Travelers slug way to sweltering sweep
On the hottest day of the summer thus far, the Marshall and Macon baseball teams played to an extra-inning slugfest Sunday in the first game of a doubleheader.
Fortunately, the nightcap was shortened to five innings, which the host Travelers won more easily, 12-5, and claiming the opener with a walk-off, 12-11 decision in the eighth.
The Tigers scored two runs in each of the first three frames of the early contest, but were unable to shake Marshall. Doubles by Kody Johnson and Jake Wyatt produced runs in the top of the first, but Zach Bishop followed singles by Darion Lawrence and Tyler Cott with his third home run of the season to put the Travelers in front.
Kaleb Welch doubled in a run and scored on an error in the Macon second and back-to-back two-baggers by Ryan Claypoole and Welch extended the lead to 6-3 in the third.
One-out singles by Mason Paulus and Jared Harris provided led to a Marshall run, but the Tigers got it back in the fourth on Wyatt's single.
Lawrence led off the bottom of the fourth with a double and came in on Cott's single. A walk, Paulus single and double by Harris resulted in a pair of runs to tie the game.
A lead-off walk was turned into a Macon run in the sixth, but Paulus' solo homer kept the teams even.
The first two Tiger batters in the seventh reached on walks and Mick Garnett singled in the first of three runs. Marshall rallied during a do-or-die at-bat, which began with singles from Caleb Willis and Canaan Heinzler. Lawrence singled in two runs and scored on a wild pitch to extend the contest.
Lawrence pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the top of the eighth to give the Travelers a chance to win, which they did when Paulus doubled, was bunted to third base and crossed the plate on Willis' single.
Macon took a brief lead in the late tilt, an error setting up Garnett's RBI double in the first.
Marshall used three free passes and singles by Harris and Paulus to go up 2-1 in the bottom half of the stanza. Two walks and a hit batter loaded the bases for Bishop with one out in the second, and he cleared them with a double.
Harris' single to knock in Bishop made it 6-1.
Garnett doubled and came in on a single by Wyatt, who was plated by Claypoole's single, in the top of the third.
Johnson and Wyatt singled in runs in the fourth to reduce the Tigers' deficit to one run, but that was as close as they got.
The Travelers put the game away with six runs in the bottom of the fourth. Two walks set up Henry Tietz for an RBI single, and another freebie stuffed the sacks for a three-run triple by Paulus.
Devin Cott singled in a run and scored on Trent Toliver's double, more than enough for the victory when Heinzler retired the side in order in the fifth.
Wyatt led Macon with five hits in six at-bats, driving in six runs and scoring twice. Paulus had a nice day at the plate for Marshall (10-6), going six for eighth with five RBIs and four runs scored.
The Travelers will head to Boonville for a twinbill Tuesday.