POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. -- Central jumped ahead early and fought off Poplar Bluff's rally.
The Tigers scored four runs in the first and went on to win a rain-shortened baseball game over the Mules 10-5 in five innings.
"We are just making mistakes and putting ourselves in a bad spot," Mules coach Stan Bullington said. "That is what we have to eliminate."
Central jumped to a 4-0 lead in the first inning. Leadoff hitter Josh Hiett singled through the middle and with one out, Jamie Pickel walked before Josh Compas singled to load the bases. The Tigers got their first run on an error and Andrew Williams singled later to score two and make it 3-0. Later in the inning, Andrew Hileman scored on a wild pitch to make it 4-0.
"We got off to a good start," Central coach Steve Williams said. "We got four right off the bat to get a little cushion."
The Mules answered in the bottom half with two runs of their own. After Central got a run in the second to make it 5-2, the Mules got two in the bottom half to get within one.
Central scored one in the third to make it 6-4 before getting four in the fifth. Hileman singled to bring in Trey Gardner before Christian Cavaness singled to make it 8-4. Hiett added a single to make it 9-4 before Pickel drew a bases-loaded walk to make it 10-4.
Josh Meyer got the win for Central with four strikeouts.
WP -- Josh Meyer, 4-3. LP -- Jake Smith. 3B -- Smith (PB). Multiple hits -- Josh Hiett 3-4, Christian Cavaness 2-3; Poplar Bluff -- Smith 2-3. Records -- Central 10-6.