Marietta shuts down Liberty Benton
The sun was shining bright, everything was just right for the Marietta Tigers as they rallied for eight runs in the fifth inning to mercy rule a solid 14-4 Liberty Benton team at legion field on Saturday afternoon.
Adam Coil was his usual self on the pitching mound as he limited the Eagles to just one run on one hit and he stranded four runners on base in five solid innings to pick up the win.
“My goal was to stay ahead in the count and to keep the ball low,” said Coil.
“It was nice to compete and get a solid win. Our team is really building momentum.”
Marietta took an early 2-0 lead as Ethan Clark and Trey Brown led off the second inning with walks. Malachi Morten singled to load the bases and John Berry Wharff laid down a perfect suicide squeeze bunt with Clark scoring to make it 1-0. A passed ball made it 2-0 with Brown scoring to stake Coil to a lead that he protected through all five innings.
“We kept the pressure on them every inning”, said Tiger Coach Josh McKitrick. “And Mark (Duckworth) set the tone with a great diving catch on the left field line in the first inning. It gave us momentum”
With one out in the third inning, Trey Brown hit a liner to left center field that appeared to be caught on a spectacular play by center fielder Justin Garlick. However, Garlick landed on his shoulder and rolled up on his glove and the baseball and was injured on the play. Brown continued to run and eventually scored on an inside the park home run, as the umpires eventually ruled no catch, and it was a 3-0 Marietta advantage.
Coil was in command as he struck out four batters and walked three over five innings. The Tiger defense was the best it has been all season as they played errorless baseball behind the starter.
“We have been talking about consistency, and making all the routine plays,” said McKitrick, “and today we did.”
In their biggest and best inning of the season, Marietta sent twelve batters to the plate and scored eight runs in the 5th to end the game early.
Wharff led off with a walk, Duckworth sacrificed him to second with a bunt, Josh Martin collected his second hit of the game, Coil reached on an error, and Donovon Wheeler singled to bring in a new pitcher Brayden Wages for Liberty Benton.
The Bengals continued to keep the pressure on as Clark reached on a bunt, Trey Brown singled, Bryson Chavez walked, and Morten laid down a perfect suicide squeeze bunt.
Wharff followed with a two run single, Duckworth walked and when Martin beat out a bunt on a wild throw, Wharff crossed the plate and the game was over.
The win improves Marietta to 9-6.