Mercy victory: Tigers tame Colts 10-0 in 5 innings

In a baseball game against Meadowbrook Tuesday at Legion Field, the Marietta Tigers did not get their first base hit until right-handed batting Michael Ullman pulled a ball to left field with one out in the fourth inning.

By then, however, Marietta had already built a 3-0 lead over the Colts thanks to quality at-bats, smart base-running and Meadowbrook errors. All told, that recipe led to a 10-0 Marietta mercy victory.

“We ran the bases very aggressively,” said Marietta head coach Jim Thrash. “We forced them to make mistakes which we need to get back to. We haven’t been doing that very effectively.”

It was a much needed win for the Tigers, who were beaten handily by Dover and Zanesville earlier this week.

“We’ve had a tough week or so losing that game to Dover like we did and then just laying an egg against Zanesville (Tuesday),” Thrash said. “We needed this one.”

Marietta showed a patient approach at the plate early in the game. Isaac Danford and Turner Hill led off the game with back-to-back walks. After Danford stole second and third base to put runners on the corners, Austin Hefter brought him in to score on a groundout to the shortstop to give Marietta a 1-0 lead.

The Tigers added two more runs in the second, with an assist from Meadowbrook’s defense. Again Marietta got a leadoff walk, this time from Josh Moretto. Zach Deskins followed with a groundball to second that was booted to leave everyone safe. After both runners advanced one base on a sacrifice bunt by Ullman, Trent Dawson lifted a flyball deep enough to right field to plate Moretto. The right fielder’s throw to home was cutoff by the first baseman, who tried to throw Deskins out at third. His throw was off the mark and skipped past the third baseman, allowing Deskins to score and make it 3-0.

After Ullman gave Marietta its first hit in the fourth, Dawson followed with a single of his own to right field. The right fielder booted the ball to put runners at second and third, giving Danford a golden opportunity at the plate. Danford cashed in with a deep sac fly to right to bring Ullman in and give the Tigers a 4-0 advantage.

Meanwhile, left-handed Tigers starter Jacob Erb was cruising through the Meadowbrook lineup. Erb’s final line was five innings pitched, four strikeouts and one walk. He allowed just two hits in the shutout effort and improved to 5-0 on the year.

“That’s Jacob’s fifth win,” Thrash said. “He’s been doing the job as far as keeping the ball down for the most part and letting the defense make plays for him. Today, I think the defense was flawless.”

The Tigers put up a six-spot in the fifth inning to end the game at 10-0. Brandon Neville led off the inning with an infield single and, after stealing second and third, scored on a base hit by Adam McKnight. From there, the Tigers scored five runs on four hits and two wild pitches. Neville, who started the inning with a hit, ended it with a bloop single to center that plated the game-winning run.

“Brandon Neville, who has been struggling at the plate, hits a ground ball to the first baseman and beats the coverage there to start that whole six-run inning,” Thrash said. “From there, we just put the hammer down on them. Just the little things like that, that’s what we need to get us going.”

Meadowbrook starter Devin Webb pitched 4.1 inning, striking out one and walking five in the loss. Webb and teammate Dalton Wiggins had the Colts’ only two hits. Dawson and Neville had two hits each for Marietta, while McKnight, Moretto, Deskins and Ullman all had base knocks.

Marietta improved to 11-10 overall and 5-5 in the East Central Ohio League. The Tigers host New Philadelphia Friday for their “Senior Night.”

Softball

Meadowbrook 10, Marietta 6

The Marietta softball team dropped a 10-6 decision to Meadowbrook Wednesday.

The Lady Colts scored a five-spot on the Tigers in the opening inning and led 8-1 going into the bottom of the fifth. Marietta scored three runs in the fifth to cut it to 8-4 but Meadowbrook quickly responded with a pair of runs the next half-inning to go up 10-4. The Tigers added two runs in the bottom of the seventh but could not complete any type of comeback.

Rebekah Haught pitched six innings for Marietta, allowing four earned runs on 11 hits. Shae Hutchison surrendered five runs (one earned) in one inning pitched.

Hutchison and teammate Abby Brooker collected two hits apiece, with Brooker driving in two runs. Haught was 1-for-3 with a double and two runs batted in, while Jessica Mossack, Abby Harrison, Samantha Wheeler and Shannon Haessly all had a basehit.