Marshall Snaps Texas High’s District Unbeaten Streak + Makes Big Stride Toward Locking Up Second Place
MARSHALL -- Texas High's glorious 12-game winning streak dating back to the non-district finale in early March came down Friday at Maverick Field.
Marshall capitalized on the breaks for a 4-1 win. A victory the club needed to keep Hallsville and Pine Tree at an arm's length with two league contests remaining for all District 15-5A squads.
The Mavericks (15-8, 9-3) simultaneously kept alive the chance to tie the Tigers (17-4, 11-1) and claim a share of the district championship. Texas High would have to lose its final two games and Marshall needs to win out.
"It's nice to get a win against someone that has beaten everyone else," Mavericks head coach Derek Dunaway said. "It keeps us in that No. 2 spot with a little bit of an advantage there. We're focused on the next game, not teams. This district, guys play hard every night."
Dunaway's team enjoyed four Tigers errors in the contest. One by one, the miscues eroded starting pitcher J.T. Morgan's perfect game through 2 2/3 innings and initial no-hitter performance through 4 1/3 full innings of work.
Two of Marshall's four runs were directly assisted by errors. A third mistake set up a third score while the remaining gaffe killed the perfect game potential.
Senior center fielder Trel Patton doubled down the left field line to flip momentum of the meeting in the bottom of the fourth. He created enough distance for shortstop Nathan Hicks -- who broke the no-hitter two at-bats beforehand on a blooper -- to get home from second base and tie the score, 1-1.
Luke Johnson followed Patton up by playing into what should have been a 6-3 putout. Instead, Texas High misplayed the ball and Patton screamed in for a 2-1 lead.
Trevor Clark took two bases in the fifth with assistance from an outfielder misreading the ball's trajectory.
With two outs, Hicks lined a shot to first base that was misplayed and Clark got in from second base for a 3-1 advantage.
Kolten Roberson helped add an insurance run in the sixth, a long fly ball to score Patton. Patton got on with a base hit to close a 2 for 3 night at the plate and stole second and third base.
"Once he gets on base, he creates havoc," Dunaway said of Patton. "He really does. Multi-sport athlete, he's finally getting into his groove with baseball. It's nice to see him slapping the ball around. For sure."
DeAndre McAffee was on the other end of the winning equation.
Marshall's starting pitcher went 6 1/3 innings on 86 pitches, allowing one hit. A nice feat because Texas High sent six batters to the plate in the top of the first and Cade Thompson scored a run thanks to a Mavericks error.
McAffee responded from allowing his hit, a hit-by-pitch -- and a third runner on the error -- to record 12 consecutive outs.
The Tigers only put three men on the bags after the opening frame through the sixth. Each got on board in a different inning.
"We knew we had to capitalize," McAffee said. "At the beginning of the season, we were kind of iffy. As we kept going and progressing, we've gotten better. We need to keep going forward."
Hunter Neal got the final two outs of the game, following two walks given up by McAffee while earning one out. It wasn't without struggle though.
Neal gave up a hit to begin his time on the mound, but the hitter got caught in no man's land trying to extend a single into a double while the men on base advanced one bag and held.
Thompson got pegged to load the bases. Then Colby Adkins got a chopper off his bat that looked like it was going to bounce right through the middle infield.
Marshall second baseman Jake McMullen slid inward to get the ball and fed Hicks on the bag for the final out. Texas High's Nick Kelly was crossing the plate and Kip Williams was rounding third base.
The Mavericks' win avenged a 5-4 defeat in Texarkana on March 29.
Marshall will travel Tuesday to Mount Pleasant before closing the regular season at home with Sulphur Springs.
Texas High also will be on the road Tuesday at Greenville before a senior night date with Mount Pleasant.
"I'm just proud of my guys," Dunaway said. "They're young and worked hard all year. There are a lot of juniors and sophomores out there. They're starting to become a complete ball club."
Marshall 4, Texas High 1
At Maverick Field, Marshall
Texas High 100 000 0 -- 1 2 4
Marshall 000 211 X -- 4 4 2
Pitchers and catchers
- Texas High: J.T. Morgan, Colton Russell (6) and Trevor Danley
- Marshall: DeAndre McAffee, Hunter Neal (7), and Cameron Haller
- WP -- McAffee
- LP -- Morgan
- SV -- Neal
- Marshall: Trel Patton