SLIDING IN: New Albany’s Tucker Marcum slides past the tag of Madison shortstop Ethan Leach (above) for a stolen base during Thursday’s game at O’Neal Field. The Cubs’ Alex Risk (below) misplays a fly ball in left field. Errors and miscues hurt Madison, which fell 14-2 to the Class 4A No. 6 Bulldogs. (Staff photos by David Campbell)
SLIDING IN: New Albany’s Tucker Marcum slides past the tag of Madison shortstop Ethan Leach (above) for a stolen base during Thursday’s game at O’Neal Field. The Cubs’ Alex Risk (below) misplays a fly ball in left field. Errors and miscues hurt Madison, which fell 14-2 to the Class 4A No. 6 Bulldogs. (Staff photos by David Campbell)
New Albany racked up 16 hits and took advantage of numerous Madison errors and mistakes to roll to a 14-2, six-inning win in baseball Thursday at Gary O'Neal Field.

The Bulldogs, ranked sixth in Class 4A, scored four runs in the second and five in the third to blow open the game. While New Albany laced its share of hits, Madison did itself no favors with missed plays in the field to keep the Bulldog rallies alive.

"We don't have the kind of pitching that is going to strike out 21 batters. That's not our game," Madison coach Shannon Barger said. "We have to make plays. We dropped a fly ball in the outfield, we had three or four errors. We just can't do that and be successful."

Madison starter Clark Vaughn allowed the first two batters of the game to reach but escaped the inning without allowing a run. He wasn't as fortunate in the second.

Brady Parr led off the second with a double and Brandon Johnson followed with an RBI single to put New Albany ahead 1-0. A walk, run-scoring singles by Tucker Marcum and Matt Sogge and A.J. Nixon's RBI groundout made it a 4-0 game.

Madison (2-3) responded in the bottom of the second when Ethan Leach led off by hitting the first pitch he saw over the left-field fence. Tucker Callis later singled and Alex Risk brought him in with a sacrifice fly to cut the lead in half.

But the rest of the game belonged to New Albany. The Bulldogs (8-1) hit Vaughn hard in the third, an inning that saw New Albany collect six hits and benefit from two miscues in the field. Nixon's RBI single capped the five-run inning and chased Vaughn from the game. Reliever Sam McIlvain induced Jack Shine to ground into a double play to end the rally.

Two hits and two errors led to a run in the fourth for New Albany and Madison survived another error and two walks to hold the Bulldogs scoreless in the fifth. But an error, a two-run triple by Marcum and a solo home run from Shine accounted for four runs in the sixth that pushed New Albany's lead to 12.

Madison, meanwhile, mounted little offense after the second. The Cubs grounded into two double plays over the final four innings and struck out four times. Derek Anderson singled in the third and hit a towering double in the fifth for Madison's only two hits over that stretch.

"We don't have the kind of offense that is going to pound the ball and score a lot of runs," Barger said. "That's why it's so important for us to play strong defense and make plays."

All nine runs Vaughn allowed were earned but easily half were avoidable had Madison's defense held firm. The senior struck out one and walked three while allowing 11 hits in two and one-third innings.

McIlvain gave up one unearned run in an inning and two-thirds with two hits, one strikeout and no walks. Jake Bell made his varsity pitching debut and allowed four runs on three hits with two strikeouts and three walks in two innings but only one of the runs were earned.

"I thought Jake did pretty good in his first game. We threw him into the fire but he had to get his feet wet eventually," Barger said. "And I think we've discovered that Sam (McIlvain) has a pretty good role coming on in relief. He threw well."

Marcum went 4-for-5 with five RBIs and three runs scored to lead New Albany. Joey Collins went 3-for-4 with two runs and Parr was 3-for-5 with two doubles and two runs scored.

Lefty Tanner Goller went the distance for New Albany, allowing two runs on five hits in six innings with seven strikeouts and four walks.

The loss was Madison's second-straight against ranked opponents and the Cubs get another on Saturday when they visit Sellersburg for a doubleheader with Class 3A No. 4 Silver Creek.

Switz. outlasts Shawe

Shawe's young baseball team showed significant improvement on Thursday but stumbled in the final two innings, falling 14-10 to Switzerland County in an Ohio River Valley Conference game in Madison.

The two teams traded blows early in the game before the Pacers managed four runs in the sixth and seventh innings to take the win.

Switzerland County led 3-1 after the first frame and went up 5-1 after the top of the second before Shawe came back with three runs in the bottom half of the inning and cut the deficit to 5-4.

After the Pacers plated one across in the top of the fourth, the Hilltoppers took their first lead in the bottom half of the inning, leading 7-6 after four. Switzerland County outscored Shawe 4-3 in the fifth inning, sending the two teams tied 10-10 heading into the sixth.

A couple of errors and some inconsistency on the mound for Shawe allowed the Pacers to get the final say in the game. Switzerland County scored twice in each of the final two innings and came away with the 14-10 victory.

"We had a real let down in the sixth inning and an error gave them a couple runs but overall I thought we had a good outing," Shawe head coach Matt Forner said. "We have improved every game and tonight I think it really showed. We really battled."

Shawe totaled seven hits in the game but spent part of the night taking advantage of the bunt. Kaelan Jines was 2-for-3 at the plate to lead the attack while Cameron Rampy came away with a successful bunt on a squeeze play early in the game.

"We never put our heads down and kept coming back," Forner said. "Tonight was the best game we've had in terms of bunting and we were successful in that phase and we also put the ball in play. It was nice to see the kids executing."

Switzerland County had eight hits in the game. No other stats were available.

Jines was tagged with the loss on the mound in a relief appearance. The sophomore gave up four runs - two earned - on no hits but walked three, hit three and struck out two.

Grayson Rhoten started the game and went four innings. Rhoten gave up six runs on six hits while walking five.

Shawe (0-6, 0-4 ORVC) hosts Rising Sun for an ORVC game on Monday.

Switzerland County hosts Madison on Monday.

Carroll, Hicks whip Cats

Zakk Hicks dominated on the mound and at the plate on Thursday evening, leading Carroll County baseball to a 10-0 win over Henry County in Carrollton.

Carroll struck early and often in a game that lasted just five innings after the 10-run rule was put into effect.

The Panthers scored two runs in the bottom of the first, three in each the second and third innings and two more in the fourth frame to put the finishing touches on the shutout victory.

Hicks was a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate with two runs scored and an RBI to lead Carroll's 11-hit attack.

Hicks also picked up the win on the mound, throwing a complete game three-hit shutout. The Carroll starter walked three and struck out six.

Justin Ray and Austin Dunn had two hits apiece with Ray adding two RBIs. Keifer McIntyre, Seth Hicks and Jacob Wise each had a single.

McIntyre had a team-high three RBIs.

Carroll County (10-5) visits Grant County today.

Oldham blanks Trimble

For the second straight night, Trimble County baseball fell to Oldham County, this time by a 10-0 score in five innings.

The Raiders fell to the Colonels 13-1 on Wednesday in five innings.

Trimble County (3-9) travels to Owen County today.