AMATEUR BASEBALL: Marshall takes down Bird Island

MARSHALL – On Wednesday, the Marshall A’s hosted the streaking Bird Island Bullfrogs in amateur baseball action. In a low-scoring affair dominated by pitching on both sides, the A’s were able to escape with a walk-off 2-1 victory. Entering the game, Marshall had not taken the field for a full week, and were looking to rebound from a loss to the Milroy Yankees on June 7th. Marshall’s overall record was hovering above .500 with a 4-3 mark, but that paled in comparison to Bird Island’s first month of the season. After beginning the year 3-3, the Bullfrogs managed to win their next seven games, and on Wednesday at Legion Field, it was Marshall’s turn to try and stop the streak. The A’s did just that, in large part because of starting pitcher Jake Leighton, who has emerged as a shutdown pitcher on the hill. Leighton got into trouble early, however, as three out of the first four Bullfrog hitters got a hit. Bird Island’s Shawn Dollerschell started off the scoring with an RBI hit to the outfield, and with one out, Logan Swann laced a double down the left field line, putting runners at second and third. Faced with two runners in scoring position, Leighton locked in, and got the next two batters out without conceding another run. At the plate, the A’s struggled to get anything going against Swann. The Bullfrogs starting pitcher retired the first seven A’s batters, before Cody Greve delivered Marshall’s first hit on a one-out single. After Matt Felton walked, Marshall found themselves in an excellent scoring opportunity, but could not get a run across the plate. It wasn’t until the fourth inning that the A’s were able to get on the scoreboard. With two outs, third baseman Barry Meyer singled and promptly stole second base. The next batter, Derek Schlangen, drove in Meyer with an RBI single that tied the game at one apiece. After the fourth, it was all defense, as Leighton and Swann traded scoreless innings on the mound. It wasn’t until the eighth inning that another scoring threat emerged, as Bird Island was able to get two runners on with only one out. Leighton pitched his way out of the threat, as Swann grounded into a 4-6-3 double play. The A’s grounded into a double play of their own in the bottom half of the inning, which set the stage for a dramatic ninth. Defensively, Leighton retired the side in order, which gave Marshall an opportunity to win the game in the bottom of the ninth. With one out, Meyer, who finished 2-4 in the game, crushed a ball to deep left field that sailed over the outfielders head. Meyer’s one-out double put the winning run in scoring position, but after a strikeout, he was in danger of being left stranded. It was up to designated hitter Travis McGlauflin to deliver. McGlauflin managed to make excellent contact, hitting a sharp ground ball to the shortstop that was mishandled. The ball rolled several feet into the outfield, and Meyer, who started the at-bat at second base, alertly rounded third base. After a play at the plate, it was determined that Meyer was able to sneak his hand onto home plate before the catcher applied the tag, sealing the walk-off win for the A’s. Leighton led the way for the A’s all game. He got the complete game win, giving up only one run on six hits, while walking two and striking out three. “Fastball and curveball were working really well,” said Leighton after the game. “My catcher, Matt Felton, deserves a lot of credit today, he was doing a great job behind the plate calling the game.” After this masterful performance, Leighton now has a spotless record on the mound, and three out of the five A’s wins. He is quick to credit his teammates for his early season success. “I let the defense do their work, the team is great behind me.” Marshall will look to keep the winning going as they host Luverne on Friday night at 7:30.

Marshall A’s 2, Bird Island Bullfrogs 1

Bullfrogs 100 000 0 — 1 6 1

A’s 000 100 1 — 2 8 1

HITTING: Bird Island (Swann 2-4, 2 2B; Trent Athmann 1-3, BB, SB); Marshall (Meyer 2-4. 2B; Jordon Kontz 2-4).

PITCHING (IP-H-R-ER-BB-SO): Swann (9-8-2-1-1-7); Leighton (9-6-1-1-2-3).

RECORDS: Bird Island (10-4); Marshall (5-3).