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Scott County strikes for nine in the first inning, wins 11-8
The Scott County American Legion baseball team has thrived on big innings lately.
That proved to be the case again Monday night as Scott County held off host Jackson 11-8 in a District 14 matchup at Legion Field.
The second game of the doubleheader, which was a non-district affair, saw Scott County triumph 5-1.
Scott County, running its winning streak to eight straight, improved to 19-8 overall and a first-place 4-1 record in District 14.
"Early in the year we were trying to find ourselves, and we also had a lot of breaks in our schedule," Scott County coach Denver Stuckey said following the opener. "Now we're playing more and that always helps.
"We're on a pretty nice roll and hopefully we can keep it going."
Scott County was coming off the championship in the Paragould, Ark., tournament, where the squad won four games. In the final three contests, Scott County scored six or more runs in one inning.
Monday night, Scott County put up nine runs in the top of the first.
"We've been fortunate the last few games with the big innings," Stuckey said. "We've been relying too much on that. It's nice to have, but we have to finish games out."
While Scott County has benefited from big innings recently, Jackson coach Mark Lewis said following the first game that his squad has been on the other end of too many of those uprisings.
"We haven't been able to stay away from the big innings," said Lewis, whose team is 15-21 overall and 0-5 in the district. "That's tough, to get down 9-0.
"But this team has battled all year. I think we're improving. We just have to start playing more consistently."
Scott County used six hits -- including a triple and three doubles -- and three walks to score the nine first-inning runs off Jake Hime.
Key blows were a two-run double by Cody Carlyle and a two-run single by Caleb Daughhetee.
Hime settled down after that and went the rest of the way, allowing just two runs and three hits over the final six innings. He finished with seven strikeouts and five walks.
"Some of the pitches he threw in the first inning weren't as sharp as they were later," Lewis said. "They capitalized on it. It just avalanched on us.
"But Jake really settled down and threw well after that. He spotted the ball well and mixed it up. That's what he's capable of."
Jackson was able to rally enough to make Scott County sweat -- the lead was trimmed to 9-7 after three innings -- but the visitors used two nice relief performances to hold on.
Starter Adam Urhahn was knocked out after 2 2/3 innings -- he allowed nine hits and seven runs, with five earned -- but Alex Chasteen and Andy Stephens kept Jackson at bay.
Jackson had already scored five third-inning runs to make it 9-7 and had men on second and third with two outs.
Chasteen came on for the final out, then pitched a scoreless fourth before giving up an unearned run in the fifth. He was credited with the win.
That fifth-inning tally made it 11-8, and Jackson had the bases loaded with two outs. On came Stephens, who recorded a strikeout to end the threat.
Stephens finished off the victory with two scoreless frames to notch a save.
"Both those guys did a real good job," Stuckey said.
Jackson made things interesting in the seventh as Stephens, who did not allow a hit, walked the leadoff batter and also issued a one-out walk.
Hime then sent a fly ball to deep left-center that appeared for a moment like it might tie things, but left fielder Cody Dirnberger made the catch near the fence.
Stephens fanned the next batter to end the game. He had three strikeouts.
"We kept battling and almost came all the way back," Lewis said.
Carlyle, after getting the two-run double in the first inning, hit a solo home run in the fourth.
Daughhetee also had two of Scott County's nine hits.
Jackson finished with 11 hits, led by Hime, Blake Reiminger, Ethan Davenport and Levi Petzoldt with two each. Petzoldt had three RBIs.
No details were available from the second game.