(Photo by Brent Shipman, Staff)
PORTAGEVILLE -- Scoring a combined 10 runs in the seventh and eighth innings on Wednesday, the New Madrid County Quakes broke out of a tie with the Charleston Fighting Squirrels for a 19-9 win via the mercy rule.
"The way it started off I was looking for one of those 5-4 baseball games," New Madrid County head coach Kevin Lyons said. "We had some mixups early, but there late they had real trouble throwing strikes and we made them pay for it."
After amassing a solid 9-4 lead in six innings of play, the Quakes soon found themselves knotted back up with the Squirrels when Charleston went on a five-run rally in the top of the seventh.
With Charleston loading the bases with only one out, pinch hitter Mack Marcum got the scoring started with a single to left field. Brad Potts kicked in a run with a sacrifice fly to centerfield and Ryan Fortner drove in another two runs with a double.
Tim Hillis hit a single to the right of second base to plate the fifth run of the inning and tie things up at 9-9.
"That was kind of a worrisome inning," Lyon said. "I told the guys when we get in here to bat we have to score runs. They earned five runs and now we have to at least tack on a few runs and make them understand we're not quitting here."
Heeding Lyon's call, New Madrid County went to the plate in the bottom of the seventh and quickly retook the lead. After the Quakes put runners on second and third, a wild pitch plated the go-ahead with a Squirrel error scoring another two. In scoring the final run of the rally on a double steal New Madrid County had retaken a 13-9 advantage.
Pinch hitter Hunter Williams ensured their wouldn't be a ninth and final inning when he hit a walk-off, bases-loaded single to left field to bring in the night's final run.
The Quakes put up their biggest rally of the night in the eighth, all with two outs.
"We take two steps forward and then we take 10 steps back tonight," Charleston head coach Michael Minner said. "We did some good things offensively. That's probably the best we've swung the bats all year, but our defense was atrocious. I think we made 11 errors and had (a ton of) walks as well."
Leading New Madrid County's effort was Chris Pavy and Hunter Ivie with three hits each while Chris Pavy and Jordon Pavy added a pair of singles.
For the Squirrels, Fortner was 3 for 3 with a pair of doubles and a triple. Tim Hillis had a three-hit performance as well, including a double.
Charleston now stands at 18-19 on the the season while the Quakes are 16-9.
Char. 201 100 50 - 9
N.M. 210 213 46 - 19
WP -- Chris Pavy. LP -- Trey Watkins. Multiple hitters: (C) Ryan Fortner 3-3, Tim Hillis 3-4, Hunter Norden 3-3; (N) Jordon Pavy 2-5, Chris Pavy 3-4, Hunter Ivie 3-5. 2B -- (C) Fortner 2, Hillis; (N) Ivie. 3B -- (C) Fortner.