(Photo by Brent Shipman, Staff)
EAST PRAIRIE -- After a three-game slide, East Prairie finally turned its luck around Tuesday afternoon against visiting Scott County Central.
With the Eagles scoring eight runs in the first six innings while holding the Braves scoreless, East Prairie was easily able to stave off the Brave's three run-rally in the seventh to win 8-3.
"We'd been struggling the last few games," East Prairie coach Gary Scott said. "Just hadn't been able to get over the hump and come out with a win.
"It felt good to come back today and pull one out."
Before nine runs were scored in the final two innings, Tuesday's contest looked to be a low-scoring affair.
East Prairie came into the bottom of the sixth leading 2-0 with one of those runs scoring off a Tyler Gentles single to right field in the second and the other run scoring when Aaron Miller hit a line drive up the middle in the fifth.
Things started to unravel for the Braves in the bottom of the sixth as an error and two walks kicked off what would be a six-run inning for the Eagles.
Connor Scott would cap off the inning with a double to left field scoring East Prairie's final two runs of the game.
"2-0 is scary," Connor Scott said. "You let a team hang around and they're going to come and bite you. So those six runs in that inning were real big."
Though Scott Central would attempt a rally in the seventh, scoring three in the frame, things would come to a close as Ben Freed fouled a third strike in to the catcher's mitt for the final out of the game with runners on second and third.
"When you don't come out and hit the ball, a team like East Prairie is gone to put it to you," Scott Central coach Matt Limbaugh said.
Going 5 1/3 innings Freed took the loss for the Braves. He allowed six runs on seven hits while striking out three.
In his first of the season of the season, Dalton Golightly earned the win, going all seven innings giving up three runs on five hits while striking out six.
With only short relief appearances up until now, Golightly could feel the extra pitches taking a toll on him in the later innings.
"My arm was kind of wearing down," he said. "I haven't been there yet this year, but the defense started getting some plays for me."
Of East Prairie's nine hits, Miller led the team with three with Scott and Zach Barker both coming up with two.
For Barker, who got his first start of the season playing first base, those two hits were a great start to his junior season.
"(Barker) comes in there, hadn't swung a bat all year," Gary Scott said. "He's gets a chance to swing it today, comes up and got two big hits for us. To me he was the highlight of the day."
East Prairie (8-6) plays visiting Portageville today at 4 p.m.
Scott Central (6-5) will look to stay above .500 when they travel to Delta Friday to play the Bobcats at 4 p.m.
SCC 000 000 3 - 3
East Prairie 010 016 x - 8
WP -- Dalton Golightly. LP -- Ben Freed. Multiple hits -- (SCC) Nate Holland, 2-4; (EP) Aaron Miller, 3-4, Connor Scott, 2-4, Zach Barker, 2-3. 2B -- (SCC) Trey Johnson; (EP) Scott 2.