Toppers win opening round of tournament
Marion got a strong pitching performance from Nick Alsbrook and the Topper's offense jumped on Popular Bluff early before going on to post a 7-2 win in the opening round of the Paragould Glen Sain GMC tournament held at Francs Bland Park this past weekend.
Poplar Bluff looked to get on the board in the top of the first inning as they loaded the bases with two outs before a line out left the bases loaded. The Toppers plated four in their half of the opening inning. Gavin Stone opened with a single as Cam Smith flew out. Blake Daniels singled and Stone went to third after the fielder bobbled the ball. Alsbrook helped his own cause as he lifted a sacrifice fly that scored Stone. Nolan Smith singled and was followed by Kollin Stone's single that plated Daniels to make it 2-0 Toppers. Trent Johns reached on an error before Matt Fraser was caught looking for out three. Poplar Bluff got a runner on via an error with one out only to see Alsbrook strikeout the next two batters.
Bryce Logan reached on an error to lead off the second inning for Marion before stealing second base to get in scoring position. Gavin Stone grounded out moving Logan to third before Cam Smith scored Logan with a sacrifice fly to make it 5-0 Toppers. Daniels reached on an error before being forced at second on Alsbrook's fielder's choice grounder.
Alsbrook retired the side in order in the top of the third as Marion added two more runs in the bottom of the third to make the score 7-0 Toppers. Nolan Smith reached on an error to lead off before and was followed by Kollin Stone with a single. Both runners advanced a base on a passed ball and both scored on a single from Johns. Fraser grounded out as Logan lined out with Johns being caught to far off base and was doubled off to end the inning.
Poplar Bluff got a runner on with two outs before a line out left him stranaded. Gavin Stone popped out for the Toppers to start the bottom of the fourth inning before Cam Smith and Daniels got back to back singles. Alsbrook struck out and Nolan Smith grounded out leaving the runners on base.
Poplar Bluff took advantage of two errors along with a base hit to score two runs in the top of the fifth inning to make the score 7-2 Marion. Kollin Stone struck out leading off the inning for the Toppers as Johns followed with a single. Larkey Dotson lined out and Logan flew out to leave the runner on base and keep the score 7-2 Marion. Poplar Bluff went three up three down in the top of the sixth inning as Gavin Stone grounded out to lead off the bottom of the sixth inning for Marion. Cam Smith singled only to be forced out on a fielder's choice ground ball from Daniels. Alsbrook grounded out to end the inning.
Kollin Stone came on to pitch the seventh inning for the Toppers retiring the side in order to give Marion the 7-2 win and advancing them to the next round of the tournament.
Alsbrook got the win for Marion as he pitched six innings while giving up two runs on two hits with three walks, four strikeouts and two hit batsmen. Kollin Stone tossed one inning allowing on runs and no hits with one strikeout.
Johns led the Toppers at the plate with two hits and two RBIs as Kollin Stone added two hits, two runs scored and a RBI. Daniels finished with two hits and a run scored, Cam Smith had two hits and a RBI, Nolan Smith had a hit and two runs scored, Gavin Stone had a hit and run scored, Logan had a run scored and a stolen base as Alsbrook scored a run.