(Photo by Brent Shipman, Staff)
NEW MADRID -- Combining for seven innings of one-hit ball on Tuesday, pitchers Josh Reed and Logan Frazier guided New Madrid County Central to a 6-0 win over Portageville on senior night.
"It was a good day for the seniors," NMCC head coach Joseph McClarty said. "Great job by Josh and Logan pitching a combined one-hitter. We had great defense behind them and swung the bats well."
Reed went five full innings to start the game, giving up the Bulldogs only hit and six walks while fanning six. After he opened the six with a pair of free passes Frazier came in and retired all six batters he faced.
Giving their pitchers something to work with NMCC's offense jumped out of the gate early with a two-run rally in the first. Kyle Harris opened the game with a single before coming home on a Jimmy Ash double for the eventual winning run.
Ash came around to score later in the inning on a sacrifice fly to left field.
"It was a good job to get on them early and put them in a hole 2-0," McClarty said. "We kept swinging the bats well and hit a lot of at-them balls today. We just have to continue to do that the rest of the week."
After three scoreless innings where they accumulated only one hit, the Eagles came to bat in the fifth and took advantage of some Bulldogs miscues for their biggest rally of the afternoon.
Starting with an infield error that allowed the leadoff hitter to reach, NMCC was able to load the bases with no outs thanks to a misplayed bunt. A walk to Jimmy Ash walked the first run of the rally in before a single by Denton Daugherty moved the Eagles up 4-0. Capping the inning was a grounder past short from Tim Clayton to plate the final two runs of the game.
"That was a big inning there to score four runs," McClarty said. "Good job by the offense to have some patient at bats. They misplayed a bunt there and we took advantage of it and put four runs up that inning."
Leading NMCC's eight-hit effort was Ash who went 2 for 4 with a double, two runs scored and a run driven in. Harris, Gabe Smith, Daugherty, Clayton and C.J. Chism had a single each.
Portageville's only hit of the afternoon came from Bryce Wallace in the fifth.
Though they only had one hit Portageville had plenty of opportunities to close in on the Eagles throughout the contest. After stranding a pair of runners through the first two innings the Bulldogs loaded the bases with two outs in the third only to see a fly ball end the inning.
In the fourth Portageville's lead runner reached on a walk before moving to third on a pair of steals. Three-straight strikeouts from Reed, however, kept the Eagles shutout intact.
By the end of the contest the Bulldogs had put runners on in each of the seven frames, including a one-out walk in the seventh. It was on a double play starting with a pop up to short that NMCC ended the game.
"We've been lucky this year to get guys on base," Portageville coach Ron Riddle said. "But then we have a bit of a lull and can't get that run across. We have guys that can hit up and down the line.
"New Madrid just made some good defensive plays and put the bat on the ball. They made the plays when they needed to."
He added, "We had a little bit of rust. We played last Tuesday and have been off since then. We're just trying to get back into things and have two more this weeks before we start districts."
With the win NMCC moves over to .500 mark on the season to 12-11. They'll face their final test before districts when they travel to Sikeston to play the Bulldogs today at 4 p.m.
Portageville 000 000 0 - 0 1 2
NMCC 200 040 x - 6 8 2
WP -- Josh Reed. LP -- Zach Treece. Multiple hitters: (N) Jimmy Ash 2-4. 2B -- (N) Jimmy Ash.