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Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014

Red Devils survive late scare from East Prairie

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

(Photo)
Chaffee's Jason Cicardi slides safely into third base while East Prairie third baseman, Connor Scott, receives the throw on Tuesday at Harmon Field in Chaffee. Chaffee defeated East Prairie 4-2. Chris Pobst, Staff
CHAFFEE -- Although the East Prairie Eagles provided a scare in the seventh inning, the Chaffee Red Devils were able to lean on their guys on the mound to help pull out a 4-2 win on Thursday at Harmon Field in Chaffee.

Chaffee starter Daniel Dooley kept the visiting Eagles scoreless through six innings while freshman Cody Payne was able to close the door on a surging East Prairie late.

"They did a great job," East Prairie head coach Gary Scott said about Chaffee's pitching. "When we did hit the ball, they made the plays too."

Dooley kept the Eagles off the board by, simply, throwing strikes.

He kept the ball around the plate and let his defense work behind him. He ended up allowing two runs on five hits.

Dooley did not give up a walk throughout his time on the hill.

"I was so happy for him because he's been struggling of late," Chaffee head coach Brian Horrell said about Dooley. "He was very consistent around the plate all day long. He got some very quick outs and had some very quick innings."

Payne, who usually stays behind the plate rather than in front of hit, shed his catching gear and stepped into a closer's role in the seventh.

With his team holding a three-run lead and East Prairie threatening with two more runners on, Payne was asked to get the final three outs.

He did just that.

Payne picked up the save after allowing one hit and one walk.

"He usually stands on his head behind the plate for us," Horrell said about Payne. "It's hard to take him out from back there but, I kind of wanted to get him into the pitching mode late in the season. We have faith in going to him."

Although it was a valiant, comeback effort, the Eagles once again fell on the wrong end of a close game.

"You get down 4-0 and you're not able to chip away in the earlier innings, you just can't overcome that many runs," Scott said.

The quick-strike abilities of the Red Devils' put them ahead early.

Chaffee (17-4) scored two runs in the second inning. An RBI groundout by Layton Tenkhoff gave the Red Devils their first run while Alex Crowe, who advanced to third on Tenkhoff's ground ball, raced home following a wild pitch by East Prairie starter Mikey Russell.

The Red Devils tagged Russell for two more runs -- one in the third and another in the fourth.

"Early in the game I thought we were very opportunistic," Horrell said. "We came through with some big hits in key situations. I knew Russell was an exceptional pitcher and I felt fortunate to get those four runs throughout the game."

Trevor Cannon singled in Payne in the third inning while Payne smacked an RBI double that scored Jason Cicardi in the fourth.

Russell, who pitched all six innings, was tagged with all four runs on six hits. He also walked three.

"I thought he threw the ball well at times," Scott said. "He needed to stay around the plate a little more but, overall, he did a good job."

East Prairie (8-8) finally figured Dooley out and led off the seventh inning with two hits and a hit batsmen.

Following Dalton Golightly's RBI single to give the Eagles their first run, Dooly was lifted for Payne.

With two runners on already, the Eagles loaded the bases against Payne. East Prairie pushed their second run across on a sacrifice fly from Shawn King.

After Russell worked a walk, the Eagles put the tying run on second and the go-ahead run on first.

However, Payne coaxed a fly ball to right field, which was caught by Andrew Dooley to end the game.

"I was proud of the way they fought back," Scott said about his team's push in the seventh. "But, we were a little short."

Nathan Maynard led the Eagles with two singles.

Payne, on top of closing out the game, led Chaffee with a 2 for 4 performance. Andrew Terhune also had two hits which were both singles.

East Prairie 000 000 2 -- 2 6 0

Chaffee 021 100 x -- 4 6 2

WP -- Daniel Dooley. LP -- Mikey Russell. S -- Cody Payne. 2B -- (C) Payne.