(Photo by Brent Shipman, Staff)
NEW MADRID -- Buoyed by a pair of early three-run rallies, Oran held off a late New Madrid County Central rally on Thursday for a 14-9 win.
"We have played some good competition lately and the kids have battled back," Oran head coach Mitch Woods said. "I thought they did a good job."
Thanks in large part to three-run efforts in both the first and third innings Oran was able to building a commanding 10-3 lead going into the bottom of the fifth frame. In plating two runs in the home half of the fifth NMCC was able to quickly claw back into contention just a half inning later.
Still trailing 10-5 in their half of the sixth NMCC firmly pushed momentum in their corner with a three-run rally to close to within a pair of runs. Following a strikeout to start the inning Kyle Harris got things going with a walk before moving over to third.
Harris went on to score on an error before a pair of RBI hits by Gabe Smith and Denton Daugherty tied the game.
As quickly as they had climbed back in contention, however, NMCC saw a couple of errors and timely hits lead to Oran's biggest rally of the game.
After starting off the top of the seventh with a leadoff walk to Bear Hicks, Oran plated its first run on a singe to centerfield from Kody Moore. Following a successful bunt that led to another NMCC error, Oran scored its second run on a passed ball before putting runners on first and third with two outs.
Clearing the bases with a single Dalton Elfrink proceeded to put his team up 14-8 heading into the bottom of the seventh.
"We cut the lead to two and then we come out and have a leadoff walk," NMCC head coach Joseph McClarty said. "Then we have an error on a bunt in that inning with one out. There giving us the second out of the inning (and we couldn't take it). Mentally we weren't prepared from the first pitch to the last pitch."
Trying to fight out of their newfound six-run hole NMCC opened their half of the inning with a single and walk to keep their comeback hopes alive.
Leadoff runner Tripp Keene eventually found his way home on an infield error before a strikeout and groundout had NMCC down to its final out.
With runners on first and second a pop up to the third baseman ended the game.
"We swung the bats okay," McClarty said. "I think we could have swung them a little bit better, but we didn't quit. We fought and that's a positive.
"We just have to get over this not being ready to play. The last two days we were ready to play and (Thursday) we just weren't."
Outhitting NMCC 15-9, Oran was led by Seth Ressel, Elfrink and Jacob Priggel as each had three hits on the contest. Ressel scored four runs and drove in one while Elfrink drove in three and scored once. Priggel had two runs-batted-in.
Alex Heuring and Blake Carlyle had two hits each.
For NMCC Sam Barnett went 3 for 4 with two runs-batted-in while Daugherty was 2 for 4 with a double and three runs scored.
Oran improves 14-7 on the season while NMCC falls to 11-11.
Oran 303 220 4 - 14 15 5
NMCC 012 023 1 - 9 9 7
WP -- Dalton Elfrink. LP -- JayShawn McDaniel. Multiple hitters: (O) Seth Ressel 3-5, Alex Heuring 2-5, Blake Carlyle 2-3, Dalton Elfrink 3-4, Jacob Priggel 3-5; (N) Denton Daugherty 2-4, Sam Barnett 3-4. 2B -- (N) Daugherty.