(Photo by Brent Shipman, Staff)
SCOTT CITY -- After starting their season on a three-game losing streak, the East Prairie Eagles found their way into the winner's column Thursday against Scott City.
Combining for 11 hits on offense while getting seven solid innings on the mound from Connor Scott, the Eagles held off the Rams for a 7-3 win.
"We played a lot better than we've been playing," East Prairie coach Gary Scott said. "We had good pitching, hit the ball a little bit and played good defense.
"You do all three of things and a lot of times you can win the game."
Locked in a 3-3 tie after four innings, East Prairie took the lead for good in the top of the fifth when Ryan Mathis hit a sacrifice fly to deep center with the bases loaded and no outs, scoring Aaron Miller from third.
In the next at bat, Nathan Maynard gave the Eagles a little insurance with a shot to shallow left-center that brought home Connor Scott from third to make it 5-3.
The final two runs of the afternoon came in the sixth when Dalton Golightly and Shawn King opened up the frame reaching before coming around to score.
"We've been waiting for (the lineup) to come through and we knew it was only a matter of time," Miller said. "It just so happened it was against a good team and we took advantage of it."
Going down in order in each of the previous two innings and down to their last three outs, the Rams looked to get things going in the bottom of seventh when their No. 8 hitter singled right field with one out.
In their next at batter, however, Austin Atchley sent a ball to shallow right that was caught by the second baseman who then doubled off the Rams' runner at first to end the game.
"We just haven't been able to put a few hits together at the right time," Scott City coach Lance Amick said. "In crucial times today we made a few errors mentally and physically."
In helping East Prairie end its losing streak, Connor Scott surrendered all three Scott City runs on seven hits and a walk while striking out five.
With the backing of some solid defensive plays, Connor Scott forced the Rams to strand runners in four separate innings via a pair of double plays and a couple of inning ending strikeouts.
"Connor threw the ball very well today," Gary Scott said. "The thing about it is it was just strikes. He was getting ahead of hitters strike after strike."
Leading the Eagles' offense, Miller finished the game going 3 for 4 with a double and two runs batted in. King and Mathis contributed two hits apiece, including a home run by Mathis that gave East Prairie a 3-1 lead in the third.
"He's hit the ball hard this year," Gary Scott said of Mathis, who drove in two runs on the contest. "He got one up, drove it out to left. That was good momentum."
For the Rams, Heath Pobst led the way going 2 for 3 with two singles and a run batted in.
Now at 1-2-1, Scott City will travel to Twin Rivers today at 4 p.m. while East Prairie (1-3) will travel to Charleston where they will play the Bluejays Tuesday at 5 p.m.
East Prairie 011 122 0 - 7
Scott City 010 200 0 - 3
WP -- Connor Scott (1-1). LP -- Landon Roberts (0-1-1). 2B -- (EP) Aaron Miller. HR -- (EP) Ryan Mathis.