CAPE GIRARDEAU -- Holding off a late Dexter rally, the New Madrid County Central Eagles pulled out a 9-7 win Saturday to advance the next round in the SEMO Conference Tournament loser's bracket.
"We played well," NMCC assistant coach Brad Kolwyck. "We did the little things right. We hit the baseball, we caught the baseball.
"We had a good pitching performance from (starting pitcher) Kyle Harris and then Denton Daugherty, who came in and finished the six and seventh and did well."
Down 8-5 in the bottom of the fourth, the Bearcats missed out on a big opportunity by stranding the bases loaded without pushing in a run.
With a runner on first in the next frame, however, Chase Young was able to close Dexter back to within one of the Eagle's with a two-run shot over the right field fence to make it 8-7.
Later the same inning it looked like the Bearcats might tie things up when Bryn Hester drew a walk before advancing to third.
Unfortunately for Dexter, when trying a suicide squeeze to bring Hester home, the batter missed on the offering and Hester was tagged out at the plate leaving the Bearcats down by one.
Scoring an insurance run in the top of the seventh to retake a two-run lead, NMCC gave up a line drive single to Hester to open the bottom of the frame, putting the tying run at the plate.
But with two-straight fielder's choices catching the runner at second, the Eagles were able to close out the win with a fly out to the left fielder.
"We got off to a rough start," Dexter coach Brian Becker said. "We gave up four runs in the first inning and I don't know if they had a hard hit ball that inning.
"Anytime you spot a team four runs it makes it tough, but we battled back and made a game of it."
With nine hits on the game, NMCC was led by Collin Ivie and C.J. Chism who collected three hits apiece. Jayshawn McDaniel contributed two hits the Eagles' cause.
For the Bearcats, Jordan Miller led the way, going 2 for 4 with a double while Young and Hester homered and doubled for their team's cause respectively.
Though NMCC advanced to play Poplar Bluff in the next round of the tournament, the Eagles run came to a close against the Mules with a 12-0 loss.
Up 9-0 in the bottom of the fifth, the Mules closed out the game when Josh King hit a three-run home run to right to end the game on the mercy rule.
NMCC 400 400 1 - 9
Dexter 023 002 0 - 7
WP -- Kyle Harris. LP -- Brad Potts. SV -- Denton Daugherty. 2B -- (D) Bryn Hester, Jordan Miller. HR -- (D) Chase Young.