Bases-loaded hit absent for Marietta baseball

MARIETTA – A timely hit probably would’ve benefitted Marietta High.

The Tigers had the bases loaded in their last at-bats but came up empty and dropped a 3-2 decision to Zanesville Monday night in East Central Ohio League baseball action at Legion Field.

“That’s a game that we probably should’ve won,” said MHS skipper Josh McKitrick.

“Corbin (Alkire) pitched a heckuva game, but we don’t help him out.

“We gave ourselves opportunities by getting guys on base. But we popped too many balls up. Guys were trying to kill the ball. We stress with these guys to get the ball on the ground and make the other team field it.”

MHS fell to 7-3 overall and 2-3 in the ECOL, while Zanesville improved to 4-5 and 3-2.

The left-handed-throwing Alkire threw a complete game, fanning five, walking two, and allowing five hits. Offensively, Cole Alkire, the pitcher’s fraternal twin, was 3 for 3 with a run-batted-in. Justin Thompson added two hits, while Derek Duckworth was credited with an RBI.

ZHS southpaw Darrick Gibbons pitched a complete-game win. In seven innings of work, the Blue Devil senior struck out four, walked one, and scattered nine singles.

“He pitched his butt off,” said veteran Zanesville boss Dave Balo.

“He’s been our bulldog for two years. He doesn’t have overpowering stuff by no stretch. But he throws a lot of strikes and mixes it up — and holds his runners well.”

Adam Mumaw, Brody Rutledge, and Andruw Hardin each drove in a run for the winners.

Capitalizing on a Marietta miscue, Zanesville touched Corbin Alkire for two runs in the top of the first with Rutledge and Hardin each singling home a run.

In the bottom of the second, though, MHS came back and tied the score at 2-all. Leading off, Jarrett Jackson singled to left, and advanced to second and third on bunt hits by Dakota Miller and Thompson. Jackson then scored the Tigers’ first run of the contest when Derek Duckworth worked Gibbons for a walk.

Next up, Cole Alkire also beat out a bunt to plate Miller with the equalizer.

“The second inning was beautiful,” McKitrick said. “We did everything right, and that’s why we’ve been winning games. We’ve been doing those things.”

Marietta might have gotten more runs in the inning if Mark Duckworth hadn’t lined into a double play at first base.

“That was just a tough play there,” McKitrick said. “Even if he (Cole Alkire) freezes, he’s probably doubled up.”

Zanesville regained the advantage, 3-2, in the top of the fifth. Leading off Ben Everson beat out an infield hit and went to second on Avery Parmer’s sacrifice bunt. Everson then moved up another base on Slade Norris’ single to left, and then legged it home on Mumaw’s deep fly to center.

In the bottom of the seventh, Cole Alkire opened up the frame with a single to left and advanced to second when Mark Duckworth’s sacrifice bunt was misplayed by the Blue Devil pitcher.

Bearing down, Gibbons retired the next two Tiger batters, and then intentionally walked Corbin Alkire to fill the bases. The ZHS lefty then got Jackson to ground to short for the final out.

“It was a good win, and I give our kids a lot of credit,” Balo said.