"We're an inconsistent ball club right now," NMCC head coach Joseph McClarty said. "We weren't ready to play the first two or three innings and we were never ready to hit.
"We just have to keep working at those little things and keep getting better."
Taking advantage of a pair of hit batters and an errors to load the bases, the Tigers wasted little time in jumping out on top. Batting cleanup, Ryan Seibert hit a line drive to left center field that scored leadoff hitter Christian Cavaness from third.
Later in the inning, with one out, Aaron Wendel grounded out to the third baseman to move Cape Central up 2-0.
Back up in the bottom of the second, Ethan Damback walked before moving over to third, from where he'd score on a dropped fly ball in the outfield.
"They have runners on first no outs," McClarty said of the first inning Tiger rally. "We get a tailor-made double play ball and just throw into right field and give up two runs there. "There in the third inning with a runner ons second and two outs and our center fielder drops a can of corn and they get another runner there.
"If you take away those big plays they don't even score. But still with us only putting up one run today our offensive approach wasn't very good again."
Down 3-0, the Eagles came up to bat in top of the third and put together their best chance for a rally when, after an initial out, four straight NMCC (8-4) batters reached base.
A single up the middle from Jimmy Ash was followed up by a hit from Denton Daugherty and walk to Kyle Harris to load the bases. Hitting a ground ball past the shortstop, Gabe Smith then drove in the Eagles' only run of the contest while leaving the bases loaded.
Just when it looked like the Eagles might break things open, however, Cape Central starting pitcher Chase Hagerty collected two straight strikeouts to minimize the damage.
"We had one out there and we ended the inning with two strikeouts," McClarty said. "Like I told the kids earlier in the year, we have to put the ball in play and today we didn't do a very good job of that. We'd get some runners on and then we had too many strikeouts."
Though the Eagles were able to hold the Tigers scoreless the final 4 1/2 innings, NMCC's offense couldn't finish making up the two-run gap. In each of the final three innings NMCC was able to puts a runner on with two outs only to strand each one.
Going all seven innings, Hagerty picked up the win to improve Central to 3-10 on the season. He allowed one run on seven hits and a walk while striking out 10, including the side in the second.
"He did a real good job," Tigers' head coach Steve Williams said. "He deserved to win today and, not that their guy didn't, but Chase battled and made some big pitches when he needed to get us out of innings. I was real proud of him today."
On Hagerty's ability to work out of trouble, like in the third inning, Williams added, "We've talked about that all year. It's okay to give up a run or two, you just kind of minimize the damage.
"Don't let a one or two run inning turn in to a five or six run inning. He kept them off at one run at that really helped."
NMCC's JaShawn McDaniel pitched an effective six-innings, taking the hard-luck loss. He allowed three runs on three hits and three walks while striking out eight and hitting three batters.
With the Tiger threatening to pad their lead in the third with the bases loaded and no outs, McDaniel collected two strikeouts and caught a runner at the plate to end the inning unscathed.
"The poor kid," McClarty said of McDaniel. "He's sitting here at 0-2 (on the season) and he's given up one earned run all year long. We're going to get a win for him. I know we are.
"He's just come a long way since last year as far as keeping the ball down and working his breaking ball in. His breaking ball was a little off early on, but he settled in there and he just continues to throw strikes. He's been a bright spot for our pitching rotation."
NMCC 001 000 0 - 1 7 2
Cape Central 210 000 x - 3 3 1
WP -- Chace Hagerty. LP -- JaShawn McDaniel. Multiple hitters: (N) Denton Daugherty 3-4; (C) Ryan Seibert 2-3. 2B -- (N) Kyle Harris; (C) Seibert.