It was a fitting end for what seemed inevitable.
Pinch runner David Wagganer scored on a wild pitch, and Rock Bridge beat Marshall 18-8 in sloppy, six-inning slugfest Tuesday at Rock Bridge Stadium that ended because of the 10-run rule.
Rock Bridge’s Marcus Himmelberg walked on four straight pitches to begin the sixth. Wagganer moved to second after David Hall reached first on second baseman Lucas Moore’s throwing error to first. Wagganer advanced to third on a passed ball.
The Owls (2-11) committed five errors, issued 14 walks, allowed eight passed balls and threw three wild pitches.
“We scored enough runs to beat them,” Rock Bridge coach Terry Whitney said. “Defensively, I didn’t like the way we played, but offensively we hit the ball again. Pitching was OK. That’s baseball; some days it’s not all there. Hopefully, tomorrow it will all be there.”
The Bruins (11-2) also had opportunities to take a 10-run lead and institute the mercy rule in the fourth and fifth innings. Himmelberg and Tyler Critchfield grounded into two inning-ending fielder’s choices with the bases loaded.
“It gets a little long because we start messing around a little bit and just get out of it,” Rock Bridge’s Ryan Concannon said. “I thought it was going to end in the fifth, but I also thought it would be a closer game. They were good last year.”
Rock Bridge had 13 hits and batted around in the third and fourth innings, scoring eight in the third and four in the fourth.
Eight Bruins made five plate appearances with Andy Burks leading the way. He was 3-for-3 with a double, triple and three RBIs.
“They had a rough night defensively and we had a rough night defensively,” Marshall coach Greg Miles said. “They’re a good hitting ball club we knew that coming in that they were going to keep the pressure on us.”
Scott Dunwoody added three hits and three RBIs. Johnny Kruse and Concannon scored four runs.
“At the beginning of the year, nobody thought that we’d be putting up 15, 17 runs every game like we’ve been doing,” Burks said. “It really helps us out; it kind of relaxes us. We don’t have to worry about pitching in tight games when we get up by a lot of runs.”
After a 1-2-3, six-pitch second inning, winning pitcher Andrew Malson struggled with his control in the third and fourth innings. He hit two batters and allowed four walks.
The Owls capitalized, scoring two runs in the third and four in the fourth.
“We get up by a lot and then somehow they get back in it,” Burks said. “Once we get up by nine, 10 runs, we’ve got to keep it there and finish the game out early.”