Trouncing: Tigers drop 15-2 ECOL decision to Zanesville

After Marietta tallied a pair of runs in the third inning to go up 2-0 over Zanesville Wednesday at Legion Field, it looked like the Tigers might be on their way to their 12th victory of the season.

Instead, the Blue Devils scored 15 unanswered runs to put a damper in Marietta’s “Senior Night” and hand the Tigers their fourth consecutive loss.

An RBI-single off the bat of Evan Sawyer plated Corey Spanner to break a scoreless tie in the bottom of the third. After a base on balls by Ben Barnas, Nick Spurr grounded to second, but an error allowed Sawyer to come all the around to score and make it a 2-0 Marietta lead.

“We’ve got the lead 2-0 thinking we’re in pretty good shape based on our past experiences but it got away from us,” lamented Marietta co-head coach Jim Thrash.

Zanesville wasted little time responding to Marietta’s rally, putting up a five-spot in the top of the fourth.

Ashton Myers led off the inning with a walk and advanced to third after back-to-back singles by Tristan Rock and Josh Clark to load the bases. Myers scored on a passed ball to cut the Tiger lead in half.

Later in the inning, with the bases loaded and one out, MHS starter Barnas got a huge punch out of Will Weir, bringing to the plate Jake Phillips, the Devils’ No. 9 hitter.

After working a full count, Phillips ripped a two-run single to right field to plate two more runs and give Zanesville the lead.

“We talk about all the time, with runners in scoring position and two outs, what are you doing in that situation for us,” said Zanesville skipper David Balo. “You gotta get the ball in play, you gotta make the other team have to field the baseball and I thought we did that today especially with two outs.”

The rally was capped off when Zanesville’s leadoff hitter and starting pitcher Matty Lynn helped his own cause with a two-run double just out of the reach of Spanner in left to make the score 5-2, depleting the Tigers’ momentum.

“They took advantage of every opportunity we gave them,” Thrash said.

Lynn rebounded from a shaky third by throwing scoreless fourth, fifth and sixth innings. Meanwhile, the Blue Devil offense added three runs in the fifth and a whopping seven in the seventh to all but eliminate the possibility of a Marietta comeback.

Myers pitched a scoreless seventh to make it official.

Lynn threw six innings, striking out five and walking just one while scattering four hits. He is now 2-0 with the win.

“We were kind of using him more as a closer, and now we’ve got him in there as a starter,” Balo said. “Only pitching the number of innings he’s pitched up to this point, he’s got a live arm. We’re excited about him and what he presents and what he brings to the table maybe for a tournament run.”

Barnas hurled four innings, fanning four and walking four (one intentionally). The right-hander’s record fell to 4-5 on the year.

Adam McKnight, Nick Lewis and Devin Leister combined to throw the final three innings for the orange and black.

McKnight had two hits for Marietta while Sawyer and Spurr each had one. Weir was 3-5 with two doubles for Zanesville while Myers, Rock and Timberlake all notched two base knocks.

Marietta co-head coach Larry Burke remains in search of his 403rd career coaching victory with the Tigers. Burke and longtime Tiger coach Jim Jordan remain tied for first at 402.

“Anytime you can score that many runs against a team coached by Coach Thrash and Coach Burke, you’re doing a lot of things right,” Balo said. “I’ve got nothing but the utmost respect for those two guys. Those guys know the game of baseball, have been around the game of baseball. It’s just always a pleasure anytime you can be in a game and be around those guys. First-class people.”

The Tigers have two games remaining before the sectional tournament begins next Thursday.

Zanesville improved to 16-10 overall and 8-5 in East Central Ohio League play while MHS fell to 11-14 overall and 3-10 in the league.