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Bulldogs romp is still a favorite memory

Posted Thursday, March 10, 2011, at 1:29 PM

(Photo)
By B.J. Hargis The 2008 Union (Dugger) High School baseball includes front row (from left) Trent Collins, Blane Boyd, Dustin Howard, Justin Rowe and Branden Duncan. The back row (from left) includes Josh Davidson, Wesley Marshall, Tel Sherman, Gerran Wilkes and Tanner Reynolds. Not pictured are B.J. Howard, Logan Chesterfield and George Secrest. This Bulldog team set numerous records in a 53-0 victory over Eminence that season.
Once in every lifetime a sportswriter has the opportunity to be a part of something special. And in my case it was probably the greatest performance by a Union (Dugger) High School baseball team in the history of the program.

It happened on April 15, 2008 and the records they posted, including one that may have never been done previously or since, appear to still stand.

Behind a no-hitter from senior lefty Logan Chesterfield, the Bulldogs pounded Eminence 53-0. And along the way they broke or tied at least seven different Indiana State Records.

The one that stands out the most, is one that's not in any record book that myself, B.J. Hargis or Bulldog coach Clarence Johnson could ever find.

It belonged to Wesley Marshall.

"Weasle" or "Wheezer" as he was known to teammates and friends, put on one of the most incredible, yet unnoticed performances in the first inning of the game.

In eight official at-bats he collected six hits (a total that included two doubles, a triple, a home run, eight RBIs and six runs scored) including hitting for the cycle in the first.

For those of you unfamiliar with the baseball vernacular, that means he hit a single, double, triple and home run.

While I don't know the odds involved for a player to hit a cycle, I know they must be astronomical to do it in one inning.

It was such an unusual feat that it was Marshall himself that first brought my attention to it.

Sitting alongside me at the game was Union (Dugger) -- now Linton-Stockton -- student manager Trent Wilkes.

Marshall asked us if he had hit for the cycle and after some quick browsing of my scoresheet and Trent's we determined that he had done it.

I have yet to hear of it happening since or even before that night. Something Wesley is still quick to remind me of when we meet.

The second significant, yet nearly overlooked feat was the pitching of senior lefthander Logan Chesterfield.

In his five innings of work, he fanned 13 Eels and walked only one.

He didn't surrender a hit, didn't hit a batter and only allowed the free pass on a 3-2 pitch in the fifth that to this day I thought was on the corner for strike three.

Chesterfield threw a total of 65 pitchers and faced just 15 batters, something almost any pitcher would take on any day.

That total also included 42 strikes, that's a percentage of 64.6. Let's see anybody top that one.

When I talked to him about his pitching performance afterwards, the usually quiet and low key Chesterfield remained true to form and credited his team for the success.

Aside from Logan's and Wesley's feats, there were several other records topped that still stand and a couple of others that nearly fell.

Blane Boyd, who played several positions for the Bulldogs including catcher and middle infielder, scored a record eight runs while two others, Tel Sherman and Dustin Howard, scored seven times -- tying the old mark.

Boyd finished the game collecting five RBIs while stroking three doubles in a 5-for-8 showing.

Sherman ended the game with seven hits in eight at bats and eight RBIs while Howard went 3 of 5 with a homer and six RBIs.

Team-wise the records were piling up as the game progressed, even though Clarence and then-first base coach Josh LeDune weren't sending runners past first base on anything other than a hit.

The Bulldog total of 53 runs, 40 hits, 11 extra base hits in the first inning, 18 extra base hits in the game and 13 doubles in the game were all and still are records listed in the 2011 Indiana High School Baseball Record Book, which is put out annually by the Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association.

The 31 runs they plated in the first inning were a record as well. They added 19 more in the second frame before going quietly in the third and adding the final three markers in their half of the fourth.

Union (Dugger) also came up just short of setting a couple more state records.

Their 63 total bases is still second behind the 65 Bishop Chatard High School recorded in 2003 and the 43 official Runs Batted In is second only to Cowan's 51 set in 2007.

Individually there were some pretty solid performances as well. Though none of them will go down in the Indiana Baseball Coaches Association record book, they'll live for a long time in both my and their memories.

Chesterfield backed up his pitching performance by going 5-for-6 at the plate with a double, triple, five RBIs and six runs scored.

His battery-mate, B.J. Howard had about as good a game as a catcher could have offensively. In eight official at bats, the Bulldog backstop pounded out three hits (including a double), scored five times and drove home three runs.

Trent Collins was 2-for-4 with a double, three RBIs and scored four times while Brandon Duncan went 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles and four runs scored, Tanner Reynolds was 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs, Justin Rowe had one hit, one run and one RBI while George Secrest doubled in three attempts and scored one time and drove home a run.

In total, all 12 Union (Dugger) players who saw action reached successfully at least two times. And they also benefited from a dozen Eminence errors on the day.

Just for the record the Bulldogs did it against a total of four Eel pitchers -- and a team that was a willing participant in the shellacking.

At one time during the contest Eminence players were heard telling Johnson not to take it easy on them, to instead play the game out.

Sadly, however, their sportsmanship in the face of adversity also produced a sad ending to the season a short time later.

In the days following the game team members were so ridiculed by class mates that some of the players were suspended for fighting.

That in turn prompted a vote by team members to cancel the rest of the season.

Rick is a sports writer with the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached by telephone at (812) 847-4487. He can be reached by E-mail at rcurl@gcdailyworld.com.



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