McKinney, TX- The McKinney Marshals got a bit of payback on Monday night. After watching North Texas Copperhead Chris Haney (Dallas Baptist) launch a three-run walk off home run in the first game of the year, the Marshals took their revenge on Haney, beating the Copperheads with a walk off single to snap a four-game losing streak to their hated rivals.
The Marshals (12-16) have had one of the better pitching staffs in the Texas Collegiate League this season. Unfortunately, their hitting has been less than desirable to keep them in playoff contention. Starting pitcher Josh Easley (Weatherford) picked up his first win on the year on his finest performance of the season.
Easley kept the Copperheads (10-16) in check for all but one of his pitches on the night. In the top of the fifth, North Texas shortstop Zach Voight (New Mexico State) got a hold of a pitch and sent it just over the left field fence for his first home run of the season. The solo shot would not get to Easley.
Counterpart Zak Hermans (Princeton) had his best outing of the season for the Copperheads. Making only his second start of the season, Hermans threw seven scoreless innings allowing only three hits to the Marshals while striking out four. Burch Smith (Howard College) had a perfect eighth inning in relief before giving way to Haney, the closer for North Texas.
Haney started out well, striking out pinch hitter Max Lamantia (Stephen F. Austin) to start the inning. Bryson Myles (Stephen F. Austin) singled up the middle on Haney, starting the rally. Despite a close eye being kept on him by Haney, Myles stole second, giving the Marshals only their second runner of the game to reach scoring position. Newcomer Zach Ragsdale (Arkansas-Little Rock) fired a shot into the gap for a double, scoring Myles and knotting the game at one run apiece.
With one run already across, and a runner on second base, outfielder Jake Atwell (Virginia Tech) needed only to hit a ball into the outfield to win the game. He wasted no time, firing the first pitch he saw from Haney to left field. Taylor Mabra’s (Texas-Arlington) throw to the plate was offline, allowing Ragsdale to cross the plate and give the Marshals that much needed win against the Copperheads.
Easley’s complete game moved his record to 1-3, while Haney dropped to 0-2 on the year.
Easley cemented his grip on the league’s strikeout title, moving to 50 after striking out nine Copperheads. Easley allowed six hits, one run, and only one walk.
McKinney travels to Alexandria on Tuesday, while the Copperheads will take on the Tomcats in Weimar.