After splitting their first two meetings earlier in the week, the Eatonville Cruisers snuck away with a 5-4 victory in the rubber match game against the Elma Eagles on Thursday afternoon.
After taking a 3-0 lead into the fifth inning, the Eagles finally got on the board and pushed four runs across to take a 4-3 lead.
The Cruisers battled back in the top of the seventh. With runners on first and second and one out, a wild throw by the pitcher attempting to pick the runner off first sailed up the first baseline allowing senior Brandon Storm to score from second base, and Jakob Lucht advanced from first to third on the error.
With the game now tied at four and Lucht at third, Blain Hanly hit a hard liner to shortstop, scoring Lucht, to give the Cruisers the lead at 5-4.
Lucht then shut down any Eagle attempt at a comeback by forcing three flyouts to seal the victory.
Skylar Sarpy got the start for the Cruisers and gave up three runs on two hits in four and one-third innings of work. Lucht came on in relief in the bottom of the fifth and finished out the game, giving up one run on three hits and three strikeouts to pick up the win.
Hanly went 1-3 at the plate and drove in two Cruiser runs, including the game-winner. Ashton Meyer drove in a run and went 1-2 with two walks. Sarpy went 1-3 at the plate, also driving in a run.
Earlier in the week, the Cruisers hosted the Eagles in a double-header that saw the Eagles take the first game 10-9.
Lucht went 3-4 at the plate with a double and drove in four runs and scoring one. Riley Storm picked up two hits in the game, going 2-4 and scoring two runs. Also, Riley Taylor picked up a couple of hits, going 2-4 and scoring one run.
In the second game, the Cruisers jumped on the Eagles early, scoring in the bottom of the third inning when Storm singled up the middle. Storm then stole second base. A sacrifice bunt in the next at-bat by Lucht pushed Storm to third. Copper Field then drove in Storm on a single to right field to put the Cruisers up 1-0.
Eatonville scored another six runs in the inning, highlighted by a Lucht double that drove in three Cruiser runs, to take a 7–0 lead.
The Eagles managed to plate three runs in the top of the fourth and another run in the sixth, but it wasn't enough as the Cruisers held on for the 7-4 win.
Payton Hanly went three and two-thirds innings for the Cruisers, picking up the win after allowing three runs on one hit, walking four and striking out three Elma batters.
At the plate, Storm was 2-3 with an RBI and two runs scored. Lucht drove in three runs while going 1-3 at the plate with a double. Payton Hanly picked up two hits on the day in three at-bats.
Earlier in the week, the Cruisers hosted the Rainier Mountaineers in a non-league game.
The Mountaineers struck first and took a 1-0 lead in the first inning, but the Cruisers took that lead back by plating three runs in the bottom half of the inning and then adding three more in the bottom of the second to lead.
Rainier struck back in the top of the third with three runs of their own to cut the Cruiser lead to 6-4.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, the Cruisers extended their lead to 7-4 when Field hit a sacrifice fly to score Lucht.
The Mountaineers managed one last run in the top of the sixth, but that was all they mustered as the Cruisers held them scoreless in the final inning and took the 7-5 victory.
Storm got the start on the mound for the Cruisers, giving up four runs on four hits, walking two, and striking out two to pick up the win.
Field led the Cruisers with three RBIs on the day, going 1-1 at the plate with a double, two runs scored and a walk. Sarpy picked up two hits while going 2-3 at the plate with a double.
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