A home run from Advance's Darren VanGennip in the top of the seventh inning dashed those hopes quickly.
After VanGennip's drive to left-center field, the Eagles could not muster a run to tie in their half of the seventh and fell 5-4 on Tuesday at East Prairie.
The Eagles stranded 14 runners on base throughout the game including two on second and third in the bottom half of the seventh which made VanGennip's blast that much more frustrating.
"That's what happens when you let teams hang around and you strand numerous base runners over the course of the game," East Prairie coach Gary Scott said. "If you keep it a one-run game, one swing of the bat can beat you."
East Prairie (0-2) started their half of the seventh with two quick outs. Ryan Trankler kept the game alive on a 3-2 count with a single to left field. Trankler stole both second and third all while Dalton Golightly worked a walk in the next at bat.
With Trankler standing at third and Golightly at second, East Prairie's Zach Trankler lined out to Advance second baseman Ryan Moses to end the game.
"We couldn't push guys across," said Scott. "Same thing happened (Monday). Our first two games -- that's been our deal. We're not getting guys to come through with a clutch hit or just put it in play."
The Eagles scored the game's first run in the bottom of the first inning. Golightly, who got the start on the mound for East Prairie and pitched all seven innings, crossed the plate after a single from Aaron Miller.
Connor Scott followed Miller's hit with a walk to load the bases with no outs yet recored. The Eagles stranded the bases loaded.
"Until we (get big hits) it's going to be a struggle," Scott said.
After falling behind 2-1, East Prairie tied the game in the third inning on an RBI double by Ryan Mathis.
The score would remain tied until the bottom of the fourth when East Prairie pushed both Golightly and Miller across. Golightly scored on a single by Miller and Miller scored on a double by Scott.
Advance (1-2) cut the deficit in half in the top of the fifth when a misplayed ball allowed Grant Gray to score from first. Kyndel Page, who led the Hornets with three singles, was cut down trying to score at home by an outfield assist from Miller to end the inning.
East Prairie had a chance to pad their lead in the bottom of the sixth but left runners stranded on second and third.
Scott and Mathis each added a double and a single for the Eagles. Miller and Trankler each chipped in two singles as well.
Golightly allowed eight during his complete game on the mound. He struck out six and walked four.
"Dalton battled out there," Scott said. "Defense didn't help him out a whole lot. There were some plays that we should have made behind him. But, I thought he threw the ball well today and he deserved the win."
VanGennip also got the win on the mound for Advance pitching the last three innings after starter Ryan Moses took the Hornets into the fifth inning.
"This was his first start of the year and I think he was a little excited and was over-throwing the ball," Advance coach Bob Moses said. "Ryan's a competitor who tries hard. Sometimes he tried too hard. But, it was encouraging how he threw."
Moses worked a walk in the at bat before VanGennip's homer to give the Hornets the go-ahead.
"He battled and worked the count," coach Moses said about VanGennip's heroics. "He's been struggling. I think these were his first two hits of the season in our third ball game. He put a punch on it. I'm real happy for him.
"Overall, this was a big win for the kids."
Advance 002 010 2 -- 5
East Prairie 101 200 0 -- 4
WP -- Darrin VanGennip. LP -- Dalton Golightly. 2B -- (E) Connor Scott, Ryan Mathis. 3B -- (A) Dylan Dunivan. HR -- (A) VanGennip.