(Photo by Chris Pobst, Staff)
BENTON -- There wasn't a late inning collapse this time around for the New Madrid County Central Eagles.
The Eagles picked up their first win of the young season behind a one-hit shutout from starter Jayshawn McDaniel on a bitterly cold Thursday afternoon pounding the Kelly Hawks 17-0.
Leaving little in doubt after three innings against Kelly on Thursday, NMCC (1-1) erased a forgettable season opener against Caruthersville where they allowed five runs in the seventh inning ending in an 8-7 loss.
"It was kind of stuck in our craw from Tuesday against Caruthersville," Jones said. "That was a hard way to lose with us being up by four and still getting beat.
"I just told them that as soon as we start to calm down, let the game come to us and start having fun we're going to see some big improvement."
Their improvements began in the second inning when the Eagles posted four runs starting with an RBI single from Timmy Clayton. Two of Kelly's six errors led to three more runs in the inning.
Michael Kuykendall led off the second inning with Kelly's lone hit of the day. In their first two games combined, the Hawks have tallied just two hits and have given up 34 runs to their opposition.
"We've got to get back to some fundamental stuff so we can get a little bit of confidence to make plays," Kelly head coach Josh Eftink said. "Right now, we're booting the ball around a lot."
NMCC exploded for eight runs in the top of the third highlighted by an RBI double from Clayton, a two-RBI single from Collin Ivie and a two-RBI, three base error off the bat of Kyle Harris.
After NMCC scored it's eighth run of the inning, starter Gabe Felter was lifted for Garrett Alsup who pitched the remainder of the game. Felter lasted 2 1/3 innings and was responsible for 12 runs. He wasn't helped at all from his defense who gave up nine unearned runs.
"I thought Gabe pitched a heck of a game," Eftink said. "We should have maybe given up two or three runs. He pitched that good. What hurt us was four ground ball errors on the infield. It was one right after the other and that just kills you."
Putting a lid on the Hawks, NMCC pushed across five additional runs in the top of the fourth on four hits.
The Eagles sprayed around 10 hits as a team. They were led by Clayton's three hits and two RBIs. Ivie and Sam Barnett each added two hits and two RBIs apiece.
"Hopefully we can continue this hitting that we've been doing in the first two games," said Jones. "Scoring 24 runs in two games -- I'll take 12 runs a game. I think somehow we can win a few doing that."
McDaniel in his first varsity start of his career allowed just the one hit, struck out eight and walked three in five innings.
"He has done nothing but work extremely hard," said Jones. "With him coming out in his first start and him being only a sophomore, I thought he handled the pressure really well. He hit his spots and worked really well with Sam (Barnett) behind the plate.
"Coming out and throwing a one-hitter in his first start, I don't know how he's going to top that."
NMCC will host Scott City today while Kelly gets back in action on Monday against Chaffee.
NMCC 048 50 -- 17
Kelly 000 00 -- 0
WP -- Jayshawn McDaniel. LP -- Gabe Felter. 2B -- (N) Timmy Clayton, McDaniel.