(Photo by Brent Shipman, Staff)
EAST PRAIRIE -- After going 0-for-3 to start the afternoon, East Prairie's Connor Scott made up for his offensive misfortunes with one swing of the bat.
With the Eagles trailing visiting Portageville 4-2 in the bottom of the seventh with one out and runners on first and second, Connor Scott hit a 1-0 offering deep to left field that stayed just right of the foul pole for a three-run walk-off home run to end the game.
"I was struggling at the plate earlier so I was just trying to make contact and hit it hard," Connor Scott said.
"I was looking for one to drive and was actually trying to hit it up the middle, just get it on the ground and it played out pretty good for me."
With the wind gusting in at around 20 mph all game long, East Prairie coach Gary Scott was surprised a ball got hit out today.
"With the wind blowing in like that I wouldn't have thought of a walk-off home-run right there," he said. "But he got in to it, pulled it down the line and just went inside the pole."
Conner's shot ruined what looked to be an exiting come from behind victory for the Bulldogs.
Trailing 2-0 coming in to the fifth, Portageville put up a four-run rally to take a two-run lead.
The Bulldogs had four hits and a walk in the inning, with a Caden Robbins triple to deep right field bringing home Jansen Darst from second for the final run of the drive.
East Prairie would threaten to score in the bottom of the frame, but with two runners on and one out, Conner would strikeout followed by a Ryan Mathis ground out to end the inning.
Similarly in the sixth, the Eagles would put runners on first and third with one out only to have the runner picked off at first and the batter strikeout.
Catching a break in the top of the seventh East Prairie put a stop to what could have been a game changing rally by the Bulldogs.
After allowing Portageville to load the bases with one out, relief pitcher Matt Dorris got the Bulldogs No. 3 hitter Robbins to ground in to a 5-2-3 double play to end the inning.
Finally, Dorris started the home half of the seventh with a single to center followed two batters later by an error allowing Kaleb Williford to reach.
Connor was next to bat, hitting the above mentioned home-run.
"We make the plays and we get out of that seventh with a 4-2 win and it's a good win," Portageville coach Lee Wallace said. "You don't make the plays, somebody gets another swing and they can beat you and that's what they did."
Going all seven innings, Mason Kellam took the loss, allowing eight hits and two walks while striking out three.
Portageville had eight hits on the afternoon with Darst and Cody Samples leading the team with two apiece.
Coming in for the final two innings for East Prairie, Dorris got the win in what was his first varsity appearance on the mound.
He allowed two hits and a walk while not giving up a run.
Like Portageville, the Eagles also had eight hits on the game, with Dorris and Aaron Miller each collecting two.
Now that the Eagles have won their last two, right fielder Miller likes how the team coming together on offense.
"We're getting the bats going finally," he said. "We had a couple of games where we weren't seeing the ball too well, but everybody's finally starting to see the ball.
"Even the bottom part of the line-up is starting to come through so we're really excited about that."
After five straight home games, East Prairie gets set to head out on the road, playing the Bernie Mules today at 4 p.m.
Portageville 000 040 0 - 4
East Prairie 002 000 3 - 5
WP -- Matt Dorris (1-0). LP -- Mason Kellams (0-2). Multiple hits -- (P) Jansen Darst, 2-3, Cody Samples, 2-3; (EP) Matt Dorris, 2-4, Aaron Miller, 2-4. 2B -- (P) Hunter Ivie. 3B -- (P) Caden Robbins. HR -- (EP) Connor Scott.