PADUCAH — A second inning offensive onslaught by McCracken County helped close the books on Marshall County’s baseball season Sunday in the semifinals of the First Region tournament at Edward Jones Field at McCracken County High School.
The Mustangs — six-time consecutive regional champions — scored six times in that inning to go ahead 8-1 before tacking on two additional runs in the fourth and fifth frames that would account for a 10-3 win and set them up for a planned Monday meeting with St. Mary for the region title.
After the semifinal was delayed several hours due to wet weather and trailing 2-0, Marshall County got on the board in the bottom of the first with a bases-loaded walk off McCracken pitcher Ben Higdon. Higdon was pulled after the score and Josh Tucker took the mound and forced two groundouts.
A pair of doubles helped McCracken (31-5) in their big second inning before adding to their tally. The Marshals got their second score off another bases loaded situation when Parker Gibbs was hit by a pitch. That was followed by Conner Mannon’s RBI single.
Ty Davenport led Marshall’s bats with a 2-for-3 day. Evan Oakley took the loss over six innings of work that accounted for nine hits and 10 runs (six earned) with a walk and two strikeouts. Gibbs struck out one and gave up a hit in the seventh.
Marshall County 3, Hickman County 2
Marshall County spread its solo scores across five innings with the winner coming in the sixth to edge Hickman County and advance to the First Region semifinals.
In Saturday’s opener at McCracken County, the Marshals scored in the second and the fifth to pull even with the Falcons from a Mannon sacrifice fly. In the sixth, Marshall broke the tie when Griffin Darnall hit a line drive to centerfield and Oakley from second for the eventually game winner.
Marshall County only racked up three hits compared to six by Hickman County off Marshal starter Clay Hale. Hale worked five innings with five strikeouts. Jace Driver pitched the sixth and seventh with a pair of walks and five strikeouts.
The Marshals end their season at 14-11 and as Fourth District champs. They will lose six seniors — Oakley, Hale, Darnall, Chase Gibbs, Brady Ives and Cameron Wyatt.