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Wilson Central sticks blanked by Pats
Mar 15, 2007 12:00 am
GLADEVILLE — A quartet of U.S. Marines who presented Wilson Central's baseball team with a plaque in appreciation of the Wildcats' donation of baseball equipment to troops in Iraq sat in the third-base stands during the team's season opener with Oakland on Tuesday.
Those Marines did not come to the Wildcats' rescue during the game however as four Patriot pitchers combined for a two-hit, 9-0 shutout.
Tyler Burnett struck out eight and walked one while giving up both hits in the first four innings. Brett Wilson, Cody Barrett and Andy Morow followed him to the mound as Oakland, coming off a season-opening 6-2 win over Tullahoma on Monday, moved to 2-0.
"We knew coming in Oakland has a good program," Central coach Anthony Ford said. "They're going to run some guys out there who can throw it. We just took too many third strikes. We struck out, I think, 12 times and anytime you don't swing the bat, you're not going to score many runs."
Jessie Snodgrass fired the first five innings for Central and fell behind 3-0 in the top of the first inning. Back-to-back one-out walks [one of them was promptly picked off] was followed by a ground-rule double to center field by Tennyson Dodd. Marcus Barnes grounded a two-run single into right and Seth McConnell blooped an RBI single down the right-field line.
Snodgrass retired the Patriots in order in the second and third, thanks to a 6-4-3 double play in the third, before Spencer Sinor's RBI single made it 4-0 in the fourth.
Ford brought Nick Goins in pitch the sixth and 10 Patriots came to the plate and five scored on three hits, an error, two walks and a hit batter. Singles by Scott Ward and P.J. Polk each produced two runs.
Nolan Gray pitched a 1-2-3 seventh for the Wildcats.
Marty Bell doubled to begin Central's first inning and Heath Daughtery singled with one out in the second. A walk and an error loaded the bases before Burnett struck out the final two batters to escape the jam.
"We started four sophomores and a couple of juniors," Ford said of the Wildcats' youth. "We have six seniors on the team. We got a long way to go. The seniors that we do have are inexperienced."
The Wildcats will next play in the Wilson County Invitational which begins Thursday at Central, Lebanon, Friendship Christian and Mt. Juliet. The 'Cats will face Montgomery Central at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.
Mt. Juliet's Hill too steep for Blackman batters
MURFREESBORO — Like the nation's No. 1 college baseball team he will join next season, Vanderbilt-signee Taylor Hill started his senior season as a dominating force on the mound Tuesday as Mt. Juliet shut out Blackman 3-0.
The All-State right-hander scattered five hits and two walks while striking out eight in seven innings. The three runs Mt. Juliet scored in the second inning were two more than he needed in the Golden Bears' season opener.
"You always want to start on the right foot," Mt. Juliet coach Mark Purvis said. "We rode Taylor tonight. He's one of the best pitchers in the state so you got to do that."
Jeff Murphy walked and Lance Harrington singled in the Mt. Juliet second. Josh Cotham doubled home Murphy before Holden Richmond's groundout sent Harrington scurrying across the plate. Richie Hawkins' single drove Richmond home.
Mt. Juliet will join its local Class AAA brethren and Friendship Christian in hosting the Wilson County Invitational this weekend. The Golden Bears will open at home against McGavock at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.
Sports Editor Andy Reed can be reached at 444-3952 ext. 17 or by e-mail at email@example.com.