Pay, Magnolia Top John Marshall

GLEN DALE – With streaking Magnolia paying a visit, the last thing struggling John Marshall needed Monday was to do Coach Dave Cisar and Magnolia any favors.

However, in winning just five times in 17 games, the Monarchs have had major problems getting out of the first inning without finding themselves in a hole.

Those problems were not rectified against the Blue Eagles.

Magnolia pushed across three first-inning runs on just one hit and John Marshall was never able to recover as the Blue Eagles flew away with a 7-2 victory at Monarch Field.

”We got a couple of clutch hits and John Marshall booted a couple around in the first inning that put them in a hole, but that is part of the game,” Cisar said.

With the victory, Magnolia not only improved its record to 11-2, but Cisar’s group also recorded its 10th consecutive victory after losing two of their first three.

The Eagles sent nine batters to the plate in the first and scored three times, thanks to a lead-off Seth Pay single, a catcher’s interference, three walks, an error and a fielder’s choice.

Freshman Chuckie McElaney, who was more than efficient in more than four innings of work on the mound, had the only RBI of the inning, which also saw a run score on a botched run down.

Magnolia upped the margin to 4-0 in the fourth when Pay reached on a fielder’s choice, stole second and scored from there on an RBI single to deep short from junior standout Justin Fox.

John Marshall, which had eight singles, broke into the scoring column with a John Mirandy run-scoring base hit in the bottom of the fourth to make it 4-1.

But after two more walks, a single and fielder’s choice led to another Blue Eagles run, Jason Troy contributed an RBI single in the bottom of the fifth to make it 5-2.

Pay, who had a pair of singles and reached base three times, ripped an two-run insurance hit in the top of the seventh.

”I think that is the best Seth Pay has hit all season. He had some good at-bats and looked comfortable at the plate, Cisar said. ”I was also very happy with how my freshman pitched.

”He threw strikes and we made plays in the field, especially the middle infield. Then Fox came in and shut things down for good.

”We still have 15 or so games left so we are trying to get some practice in. We want to squeeze, run pick-off plays and even try to steal some early bases and we did that (Monday).”

Fox recorded the final seven outs, including four strikeouts, to get the victory in relief. Wyatt Persinger allowed only four hits through six for the Monarchs and took the loss, fanning nine and walking eight.

”We have been getting stung in the first inning all season long,” John Marshall coach Bob Montgomery said. ”It wasn’t a bad game, but Magnolia is a very good baseball team and just made more plays than we did.

”Good teams get big hits when they need them and we couldn’t do that early on. I think the big thing is that we got some good pitching. Wyatt Persinger did a real good job for us and we need to build off of that.”

Magnolia stranded 10 runners while John Marshall left six. However, with a chance to cut into the lead early, the Monarchs left runners in scoring position in each of the first two innings.