The Tallmadge Blue Devils only needed the home half of the first inning to score enough runs to put the Marlington Dukes away in the Division II District Baseball Tournament at Munson Stadium Thursday afternoon.
The Blue Devils beat the Dukes 9-3 behind the pitching of junior Tucker Linder and 10 hits from its lineup.
‘’Tucks, he’s tough. We felt good with him having the ball,’’ head coach Kenny Linn said. ‘’He was even better when we got up right away.’’
Indeed, Lindner was able to pitch with a comfortable lead for the entire game. His team opened the scoring in the bottom of the first when senior outfilelder Andrew Bonnette singled to right center. Marlington’s pitcher walked the next batter and gave up a hit to senior first baseman Derek Frye. That’s when junior Matt Shomo stepped up and delivered a two-run single.
In all Tallmadge scored four runs to open the game. They added another four in the bottom of the second with Lindner slapping a single to knock in two more runs.
‘’We felt he’s be better if we got up right away,’’ Linn said. ‘’It took pressure off everybody. We’d been playing that way all season.’’
The 6-foot-5, 220 lb.Linder pitched a complete game to earn the win and helped his cause by going 1-for-3 with three runs batted in and a sacrifice fly.
‘’That’s something that means a lot to him,’’ Linn said, ‘’he works really hard on his offense too.’’
Tallmadge also received help from the Dukes who committed two errors that led to four runs for the Blue Devils, who will face Canton South Friday at 5 p.m. to advance to the regionals.