(Photo by Brent Shipman, Staff)
PORTAGEVILLE -- With a walk-off single from shortstop Owen Flowers, New Madrid County's Senior Babe Ruth team capped a late inning comeback Monday night to take down Jackson's Senior babe Ruth squad 5-4.
"Defensively if we had played a little better we would have made it a little easier on ourselves," New Madrid County coach Kevin Lyons said. "We gave up a couple of unearned runs, but overall for our first league game I thought we did okay."
Having come back to tie the game 4-4 the inning prior, New Madrid County opened up the bottom of the seventh with a single by Jansen Darst to put the winning run of first.
Following a bunt that moved Darst to second, Flowers stepped to the plate with two outs still looking for his first hit of the night having gone 0 for 2 while drawing a walk.
Swinging at a 2-1 offering, Flowers hit a bloop shot to shallow right center field over the second baseman's head to score Darst from second and end the game.
"When I hit it off the bat I was just praying for it to get over second base," Flowers said. "I haven't had the greatest start to the year so I'll take whatever I can get and a single is a single."
Added Lyons, "You can't get much better than that. You're struggling a little bit and then you get the game-winning hit."
The seventh inning run was the finishing touch on a come-from-behind win after New Madrid County had trailed 4-1 heading into the bottom of the fifth.
Closing to within 4-2 in the fifth on a single by Darst scoring a runner from third, New Madrid County came back in the sixth and took advantage of a pair of Jackson mistakes to tie the game.
With the bases loaded and one out, No. 3 hitter Ross Carter drew a bases loaded walk to close his team to within a run before, in the next at bat, leadoff hitter Chris Pavy scored from third on a passed ball to tie the game at 4-4.
"I feel like we just faced probably the best pitcher that they have (in Alex Beussink)," Lyons said. "So to come back from a three-run deficit speaks pretty high of this bunch"
Picking up the win, Mason Kellams went all seven innings for New Madrid County. He allowed eight hits and two walks while collecting five strikeouts.
"He's ordinarily a strike thrower," Lyons said of Kellams. "He's going to pitch to contact. He's not going to strike a lot of kids out, but if the defense plays behind him well things our ordinarily going to turn out pretty good."
On offense, New Madrid County finished the game with seven hits led by Darst who went 3 for 4 at the plate with a run batted in. Carter had the only extra base hit on the team, hitting a double in the fifth.
For Jackson, who had eight hits on the contest, Jesse Schott went 2 for 3 with a double while scoring a run. Clay Roth contributed a double to Jackson's cause.
"We hit the ball well enough to win," Jackson coach Paul Sander said. "We hit some balls hard, but we didn't make any defensive plays when we had to make them.
"And we had plays where we could have gotten out of innings and we didn't, then (New Madrid County) followed that up with hits."
Jackson (3-1) rebounded to win the second game 13-1 in six innings with Roth and Buessink each collecting two hits for Jackson. Jon Winkler earned the win on the mound.
New Madrid County (1-2) will be in action again on Thursday when they travel to Scott City for a doubleheader that begins at 6 p.m.
Jackson 012 010 0 - 4
NMC 100 012 1 - 5
WP -- Mason Kellams. LP -- Alex Beussink. 2B -- (J) Jesse Schott, Clay Roth; (N) Ross Carter.