FULTON -- Superior pitching was the main feature of the Marshall first two games in the Fulton Tournament on Wednesday.
When the Owls had it, they beat Mexico in the first round, 5-1. When the opponent had it, Marshall dropped a 10-3 semifinal clash with the host Hornets.
Seniors Aaron Skinner and Jordan Pannell subdued the Bulldogs in the opener, combining on a four-hitter and striking out 12 batters. The Owls scored three runs in the second inning -- on sophomore Tyler Cott's lead-off single, an error, walk and a two-run double by Skinner -- and didn't look back.
Back-to-back doubles by junior Kyle Whanger and freshman Cody Creed produced the only run for Mexico (9-11) in the top of the third, but the Owls got it back during their next turn when Pannell doubled and came in on senior Tyler Hunt's single.
Sophomore Caleb Willis doubled in junior Darion Lawrence in the Marshall sixth.
In the second game, sophomore Dalton Horstmeier was in command for Fulton, allowing only one hit and fanning seven.
The Hornets scored its first run on an error in the third and got two more in the fourth on doubles by seniors Jordan Reynolds and Burke Echelmeier, followed by sophomore Cole Kettle's RBI single.
Reynolds doubled to plate two runs and scored on another Kettle single in the fifth to extend Fulton's lead to 6-0.
Horstmeier only faltered in the bottom of the fifth, hitting two batters and walking another to load the bases -- which Pannell emptied with a two-out triple. Horstmeier retired seven of the next eight batters he faced.
Echelmeier drove in a run with a single and Kettle followed with a two-run double in the seventh for the Hornets (10-9) -- who will play for the title Friday and then finish a suspended game against Marshall, which they led 7-1 on April 12.
The Owls (12-7) will try to capture the third-place trophy Friday against an opponent to be determined today.