Slide into second

Noah Leathers slides into second base in an attempt to break up a double play Tuesday in the championship game of the district tournament.

A barrage of early runs by Marshfield and a dominating performance by Bluejay pitcher Austin Dobrick added up to a 10-0 loss for Salem in the Class 4 District 10 Tournament title game at Salem Tuesday.

Marshfield jumped on Salem for five runs in the first and two in the second to build a 7-0 lead. After three scoreless innings by Tiger reliever Garrett Connell, the Bluejays pushed across three runs in the sixth for a walkoff win.

Dobrick held the Tigers to three hits over six innings. Their only real threat came in the top of the sixth when they loaded the bases on a one-out single by Reese Dodson and a pair of walks, but a groundout to second ended the inning.

Still leading 7-0, Marshfield’s Brook Espy led off the bottom of the sixth with a bunt hit, went to second on a wild pitch, stole third and scored on a sacrifice fly to left. Thomas McIllwain walked and eventually scored on a wild pitch to make it 9-0. Then with the bases loaded, a single to left brought in the winning run, invoking the 10-run rule.

In the first two innings, Marshfield was swinging aggressively.

“They just hit. We hung curveballs,” said Salem Coach Phil Karr. “They were ahead in the count, and we hung curveballs and they consistently tagged them. They were sitting on them. They hit nothing soft.”

Dobrick is a collegiate prospect.

“Give credit to their pitcher. He’s getting looked at by colleges,” Karr said. “He’s a junior and they got him back next year. Sometimes you run into a special arm and we honestly hadn’t seen that velocity all year and it took us too long to make an adjustment.”

Salem finished the season with a 13-10 record. Marshfield (16-6) will meet District 9 champion Jefferson City Helias (23-4) May 21 in sectional competition. The sectional survivor moves on to Class 4 quarterfinal action against the District 11/District 12 winner May 23.

The Class 4 State Tournament Final Four is slated for May 30-31 at CarShield Field in O’Fallon.