Eagles best Savages in 10th inning

Hunter Wilson drove in three runs to help Keota beat Sigourney 9-6 after 10 innings of play on June 22.

The slumping Eagles met up with a rejuvenated Savages squad on June 22, hoping to beat Sigourney for the second time this season. Just a few weeks prior, it was a high scoring affair with ups and downs for both sides when Keota won 18=14. Their more recent game had a similar flow with less runs but the same result as Keota held off Sigourney 9-6 after going into the 10th inning.

    Keota managed to open the game with a run in the first but wouldn’t score again until the fourth inning. At that time, Sigourney had scored five unanswered runs and taken the momentum fully in front of their home fans. Keota fought back with a four-run fourth inning to tie things up at five runs each.

    “I wanted to see us come out and put up some runs early and were able to manufacture some runs with bunts and ground balls along with some hard hit balls,” said Keota coach Tanner McClenahan. “I always tell the kids that when you put the ball in play without popping it up, throw strikes and play defense, we give ourselves a chance.”

    The fourth inning began with a couple quick outs, but the Eagles managed to keep the inning going one batter at a time. Colton Clarahan reached base with a single to shallow right field in his first at-bat of the game and then Carson Sprouse got on first after being hit by a pitch. One run scored after Riley Conrad reached with a single and the bases were loaded after Brady Duwa was walked on a full count. A walk to Justin Moeller brought in another run and that ended the day for Sigourney’s starting pitcher.

    Hunter Wilson was able to make good contact on the ball to keep the inning going, making a tough play for the Savages second baseman as the throw got past the first baseman, advancing the runners to second and third. One run scored on the infield hit and another runner made it home on the error at first.

    Runs were tough to come by after that inning as Keota was shut down in the next two innings while Sigourney scored a run in the bottom of the sixth. Wilson led off the seventh with another infield single which was misplayed, sending him to second base. Austin Waterhouse advanced Wilson to third with a sacrifice bunt towards first base for the first out of the inning. A passed ball allowed the speedy Wilson, whom had a healthy lead past third, to score the tying run.

    Sigourney had a chance to win in the bottom of the seventh after getting a leadoff double and advancing their runner to third with two outs. Clarahan got the final out of the inning from a pop fly, sending the game into extras.

    Neither team scored in the eighth or ninth innings but they did have their chances. In the top of the eighth Sprouse got on base after being walked and made it all the way to third but a safety squeeze attempt didn’t succeed as Carson Crawford threw out Moeller at first before Sprouse could score. Keota finally broke in the 10th to put the game all but out of reach.

    “I want to see us stay checked in for about an hour and a half or two hours and this game went about three hours. I was proud with how they stayed focused throughout,” McClenahan said. “It looked like we were going to lose a few times but we stayed focused and put up those runs late.”

    JD Stout and Sprouse both got on base via walks and Conrad followed up with a single to load the bases with no outs. One run scored after Duwa was walked and Wilson picked up another RBI on a sacrifice fly to deep center field. Waterhouse drove in another run with a single and the inning ended after Jack Eakins struck out.

    Stout finished out the final couple innings on the mound and didn’t allow another Sigourney run to score. After getting a quick out in the 10th he gave up a double and then hit the next batter, putting the tying run at the plate with one out. A strikeout followed by a groundout ended the game with Keota up 9-6.

    “I think out pitching depth helped us get the win,” McClenahan said. “We were patient and had the ability to put guys out there that could throw strikes when needed. At the plate, the guys waited until they got a pitch they liked and could drive the ball.”

    Keota leaders: Riley Conrad – 2 hits, Carson Sprouse/Riley Conrad – 2 runs, Hunter Wilson – 3 RBIs, Justin Moeller/Austin Waterhouse/Carson Sprouse/Brady Duwa – 1 SB, Colton Clarahan – 5 Ks

    The Eagles hoped to build off the positives when they played at Tri-County on June 25 and then hosted Iowa Valley on June 27.