After losing the lead in the eighth inning, the Morehead State baseball team dug deep for three runs and held on to defeat host Alabama State 7-5 Tuesday at the Wheeler-Watkins Complex.
The game, originally set to be played in Morehead but moved for weather, sent the Eagles to their fifth consecutive victory. MSU is now 12-9.
MSU fell behind 5-4 heading into the top of the ninth, but pinch hitter Jake Hammon lit a fire under the Eagles' offense by crushing a leadoff triple off the right field wall.
Junior shortstop Reid Leonard then poked a single through the right side to tie the game, and senior outfielder Tyler Niemann gave his team the lead for good with a double down the right field line to score Leonard from first base.
Junior first baseman Trevor Snyder, who finished with three RBI, added an insurance run with a sac fly.
The Eagles then had to stave off a potential rally by the Hornets as closer Dom Masullo loaded the bases, but lefty reliever David Looney closed the door with a strike out and a line out to left field to seal the win and his first career save.
“It wasn't pretty, but we are happy to get the win,” said head coach Mike McGuire. “I told our guys that you never know when you are going to be called upon, and I though Jake's (Hammon) leadoff triple really ignited the dugout. We had a couple of pitchers who kind of made a mess for themselves, and they'll continue to be called upon because they are important for us, but guys like Cory (Conway), TJ (Satterly) and David (Looney) really picked us up.”
Niemann's RBI single and Snyder's two-run double pushed the Eagles to a 3-0 lead in the third inning, and MSU potentially could have had at least two more if not for an unfortunate hit that banged off a moving runner going to second base.
Alabama State scored twice in the bottom of the third, but Satterly locked down and pitched the next 3.2 innings while only allowing one run. Senior left-fielder Eli Boggess scored the fourth run when he singled, stole second and later scored on a wild pitch from third base.
Conway was credited with the victory to improve to 2-0.
Of the Eagles' 13 hits, Niemann, Boggess, senior second baseman Braxton Morris and junior center-fielder Connor Pauly had two each. Morris extended his hitting streak to 16 games.