MACKS CREEK - Macks Creek came from behind on Tuesday night in their first home game of the Spring, beating the visiting Stover Bulldogs, 10-9.
Trailing 9-8 in the bottom of the seventh the Pirates plated two runs to cap off the comeback. Kyler Gabriel was hit-by-a-pitch with one out and moved to second on a Grant English single to center. Grant would be erased at second on Ethan English's ground ball to second, with Gabriel moving to third. Isaiah Schmidt, pinch-running for Ethan, stole second to put the tying and winning runs in scoring position. Trever Smith then lifted a high fly ball to right that was dropped and allowed both Gabriel and Schmidt to cross and give Macks Creek the win.
Stover had started the night with a single tally in the first. They would plate four more runs in the top of the third before the Pirates answered in the bottom half with two of their own. Ethan English walked and Trever Smith was hit-by-a-pitch. A ground out to first off the bat of Tanner Smith put the runners in scoring position before Austin Brown singled to center to plate both English and courtesy runner Jose Cortez.
The Bulldogs plated another tally in the top of the fourth to push their lead to 6-2, but the Pirates again responded in the bottom of the inning. Dakota Willis singled to right-center and Kyler Gabriel was again beaned to put runners at first and second. A single off the bat of Grant English loaded the bases. Ethan English hit a ball to the shortstop who flipped to second to force out Grant. Willis scored on the play. Trever Smith pushed Gabriel in with an RBI-groundout to second. Ethan would be erased trying to advance to third on the play. The Pirates now trailed 6-4.
Macks Creek put three more across in the bottom of the fifth after Stover had plated one in the top of the inning. Tanner Smith reached when he was hit-by-a-pitch and moved to second on an errant pick-off attempt. Austin Brown then singled deep in the hole at short, moving Tanner to third and scoring him when the throw to first to get Brown sailed over the first baseman. Brown would move to second on the play. Austin made third on Tyler Newcomb's ground out to first. A walk to Hunter Harris and then a steal would lead in to Dakota Willis's walk to load the bases. After a strikeout Grant English hit a fly to right that was dropped. Brown and Harris would score, Willis reached third, and Grant made it to second. A groundout ended the inning and left two runners stranded.
Stover plated two more runs in the top of the sixth to push their lead back to 9-7. However, the Pirates responded with a single tally in their half of the inning. Trever Smith walked and was replaced by Cortez as a courtesy runner. A stolen base and then an error in center on a ball off the bat of Tanner Smith put runners at second and third with no one out. A strikeout and a groundout to second brought Hunter Harris to the plate. He hit a hard ground ball up the middle to plate Cortez, but Tanner was thrown out at the plate on a strong throw from the center fielder. The lead had been cut to 9-8 and set the stage for the walk off in the bottom of the seventh.
"We battled extremely well tonight," said Macks Creek Coach Jason Trusty, "I told the boys after the game that we battled and that we showed we can compete night-in and night-out."
"I'm very proud of our team's effort tonight and how they handled themselves. They never game up."
Grant English (2-0) picked up the win in relief. He worked the final two innings and entered with the game tied in the sixth. He struck out three, walked one, and allowed two runs on two hits. Dakota Willis started and worked the first three-and-a-third innings before being lifted due to pitch count. He was touched for six runs, two earned, on five hits while striking out seven, walking four, and hitting one batter. Austin Brown bridged the gap between Willis and English. He worked one-and-two-thirds innings, allowing one run on one hit while striking out two, walking one, and hitting one batter.
Offensively Macks Creek banged out only seven hits but took advantage of walks, hit batsmen, and errors to do their damage. Grant English singled twice and reached on an error while Austin Brown singled twice, scored a run, and had two RBI's. Trever Smith singled, had an RBI, walked once, and was beaned once, Hunter Harris walked, scored, and singled in a run, and Dakota Willis singled, walked twice, and scored once. Ethan English reached twice on a fielder's choice, walked once, scored once, and had an RBI, Tanner Smith walked once, was hit-by-a-pitch, reached on an error, and scored, and Kyler Gabriel was hit by pitches three times and scored two runs. Jose Cortez scored two runs as a courtesy runner and Isaiah Schmidt scored once as a pinch runner.
The Pirates improve to 2-1 with the win. They will host PCL Conference foe Humansville on Thursday. Game time for that night is set at 5:30.
The JV Pirates dropped a 9-3 game in the night cap.
Jose Cortez started and took the loss. He threw two innings, allowing six runs, one earned, on three hits while walking three and striking out one. Austin Brown worked an inning and allowed three runs, one earned, on no hits while striking out one and walking three.
Preston Borgmeyer and Olivier Sanchez had the only hits, both singles. Borgmeyer also had an RBI and a run scored. Sanchez also walked, had an RBI, and was hit-by-a-pitch. Jose Cortez walked, reached on an error, and scored a run. Isaiah Schmidt walked, was beaned, and scored a run. John Perez and Nolan Donathan were each hit-by-pitches.
The JV Pirates fall to 0-3 with the loss.