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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

NMCC explosion sinks Red Devils

Wednesday, May 3, 2006

(Photo)
Chaffee's Andy Hendrix tries to run down NMCC's Matt Whitehead.
CHAFFEE - The New Madrid County Central Eagles baseball team defeated the Chaffee Red Devils 13-3 on Tuesday afternoon at Chaffee.

In a game that was originally scheduled to be played at New Madrid, the game was held at Chaffee due to poor field conditions. NMCC was the home team on the scoreboard for the contest and the Eagles seemed right at home in the opponent's park.

Trailing 3-0 after one inning of action, the Eagles scored 13 unanswered runs to put the 10-run rule into effect after five innings of play.

NMCC pounded out 13 hits in the game and were led by Trey Sullenger who went 3-for-3 with 2 RBIs and three runs scored. Matt Whitehead also drove in two runs while Dylan Harris, Landon Lingle, Woody Smelser, Colt Pruitt and Kyle Marshall all drove in a run apiece for the Eagles.

"Our bats have been hot for a while," said assistant head coach Joseph McClarty, "but we have not found the open holes like we did today. We had a couple of clutch hits and were aggressive when Chaffee made some mistakes in the field."

In the Red Devils 3-run first inning, Brad Daugherty hit a sound double down the right field line to plate the first run for Chaffee. NMCC gave Chaffee two free runs on a throwing error by the Eagles third baseman with two outs.

The Eagles responded in the bottom of the second with a 2-run single by Whitehead.

NMCC took control of the game in the bottom of the third by scoring four runs. Two throwing errors by Chaffee contributed to the big inning for the Eagles. Lingle and Pruitt had RBIs for NMCC in the inning. After three innings, the Eagles led 6-3.

"That is one of our problems all year long," said Chaffee head coach Brian Horrell, "we have never come from behind all season. We got of the gates 3-0 and had a good start to the ballgame. I thought the (Chris) Hanback kid was throwing the ball extremely well. We made a couple of errors in the third inning, but give their hitters credit, they put the ball in play and a few of the balls were just off our hands and they found the holes. Then they stepped up and roped a couple. That makes for a big inning. Looking back on it, we could have very easily been out of the inning with a few breaks here or there."

Making his first start of the season, Lingle got a complete game win allowing four hits, one earned run, three strikeouts and gave up two walks.

"Landon did an outstanding job in his first start of the year," said McClarty. "After a rough first inning, Landon settled down and threw strikes. Our defense stepped up with some good plays in the field and that seemed to give Landon some confidence down the stretch."

Despite two errors in the contest, NMCC came up with two double plays that were big league caliber. In the fourth and with a man on first, a Chaffee batter grounded hard to Whitehead at second base. Whitehead flipped the ball over to shortstop Jordan Kimball, who caught the ball with his bare hand while simultaneously grazing the second base bag with his foot and fired to first to complete the inning-ending double play.

To end the game, Whitehead once again fielded a grounder at second and threw to Kimball at the bag, who did a quick relay to first to end the game for the Eagles.

NMCC put the game away in the bottom of the fifth with six runs highlighted by a 2-run single by Sullenger. The Eagles picked up the impromptu home win, 13-3.

"I am a firm believer that good competition will get you ready for district play," said Horrell. "We still have to maintain a winning attitude and right now it is tough when you get beat up day in and day out. We can hang around the .500 mark and still play great competition. We are just a couple plays away from being over that .500 mark. The group of kids we have are good kids and they will bounce back and really be focused for the upcoming district play."

Daugherty led the Red Devils on offense going 2-2 with a RBI and a run scored. Jerrod Steger and Andy Hendrix had the other hits for Chaffee.

Hanback started the game for Chaffee and picked up the loss. Hanback went four innings gave up eight runs, 10 hits, walked four and struckout one Eagle hitter.

The Eagles were without head coach John Jones for the game due to a back injury. NMCC head football coach and former baseball assistant Arlen Pixley filled in for Jones.

"We are lucky to have a coach like Pixley fill in," said McClarty. "Arlen is unselfish to come out here and help out. It just shows you what type of person he is. As for coach Jones, the Eagle family wishes his speedy return to the team."

Chaffee (8-11) hosts Kennett on Thursday at 4 p.m.

NMCC (9-7) hosts Dexter on Thursday at 4 p.m.