gutsy Patriots began to put a scare into their Holly Springs visitors.
Tobe West, Thomas Faulkenbery, Dakota Dailey and B.W. Langston scored in the bottom of the fifth to slice the deficit to 8-5.
Relief pitcher Josh Mask faced four Benton batters in the top of the sixth, getting two pop-up outs and one strikeout.
In the bottom of the sixth, Dailey had two RBIs to get MA within one at 8-7. But the Pats couldn’t plate another run, leaving the bases loaded.
Mask shut down the Raiders again in the top of the seventh. However, Marshall was retired in order during their last chance at bat.
MA (16-9) had just four hits in the loss, with Dailey getting two of those. Faulkenbery and Andrew Herrington got one hit each.
The Raiders put together seven hits, four off starter Tucker Fant and three off Mask.
It was an error-filled contest with Marshall committing four and MA three.
The bats were quiet for both teams, each getting just three hits. But Benton managed to capitalize most on their chances and won 5-2.
The Pats went up 1-0 in the first, when leadoff man Dailey reached on an error, stole second and later scored on a wild pitch.
In the top of the second, the Raiders had just one hit, that coming on a bunt, but scored three runs.
The Pats tallied one in the third, courtesy of Mask’s single that scored Dailey.
Benton padded its lead with two in the fifth and held on from there.
Tobe West and Herrington were the only other Pats to get a hit.
Matt Miller went the distance on the hill for Marshall. He struck out three and walked two.
The Marshall Academy Patriots got home runs from Colt Lindsey, Mask and Chance Lykens and downed Benton 9-6 on the road to open the series.
Lindsey’s solo shot put MA ahead in the top of the second.
In the third, MA went up 5-0. Faulkenbery, Mask and Herrington had singles. But the big blow was a three-run homer off the bat of Lykens.
The lead was short-lived. Benton tied the game with five in their half of the third.
Mask led off the top of the fifth with a solo home run. Benton scored a run on a balk to knot the game at 6 in its half of the inning.
The Patriots got the cushion they needed in the top of the sixth. West and Faulkenbery walked. Then Dailey knocked them home with a double. Dailey later scored on Mask’s groundout.
Lykens, who went the distance for the mound win, faced just four batters in the sixth and three in the seventh.
Dailey, Mask and Faulkenbery led the nine-hit offense with two each.
Each team committed three errors.
Lykens struck out seven, walked seven and gave up five hits. Only three of Benton’s six runs were earned.
Benton Academy faces Franklin (La.) Academy this week for the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Class A state championship.
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