PADUCAH – It was a long, wet night at Brooks Stadium on May 27, and it ended with a Marshall County loss.
But a last-inning rally by the Marshals made a 7-5 loss to McCracken County in the Region 1 semifinals go down a lot easier, coach Mike Johnson said.
“We didn’t play well up to that point, and then it was too little, too late,” Johnson said. “That’s what happens. If you don’t play well late, they can come back and beat you.”
The Mustangs inched away and kept snuffing Marshall County threats to score, and by the end of five innings, it was 6-0.
It was also approaching midnight, as the two semifinal games were delayed more than two hours by rain.
Marshall County finally got a run to spoil the shutout for McCracken County in the top of the sixth, but the Mustangs answered with a run of their own in the bottom of the inning.
Then in the early moments of Wednesday morning, the Marshals pushed four runs across the plate and brought the potential winning run to the plate.
With one out, Chase Bright singled and Hunter Jaco was hit by a pitch. Austin Johnson singled to load the bases.
Then Mason Wooten, the only Marshal to get a hit off McCracken starter Josh Scheer, smacked his third hit of the night, a double that drove in Bright and Jaco, and it was 7-3.
Blake Johnson grounded out, but Austin Johnson scored from third. Then Cody Clark singled to drive in Wooten. When Weston Duke drew a walk, that brought up Dylan Greenfield with a two-run deficit and two runners on base ahead of him.
The magic ended for the Marshals at that point, with Greenfield striking out to end the game.
Wooten was 3-for-4, with two singles and two RBI. He was thrown out at second trying to stretch one of his singles into a double.
Dylan Givens took the loss, giving up six hits and five runs. The big righthander struck out one and walked six.
Both teams had three errors.
The loss ended a 26-10 season for the District 4 champion Marshals.
Johnson remarked on the season’s achievements.
“We accomplished a lot of things that we wanted to,” he said. “We won the district championship, we won a game in the regional, we’ve got a lot of kids coming back next year. I feel like the program is headed in the right direction.”
The season featured a game in the St. Louis Cardinals’ Busch Stadium, in which the Marshals had a similar slow start and finished with a flourish, losing 8-6 to Hillsboro, Mo., on April 8.
“I think this team kind of found their way,” Jonson said. “They figured it out together. We did a lot of fun things – played at Busch, playing in Lexington. We learned to compete. I hope we can pass along what we learned to the kids coming up.”
Marshall 000 001 4 – 5 7 3
McCracken 102 211 x – 7 8 3
WP: Josh Scheer LP: Dylan Givens
Marshall Co. 11
Hickman Co. 1
PADUCAH – In a first-round game May 26, the Marshals broke away from a 1-1 tie with four runs in the third inning, three more in the fourth and never looked back in dispatching Hickman County.
Austin Johnson scattered five hits and surrendered only one walk in five innings to get the win.
Chandler Rogers was 3-for-4 to lead the Marshals offense. Mason Wooten was 2-for-2 with two RBI and two runs scored. Dalton Morton was 2-for-3 and Chase Bright and Blake Johnson were 2-for-4.
Dalton Morton and Dylan Givens each had a double.
Hickman 100 000 – 1 5 4
Marshall 104 312 – 11 13 1
WP: Austin Johnson LP: Austin Boaz