With a chance to end their skid on Tuesday, the Eagles saw costly errors and a seven-run sixth inning from visiting Poplar Bluff result in their third-straight conference loss, 15-3.
"It was a 4-1 game to start the sixth and we just couldn't get out of it," NMCC head coach Joseph McClarty said. "We couldn't field it or throw it. We struggled with the bats today (as well). It just turned into an all-around bad game."
Despite a promising start that saw an RBI-double from JayShawn McDaniel give his team a first-inning lead, problems in the field put NMCC in a hole they couldn't dig out of.
Poplar Bluff secured the tying run in the top of the second before a passed ball in the third put the Mules on top for good.
Following a lead-off double in the fifth, Poplar Bluff plated another two runs on an infield error by the Eagles and a double by Jeffery Rowland to go up 4-1.
It was after a pair of runners reached on errors to start the sixth, however, when the floodgates opened.
Scoring their first run on an overthrow to first base, seven straight Mule batters crossed the plate as Poplar Bluff jumped ahead to an 11-1 lead.
The second run of the frame scored on a high throw off a hard hit grounder before Charlie Kayser beat out an infield single to score Trenton Eudaley from third.
Capping the rally was back-to-back hits from Josh King and Rowland that plated two runs each.
"It just kind of snowballed and kept going our way," Mules' head coach Stan Bullington said of the rally. "That's something we've been missing for a while. We kind of started out playing that way early in the season, stringing a bunch of hits together and turning the lineup over.
"It's been a while since we've had that so it's nice."
With only three outs to stave off a run-rule loss, the Eagles came up in the bottom of the sixth and got a lead-off double from Denton Daugherty before loading the bases with two outs.
Giving NMCC hope, C.J. Chism lined a single to center field to plate a pair of runs and close his team to within 11-3.
"C.J. has a good at bat there," McClarty said. "He's been putting the ball in play and hadn't been real lucky about it. He drove one up the middle there and knocked in two runs to extend the game."
Though the Eagles had closed to within eight runs, the Mules made sure they wouldn't make a game of it by plating another four runs in the seventh. An error on the infield scored the first run before a three-run home run to left field by Rowland finished off a dominant offensive performance by the Mules.
"The bats came alive late," Bullington said. "Their first kid (starting pitcher McDaniel) did pretty well, but we had some good at bats on him early and kept running the pitch count up on him and I think we got to him later."
In taking the loss McDaniel went five innings surrendering six runs, mostly unearned, on six hits and two walks while striking out eight.
"Again a tough luck loss," McClarty said of McDaniel. He's pitched well this year we just haven't hit well for him or played good defense."
Earning the win was Kayser, who came on in relief in the second inning and pitched two scoreless innings, giving up two hits and fanning two. He was one of five Mule pitchers on the contest as they tried to work in their entire rotation.
"We had a chance to get a lot of guys in today," Bullington said. "Our plan was to come over and kind of run through our staff an inning or two apiece going into the (conference) tournament starting up at the end of the week."
Leading the Mules' 12-hit attack was their cleanup hitter, Rowland, who went 4 for 4 with a double and home run. He reached in all five plate appearances. Kayser went 3 for 5 with four runs scored.
For NMCC, Daugherty, Kyle Harris and McDaniel had a double each as part of a six-hit Eagle effort.
Now at 8-7 on the year, NMCC will have one more chance to enter this weekend's conference tournament on a high note. They visit Malden to play the Greenwave today at 4 p.m.
"We need to come back against Malden and be ready to play and try to get a 'W'," McClarty said. "But Malden will be ready to play too. We just have to clean it up and play better baseball."
Poplar Bluff 011 027 4 - 15 12 1
NMCC 100 002 3 - 3 6 8
WP -- Charlie Kayser. LP -- JayShawn McDaniel. Multiple hitters: (PB) Charlie Kayser 3-5, Austin 4-4. 2B -- (PB) Josh King, Jeffery Rowland, Wesley Pyles; (N) Kyle Harris, Daugherty 2, Jay Shawn McDaniel. HR -- (PB) Rowland.