Marshall County secured the regular-season District 4 championship with a 4-2 victory over Murray Thursday, capping a 3-0 week.
The week before, the Marshals took a pair of victories over Calloway County. Last week, they won at home and on the road against Murray, with the second victory clinching the top seed in the district tournament. With a three-team league, that means they have an automatic berth in the Region 1 tournament, which will include the champion and runner-up from the four districts that make up the region.
The Marshals defeated Murray on Tuesday at home and then completed the sweep on Thursday. They opened the week with a win over Livingston Central on Monday.
“That takes a lot of pressure off,” coach Mike Johnson said.
The success of the 18-4 Marshals is contagious, he added.
“There’s a lot of confidence now,” he said. “When somebody needs to step up, it seems that somebody does. Everybody seems to have confidence in each other that they’ll get the job done.”
THIS WEEK: Weather permitting, the Marshals visit McCracken County today, and then return to Paducah on Thursday to play St. Mary. First pitch in today’s game is at 7 p.m., while Thursday’s game has a 5 p.m. starting time.
Mayfield visits Marshals Field Saturday at 3 p.m. and McCracken County comes to Draffenville on Monday.
Storms moved through the area beginning Monday, and Johnson noted that the weather has been kind to outdoor sports so far this spring.
“We haven’t had one of those [rainy] weeks,” he said. “This may be it.”
Marshall Co. 4
MURRAY – The Marshals survived an 11-strikeout performance by Murray sophomore lefthander Luke Brown to complete a sweep of District 4 opponents Thursday.
Brown drew a lead-off walk and scored on a sacrifice fly by Tanner Foster to give Murray a 1-0 lead.
The Marshals scored two in the top of the second. Mason Wooten reached on an error and came home on a ground-rule double by Cody Clark.
However, after a delay in the action, Wooten was sent back to third base. He scored on a ground ball by Jaco and Clark crossed the plate with the go-ahead run on a passed ball.
Murray again got a single run in the bottom of the frame to tie it at 2-2, but Wooten reached on an infield hit and scored on another double by Clark to put the Marshals ahead for good.
Marshall County added an insurance run when Chase Bright singled to drive in Dalton Morton in the top of the seventh.
Brown surrendered five hits and three earned runs. The Marshals added a fourth run on Tiger errors.
Hunter Jaco matched Brown in allowing five Tiger hits and walked only one, compared to four walks issued by Brown. Austin Johnson got the save, facing four batters in the bottom of the seventh.
Marshall Co. 020 100 1 – 4 5 1
Murray 110 000 0 – 2 5 2
WP: Hunter Jaco LP: Luke Brown
Marshall Co. 11
DRAFFENVILLE – Senior Austin Johnson had two doubles in a 2-for-3 plate performance as the Marshals improved their District 4 record to 3-0 April 21 at Marshals Field.
Dylan Givens struck out four in five innings of work, and Cody Clark and Johnson mopped up, each working one inning of shutout relief.
Clark was also 2-for-3. He and Johnson each had two RBI.
Errors plagued the Tiger defense, with eight miscues leading to four unearned runs.
Murray 002 020 0 – 4 6 8
Marshall Co. 013 304 x – 11 9 2
WP: Dylan Givens LP: Dustin Bevil
Marshall Co. 15
Livingston Cent. 6
DRAFFENVILLE – Mason Wooten was 2-for-2 with two RBI and four Marshal pitchers scattered five hits to lead Marshall County to the win April 21 at Marshals Field.
Austin Johnson, Dalton Morton and Cody Clark contributed doubles to the 12-hit Marshall County attack. Johnson was 1-for-2 with three RBI. Morton was 2-for-3 and scored three runs. Chase Bright was 2-for-4 with an RBI and also scored three times.
Dylan Greenfield picked up the victory.
Livingston 004 020 0 – 6 5 4
Marshall Co. 431 070 x – 15 12 3
WP: Dylan Greenfield LP: Braxton Bebout