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Monday, Apr. 24, 2017

NMCC baseball team sees lead slip away after back to back homers from Kennett

Thursday, April 20, 2017

(Photo)
NMCC shortstop Jared Reed (0) tags out Kennett's Ty'Reik Thomas (27) at second base Thursday, April 20, 2017 in New Madrid, Mo.
(Chris Pobst, Staff)
NEW MADRID, Mo. -- The New Madrid County Central Eagles baseball team enjoyed a two-run lead over the Kennett Indians with three innings to play. But, with two swings of the bat, it was a brand new game.

Back to back solo home runs by Kennett's Brenton Tidd and Heath McHaney turned the tide, then Ty'Reik Thomas delivered the deciding blow later on to complete the Indian's 9-6 comeback win Thursday in New Madrid, Mo, during a SEMO Conference tilt.

The Eagles scored six runs in the first two innings but their offense went dark the rest of the way.

(Photo)
Kennett's Brenton Tidd (29) is met by teammates after hitting a solo home run in the fifth inning against NMCC Thursday, April 20, 2017 in New Madrid, Mo.
(Chris Pobst, Staff)
"We just got beat," NMCC coach Joe McClarty said. "We played a really good baseball game. They just put some good swings on some balls... You'd like to see us score those six runs and then add on to it. That's something we didn't do. As the game went on and got tighter we had some bad at-bats."

The Eagles (6-9, 1-4 SEMO Conference) jumped out of the gate with a 6-3 lead after two innings, which included a five-run second inning.

Back to back singles from Gavin Bond and Palmer Campbell tied the game at three before a bases-clearing double from Gabe York shot the Eagles ahead 6-3.

"We just came out and had some good at-bats," McClarty said about their quick start. "Gabe York with a big bases-clearing double has huge."

The Eagles pounded Kennett starter Zane Wallace for six runs on seven hits. But the Eagles' red-hot offense was cooled down when Kennett's Connor Oldsen took the mound.

Oldsen limited NMCC to just one hit through four innings of work. He also struck out six and walked two. Seven of NMCC's eight hits were in the first two innings.

"Took Wallace out and put [Oldsen] in and he shut us down for the most part," McClarty said. "He kept the ball away and he's got some natural movement to his ball. He mixed in his breaking ball in and we just couldn't get the big hit with runners on late."

(Photo)
Kennett's Ty'Reik Thomas connects with a pitch that gave Kennett a two-run lead in the seventh inning against New Madrid County Central Thursday, April 20, 2017 in New Madrid, Mo.
(Chris Pobst, Staff)
It's not the first time Oldsen has shut down an opposing offense. He did the same during a 6-5 win over Jonesboro, Ark., last week, according to Kennett coach Aaron New.

"That's the second outing in a row where he's come in and really shut the door and kept us in the game," New said. "We're going to need him and [Wallace] to continue to pitch well as we go forward."

Wallace, who saw the mound for the first time in a week, was on the hook for the loss until Kennett's bats turned things around and Oldsen stopped the bleeding.

"Zane struggled a little bit today," New said. "I don't know if his layoff had anything to do with it, but he's normally a guy that throws a lot of strikes and a lot of his fastballs were up. They got some hits."

The Indians (6-8, 3-3 SEMO Conference) managed to close the gap to two runs in the top of the third inning behind what was the start to a big day from Tidd.

Tidd blasted his first home run of the day to make it 6-4. Two innings later, he began Kennett's upswing with his second blast to left field off of NMCC reliever Thailin Marsh. McHaney followed in the very next at-bat with another solo home run to tie the game at six-all.

It was Tidd's third home run in the last two games.

(Photo)
New Madrid County Central's Jacob Keene delivers a pitch to a Kennett batter Thursday, April 20, 2017 in New Madrid, Mo.
(Chris Pobst, Staff)
"Those guys really got us back in the game," New said.

Kennett's comeback bid was complete in the top of the seventh after loading the bases for Thomas, who roped a two-out, two-run double down the left field line for an 8-6 Kennett lead.

"He's struggled earlier this year, but he's starting to turn the corner offensively," New said about Thomas. "That was a huge hit to finish it off."

Oldsen helped himself with an RBI single following Thomas' liner for the 9-6 final.

The win gave Kennett just it's second two-game winning streak of the year after winning their first two games. Since beating Notre Dame 3-2 on April 1, the Indians are 2-5, which included a five-game losing streak.

"Two weeks ago we couldn't have won this game," New said. "We were in a spot where we just kept doing things to lose games. Today, we found a way to win a game. That shows we're making progress going into the end of the season."

It's the third loss in four days for NMCC after going 2-2 during the Malden Invitational Tournament last weekend. It's also their third-straight conference loss.

"We're trying to just get through this tough stretch and still pushing to be able to compete in districts," McClarty said. "We know this field can play short and it kind of bit us. When you can hit the home run it just kind of gives you the momentum. We're running some young kids out there on the mound and we're learning how to compete and we did that for the most part."

Kennett 121 020 3 -- 9 11 1

NMCC 150 000 0 -- 6 8 0

WP -- Connor Oldsen. LP -- Thailin Marsh. 2B -- Cameron West (K), Ty Ellis (K) 2, Ty'Reik Thomas (K), Gabe York (NM). HR -- Brenton Tidd (K) 2, Heath McHaney (K). Multiple hitters: Kennett -- Ellis 2-3, Patrick Maddox 2-4, Tidd 2-3; NMCC -- Gavin Bond 2-3, Marsh 2-4.