Marietta beats Morgan, improves to 6-1

MARIETTA – Jim Thrash won’t complain about being 6-1, but the Marietta High School baseball coach would still like to see his Tigers cut down on the mistakes.

“Again we dug ourselves a little bit of a hole and had to fight our way out of it,” he said. “I am pleased that we are able to do that, but I’m not pleased with some of our mental and physical mistakes we made early in the game.”

The Tigers trailed visiting Morgan 3-1 through 4 innings, mainly because of three costly errors. Despite the early struggles on a windy afternoon at Legion Field, Marietta rallied for five runs in the fifth and three more in the sixth to pull out a 9-4 win Saturday.

Marietta did bang out four hits in the decisive fifth inning, which saw 10 Tigers bat, but three Morgan errors were costly.

“Mentally we are weak,” said Morgan coach Jesse Apperson. “That was not my baseball team and that was not the players I know them to be.”

The big hit of the inning came off the bat of Trent Dawson, who plated three runs with a line drive to the right-center gap.

“I just had to see the ball in and hit it and trust myself,” he said.

Minutes before Dawson’s big hit the Tigers had tied the game at 3-3. A single by Turner Hill plated pinch runner Adam Bryan to make it 3-2. Hill advanced to second on the throw from the outfield.

On the play, Morgan first baseman Dillon Nesselroad cut off the throw and tried to make a play at the plate but his throw hit starting pitcher Colton Davis in the head, which allowed Hill to reach third. Hill scored when Danny Hiser reached on another error by Nesselroad.

Marietta added three insurance runs in the sixth inning when Brandon Neville, who tossed three innings as the starter, tripled home Hill and Hiser. Neville scored when third baseman Braden Hoskinson misplayed the throw from the outfield.

“We were able to take advantage of their mistakes and we had some big hits – Trent Dawson’s gap shot there opened up there for us a bit,” Thrash said. “And then (Neville) there in the last inning has been struggling a bit at the plate but he got on that one.”

Brandon Schamp, who pitched 2 1-3 innings of relief, improved to 3-0 on the season, while Davis took the loss in his first varsity start.

“Davis threw real well and that was his first time in a varsity game on the hill,” Apperson said. “I think he threw very well for a young kid. He needs to throw harder and he needs to throw more strikes.”

Thrash was also impressed with the Morgan lefty.

“With the wind blowing it seemed to make him more effective,” he said. “That breaking ball of his was taking some big dives at times. Our guys just weren’t timing it up.”