A huge sixth inning by Dover broke open a 3-3 tie as the Tornadoes pulled away to a 12-7 victory over the Marietta Tigers Monday evening in an East Central Ohio League game at Don Schaly Stadium.
Dover sent 14 hitters to the plate and scored nine times in the pivotal sixth inning after getting a controversial out at home plate to end the last of the fifth inning to prevent the Tigers from taking the lead.
MHS threatened to take the lead in the last of the fifth when catcher Josh Moretto lined a solid single to center field but Tiger starting pitcher Adam McKnight was cut down at the plate trying to score from second base despite appearing to slide under the tag of Dover catcher Justin Crone.
MIKE MORRISON?The Marietta Times
During an at-bat by Marietta’s Michael Ullman (11), teammate Josh Moretto comes in to score a run during a prep baseball game against Dover at Don Schaly Stadium Monday.
With the momentum squarely on their side, the Tornadoes wasted little time in the sixth inning of taking complete control of the game.
Kyle Abel led off the inning for Dover with a long triple to the fence in right center field and seven of the next eight Tornado hitters reached base against the MHS trio of McKnight, Trent Dawson and Corey Hill.
"We seemed to let that one play at the plate carry over onto the mound and onto the field," said MHS head coach Jim Thrash. "Dover is a good enough team that if you let them get started they are very hard to stop."
The Tigers caught an early glimpse of the Tornadoes offensive prowess in the very first inning as Dover touched up McKnight for five hits and three earned runs.
Run scoring singles by Merrick Mamarella and Blake Blair were the key hits in the first but a key double play turned by the Tiger defense kept the inning from getting completely out of hand.
The orange and black began to make their comeback when they scored twice in the last of the second thanks to a two-run single off the bat of Michael Ullman.
After the rough start, McKnight settled down nicely on the mound for the Tigers as the senior right hander allowed just one base hit and no runs to Dover over the next four innings.
The Tigers tied things up in the last of the fourth when McKnight and Moretto led off the inning with singles and McKnight eventually crossed the plate on a wild pitch by Dover starting pitcher Ashton Hall.
The Tigers loaded the bases in the inning but Hall recovered to retire the next two Tiger hitters to keep the game tied at 3-3.
McKnight escaped a Dover scoring threat in the top of the fifth by stranding a pair of Tornado base runners to bring the Tigers to the plate with a chance to take the lead.
Brandon Neville led off the fifth for MHS by drawing a walk but after the freshman right fielder stole second he was tagged out on a ground ball to the left side off the bat of McKnight.
A wild pitch by Hall moved McKnight into scoring position and Moretto followed with a sharp single to center.
Tornado center fielder Cory Contini got rid of the ball in a hurry and fired a strike to Mamarella whose relay throw to home barely nipped McKnight much to the dismay of the Tiger fans in attendance.
After Dover scored the nine runs in the sixth the Tigers did a little damage of their own as they answered with four runs in the last of the sixth to trim the lead to 12-7.
A two-run single by Turner Hill and a two-run double by Corey Hill accounted for the four Marietta runs in the sixth but the Tornadoes brought in lefty Andrew Monaca to put an end to the Tiger rally.
Monaco did just that as he struck out the final four Tiger hitters to put an exclamation point on Dover's 15th victory of the season.
Despite the loss there were quite a few bright spots for the Tigers including three hits by Moretto and a pair of hits by Ullman.
"Those two guys haven't quite been hitting the way we expected them to so it was good to see them get going tonight," said Thrash of Ullman and Moretto. "Hopefully they will continue to pick it up."
The loss dropped the Tigers season mark to 10-9 with another ECOL battle on the agenda for today as they travel to Zanesville.
"We fought the whole game and if not for that big inning it could have been a little different result," said Thrash. "Hopefully we can bounce back tomorrow and get a win."
Dover spotted Marietta six runs before rallying to score a come-from-behind 13-8 victory Monday evening in a ECOL game at Dover.
The Tigers led 6-0 heading to the bottom of the second inning only to see the Lady Tornadoes score once in the bottom of the second and five more times in the third to tie the game at 6-6.
The Lady Tigers regained the lead with a single run in the fourth inning but Dover answered with five more runs in the fifth to take its first lead of the game.
Dover got three hits apiece in the game from Dani Murtaugh and Laurin Bingham and two hits each from Taylor Mathews and Meghan May.
Olivia Belkamp and Bingham both homered for the Lady Tornadoes.
Abby Harrison collected three hits to pace the Tiger offense while Jessica Mossack and Abby Brooker each collected a pair of hits.
Marietta will return to action today when it travels to Cambridge.