Manila routes Corning 10-2, advances to Regionals

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Town Crier Sports Staff

Manila used a clutch pitching performance from Chad Nunnally and some timely hitting as the Lions blasted Corning 10-2 Saturday afternoon to advance to the semi-finals of the 3A-3 District Tournament at Hoxie.

The Lions fell behind 1-0 when the Bobcats scored a run in the second inning on an RBI single by K.C. Smith. Manila rallied with three runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning to take a two run lead. Nunnally helped himself, leading off the inning with a sharp single to left field. Michael Shedd drew a walk and both base runners advanced to second and third when Corning pitcher Logan Hart fired a wild pitch. Manila tied the score on an RBI grounder by Jacob Britt and took the lead when Hart threw his second wild pitch of the inning, scoring Shedd from third. Manila picked up their third run of the inning on an infield single by Trey McCormick.

Corning threatened in the top of the fifth when Nunnally plucked Bobcat Jake Kegley with a pitch, leading off the inning. Kegley advanced to second on a stolen base. Two outs later, Michael Curatolo drilled a single to rightfield where Manila right fielder Trey McCormick charged the ball and threw a perfect strike to catcher Luke McLaughlin to nail Kegley at the plate, preserving Manila's two-run lead.

McCormick's defensive gem ignited the Lions, who erupted for three runs in their half of the inning to grab a commanding 6-1 lead. A lead off single from Jace Elkins got the inning rolling for Manila. Elkins stole second and advanced to third when Hart was off target on a pick-off attempt. Elkins came home to score on a Bobcat error and Ross Malloy followed with a two-run single to give Manila a five run lead.

Manila put the game away in the sixth inning, scoring four times with the big blow coming off the bat of Malloy, who drilled a two-run triple.

Nunnally improved his record to 9-3, pitching seven inning while scattering six hits and striking out four. Nunnally gave up two runs, one earned, and walked just one batter.

"Chad really pitched his guts out today," said Manila Coach Steve Milligan. "Every time we needed a pitch he got it. We had some excellent defensive play behind him. I thought a big play of the game was when Trey McCormick threw out Corning's runner from right field in the fifth inning. I thought that changed the momentum of the game. We hit the ball extremely well today. I thought the team played a complete game."

Malloy led Manila at the plate with a pair of hits and four RBIs. Nunnally finished with a pair of hits and scored a run. Frankie Cowgill also had two hits, stole two bases and scored a run. Jace Elkins singled, reached base twice by getting hit, scored two runs and stole three bases. Luke McLaughlin went 1-3 with a pair of RBIs and two runs scored. Michael Shedd, Jacob Britt and Trey McCormick all scored runs for Manila, who improves to 15-12 overall.

Manila opened tournament play with a 4-0 shutout over Piggott. Trey McCormick led the Lions at the plate, going 3-3 with a run scored and two stolen bases. Frankie Cowgill also had a pair of hits, drove in a run and stole a base. Chad Nunnally went 1-3 and scored a run while Kyle Evans scored once and swiped two bases. Nunnally picked up the win, pitching five innings of one-hit shutout baseball. The big righthander struck out nine Mohawks. Michael Shedd pitched a scoreless sixth inning before Trey McCormick finished the game allowing one hit in the seventh.

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