The already tight race in Region 2-1A became that much closer Thursday night after Myrtle handed Ingomar their first division loss, 7-6.
“Anytime you up a win against those guys, it’s good,” Myrtle Head Coach Robert Gordon said. “They’re a really good team, and we knew that coming in. We were just hoping to play a competitive game and keep things close and to battle with them.”
Ingomar built a 3-1 advantage after three innings, but the Hawks slowly chipped away at that lead, adding runs off singles by Anthony Lipsey and Russ Yates to tie the game at three in the fifth. Myrtle had a chance to add to that, loading the bases with no outs, but the clutch pitching of Austin Sanders saw three straight Hawks striking out to end the rally.
“They had a lot of chances and we had a lot of chances. We left the bases loaded in the fifth, and that haunts me,” Gordon said. “We had our three, four and five hitters up and he struck out the next three. I commend them because they battled and played with a lot of heart.”
The Hawks would again load the bases in the sixth, this time with two outs, and Austin Floyd gave Myrtle the 6-3 lead with his base-clearing double.
“I was glad to have him up there with that opportunity; he’s the guy I wanted up there in that situation,” Gordon said. “He’s been hitting well and he squared up and when he hit it, he hit the perfect spot, and we had great speed on the bases at the time. He cleared the bases and that was a big hit for us.”
The lead was short lived, as Ingomar answered in the top of the seventh. With runners in scoring position and one out, Wesley Jumper brought in one run and Stephen Laird tied the game with his single and a Myrtle error that scored two runs.
“They knew once they took the lead and broke away a little bit that they still had to get three more outs, and it doesn’t matter who Ingomar has up to bat in the next inning, they’re going to step up, and they’re just a good team,” Gordon said. “Defensively we were horrible, and that’s something we have to work on. We’re very fortunate to come away with this win.”
Myrtle placed runners on second and third with one out and loaded the bases off an intentional walk. The final run would walk in, giving Myrtle the much needed division win.
The Hawks had multiple hits from Floyd and Lipsey and Adam Baker earned the win on the mound. Myrtle still needs help in the final weeks of the regular season, as they sit behind Ingomar, West Union and Potts Camp in the division standings. West Union handed the Cardinals a 14-5 loss on Thursday.
Myrtle will travel to H.W. Byers on Friday and host Corinth on Saturday, while Ingomar will host West Union and East Union this weekend.