Tigers rally to beat Zanesville
Facing a 3-0 deficit in the top of the third inning at Zanesville, Tiger head coach Josh McKitrick decided to go old school baseball. The move paid off as the Tigers executed three consecutive bunt singles to jump start the offense as Marietta rallied for a 9-6 win over their old Central Ohio League opponent. Zanesville staked starting pitcher Brayden Ziemer to a 3-0 lead after two innings as they scored two in the first and one in the second off Tiger starter Jonah Emery.
Ziemer cruised through the Tiger lineup the first time around, but in the third, momentum shifted to Marietta. Mark Duckworth, Josh Martin, and Adam Coil all dropped down perfectly placed bunts to load the bases. An infield single by Donovan Wheeler plated a run, and JB Wharff followed with a two-run single to tie the game at three. Wheeler scored on an RBI ground out by freshman Ethan Clarke to give the Tigers a 4-3 lead that they would not relinquish. “We asked the kids to make some adjustments at the plate, and they executed very well,” said McKitrick.
Emery settled down on the mound and held the Blue Devils to one run over the next three innings. The Tiger offense was cooking again in the fourth as Aiden Herb was hit by a pitch. Duckworth and Coil singled to extend the Tiger lead to 6-3. The Tigers added two more runs in the fifth with Clark and Aiden Herb each driving in a run and Marietta led 8-4 going into the bottom of the sixth.
Logan Offenberger relieved Emery in the sixth inning but left the game unable to retire a batter. Coach McKitrick brought Duckworth in from center field to relieve Offenberger. The move proved to be good as gold as Duckworth recorded a double play on a popped up bunt and a fly out to end the inning and hold the score at 8-6. “We stress defense and not walking batters. When we pitch to contact, we are successful”, said McKitrick.
The Tigers got an insurance run in the seventh as Wharff led off with a walk and scored on an infield out by Tiger catcher Jaxson Bigley to make the score 9-6. Duckworth nailed it down in the seventh to earn the save. Marietta 1-1 is back in action on today at home versus Logan.