Malden (2-6) got on the scoreboard first in the top of the second inning on an RBI groundout by Blakely Cook that scored Sean Merritt. Merritt opened the inning with a solid double of East Prairie starter Jordan Mansfield.
The Greenwave tacked on two more runs in the top of the third on a two-run home run by Cody Collins, that barely got over the left field fence. Ryan McGee scored after reaching base on a fielding error by the Eagles.
East Prairie was without the services of pitcher/first basemen Zach Secoy, who was out with a sickness. Without Secoy, the Eagles bats seemed lifeless to start the contest.
"For whatever reason," said East Prairie head coach Gary Scott, "we came out flat. We were lethargic and it seemed we just went through the motions. Malden came out ready to play. They out hit and out played us."
The Eagles got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the third on a RBI single by Taylor White. The single scored Caleb Hatton who induced a one-out walk and got into scoring position by stealing second base. Malden led 3-1 heading into the fourth inning.
Malden extended their lead in the top of the fourth. Kaleb Loughans started the fourth off with a walk, followed by a double by Cook. After getting a fly out, Mansfield walked the bases full with only one out in the inning.
Matt Noe drove in the first run of the fourth with a groundout. McGee followed with a two RBI single to extend the Greenwave lead to 6-1.
East Prairie was on the ropes again in the top of the fifth inning. Craig Jones opened the fifth with a walk, followed by a Merritt double to the gap. Jones tried to score all the way from first base, but was gunned down at the plate on a good relay from the Eagles.
The Greenwave did plate a run in the fifth on a ground out RBI by Loughans, who drove in Merritt. Heading into the bottom of the fifth, Malden led 7-1.
The Eagles finally woke up in the bottom half of the fifth. Hatton opened the inning with a walk and scored on a one-out double by White. With two outs, Perry Lucas hit a double that one-hopped the left field fence scoring White.
Kaleb Williford drove in Lucas with an RBI single and the Eagles trailed 7-4. Excellent defense by Malden prevented a fifth run from being scored by East Prairie. Mitchell Aters hit a bounding ball over the pitcher that seemed to be heading for center field. However, Noe at second base made a nice sliding grab and threw Aters out at first by a half step.
Malden starter Casey Gray went five strong innings and allowed six hits, four walks and struck out three. Merritt came in the final two innings and shut down the Eagles to pick up the save.
"We came alive late but it was too late," said Scott. "Hopefully this loss will remind our kids that we are not good enough to wait to the later innings to try and do something. Give credit to Malden, they were ready from the first pitch. We have got to come ready to play day in and day out."
White went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and Lucas went 2-4 with an RBI to lead the Eagles at the plate. Mansfield took the loss going four innings allowing seven hits, walked three and recorded a strikeout.
In a game played last Friday, East Prairie defeated Delta, 16-0. Aters threw a no-hitter while walking three and struck out six on 66 pitches.
Secoy, White, Mansfield and Hatton had two hits apiece for East Prairie. Secoy drove in three runs, while White and Samuel Johnson each had two RBIs. Hatton and Mansfield each scored three runs.
East Prairie (3-2) is on the road Wednesday at Bell City at 4 p.m.
Malden 7, East Prairie 4
WP - Casey Gray. LP - Jordan Mansfield. SV - Sean Merritt. HR - Cody Collins. 2B - Malden: Merritt (2), Blakely Cook. East Prairie: Taylor White, Perry Lucas. Multiple hitters - Malden: Merritt 2-3, Collins 2-4, Ryan McGee 2-4, Tim Gage 2-3. East Prairie: White 3-4, Lucas 2-4.
Records - Malden (2-6), East Prairie (3-2).