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By: Corey Stott
MEMPHIS, Mo.- 4/12/21- Coach Rod Sears saw his Scotland County Tigers (3-4) take an early 1 run lead over the Knox County Eagles (3-3) in the bottom of the first, only to watch the game slip away late in a disappointing defensive effort for the Tigers. For Coach David Cameron’s Eagles, it was a great outing on the mound for Rylan Roberts, as he worked most of the game, going 6 2/3 innings and only allowing two earned runs. The Eagles defense had Roberts’ back and kept the Tiger offense in check.
Carson Harrison got the start on the mound for the Tigers. He had a decent outing, facing 16 hitters in 3 2/3 innings and striking out six of them. He issued only one walk and allowed three hits. The one run that crossed the plate while he worked the bump in the third inning was unearned and set up by unforced errors that have plaqued the Tigers this season. After Nic Hamlin reached on a fielding error, he then advanced on yet another throwing error on an ill-fated pickoff attempt. Conner Hayes grounded into a fielder’s choice that scored Hamlin and the game was tied at one apiece.
The second Eagle run of the night was again set up by a Tiger fielding error. After Hamlin reached by virtue of a walk, Hayes reached on a fielding error. Hamlin advanced to third on the play. Two hitters later, Robert Dooley hit a fly-out to deep center that allowed Hamlin to score after tagging up. The Eagles led 2-1 middle of the fifth.
After holding the Tigers scoreless, the Eagles took advantage of more Tiger errors in the top of the sixth and plated three runs to extend the lead to 5-1. Braxton McCurren led off by reaching on an error then took second. After stealing third, he scored on a fielder’s choice on a Branson Miller bunt. Hamlin followed that up with a hard hit grounder that turned into yet another fielding error for the Tigers that scored two more runs.
The Tigers managed to put up a run in the bottom of the seventh with a two-out rally that saw a Corbyn Spurgeon walk turn into a Xavier Lucas RBI triple to right. But the rally died with a pop-out to second base and the Eagles won by a final of 5-2.
Owen Triplett came on in relief of Harrison in the third inning. He worked 3 1/3 innings facing 16 batters. He struck out four while walking two. He didn’t give up any hits, but four unearned runs scored thanks to defensive errors.
Roberts faced 25 hitters and struck out 10 while allowing three walks and three hits. He gave up two earned runs in a solid outing, working all but the final out of the game. Hayes came on to get the final out with a one-pitch pop-out.
Brady Curry, Harrison and Lucas all went 1 of 3 at the plate. Lucas had the lone RBI for the Tigers on the night. McCurren was 2 of 4 at the plate. Hamlin had two RBIs while Hayes, Dooley and Branson Miller each had one RBI.