Trojans outscore Mustangs, 10-7
West defeats East in Marshall County slugfest
STATE CENTER — A busy week of action for East Marshall and West Marshall meant Thursday night’s game between the cross-county rivals was going to be a bit of a wild card.
West Marshall coach Jerod Brown said these games are always close, no matter the records or talent levels of the two teams.
He was right — a game marked by its oddities led to the Trojans winning a 10-7 down-to-the-wire contest.
Neither team had strong defensive starts, as East Marshall led off the game with three runs on three hits and a West Marshall error. The Trojans scored two runs of their own to stay in the contest thanks to a Peyton Hart home run, and after giving up one more run Trojan starter Dru Wilder was able to turn things around and held the Mustangs scoreless for the next three innings.
Brown gave credit to Wilder for keeping the Mustangs at bay.
“He got off to a poor start, we didn’t play good defense behind him either, it was as a team,” Brown said. “But Dru did a nice job of, he didn’t have his best stuff tonight, but in a week like this we needed him to chew innings and stay in the game. He threw up three zeros in the third, fourth and fifth after the rough start and those made a huge difference in the game.”
The Trojans scored four in the second inning, as Owen Siegert, Hart, Parker Reese and Kaden Davis all touched home plate. At times the Trojans have struggled at the plate, and Brown said the team still had some sloppy at-bats. But they were in the lead, and tacked on another run through Kinnick Christensen, who brought home Cody Braddy.
The 7-4 scoreline stayed the same for the next three innings, as East Marshall reliever Blake Fisher gave up one run in his first four innings of action. His off-speed pitches and control threw the Trojans off and kept the Mustangs in the game. Jordan Swift led the team with two hits.
Head coach Justin Frost was very complimentary of Fisher’s relief work.
“We gave ourselves a chance,” Frost said. “Blake did a really good job keeping them off-balance. Spun his breaking ball in nice, his fastball is deceiving and it moves a lot.”
After the fifth inning, Wilder’s work was done. Reliever Will Dawley came in for the top of the sixth. It was there that East Marshall tied up the game. Landon Elliott, Colton Robinson and Blaine Augspurger touched home. The Mustangs had all the momentum. But Hart made a critical stop at second base to get the third out of the inning while the bases were loaded, saving the Trojans from falling behind. East Marshall had seven hits in the game — Elliott a
Hart’s key play allowed for the clutch inning West Marshall had at the plate.
Dru Wilder walked to get on base, and pinch runner Dakota Cobb was brought home by Braddy’s second hit of the night. Braddy himself was brought home by Parker Reese. Reese then scored on a triple by Siegert. The Trojans had a three-run cushion and plenty of momentum. The Trojans finished the game with 11 hits — Braddy, Siegert, Clay Cuva and Christensen had two hits apiece.
Cuva closed out the game in the top of the seventh by throwing a scoreless inning.
Brown was happy with how the Trojans closed out the game despite what he called a poor performance overall.
“At the end of the game, we really made some key plays,” Brown said. “Throughout the game we didn’t pitch well, didn’t play defense well and took some sketchy approaches at the plate. But Hart made a huge play to get us out of the sixth inning, and then we put together some good at-bats. That was the biggest thing.”
West Marshall hosts a doubleheader with Class 2A No. 2 Roland-Story, while the Mustangs play GMG in Gilman.