It wasn’t the prettiest afternoon Harrisburg had displayed on the diamond and Ryne Roper’s breaking ball wasn’t as sharp as usual, but he and his teammates did enough in their 7-5 win in eight innings Tuesday afternoon in Pinckneyville.
After the Panthers (8-16) rallied to tie with two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning off of Roper, Harrisburg scored three times in the eight and used a couple of different relievers to lock down the win.
Pinckneyville reliever Caleb Dahn was saddled with the loss after surrendering run scoring hits to Sykes and Cooper Thompson in the eighth.
Sykes Thompson picked up his first save of the year after HHS had to shuffle its defensive alignment around once Justin Younger sustained an apparent hand injury in the bottom of eighth diving for a ball.
Pinckneyville squandered chances to win the game in the seventh and again in the eighth inning. The Panthers had the bases loaded with one out in the seventh and had to settle for the two runs. Pinckneyville ended the game with runners at second and third.
After Harrisburg (22-3) grabbed an early lead on a first inning hit from Matthew Phipps, Pinckneyville jumped in front with two unearned runs in the bottom of the first.
The Bulldogs evened things up on Roper’s sixth home run in the fifth inning. Harrisburg then pulled in front in the top of the sixth on a run-scoring single from Nick Davis. HHS got another insurance run and led 4-2 after Brady Mayer singled in a run in seventh.
Roper still managed to win his ninth game on the hill and struck out 10 while scattering eight hits.
The Bulldogs have won 14 of their last 15 and host Eldorado at Dorris Heights Wednesday afternoon before traveling to Carterville Thursday.
Harrisburg also learned Tuesday that it earned the top seed in its own 2A regional. Massac County locked down the second spot, followed by Vienna, Eldorado and Hamilton County.
Crab Orchard 6, Carrier Mills-Stonefort 2
CRAB ORCHARD - Carb Orchard's six runs in the first inning proved to be the difference in a 6-2 win over Carrier Mills-Stonefort Tuesday.
Loren Whiting took the loss, going just one inning and allowing six runs on six hits, while walking one.
Dalton Summers stopped the bleeding with five innings of relief work, registering one strikeout, while giving up five hits.
The Wildcats scored a run in the third when Darren Betz tripled and scored on Bailey's single. In the sixth inning, Carrier Mills-Stonefort tacked on one more run with Goodman reaching on a single, followed by a Summers double.Graham's RBI groundout scored Goodman.
The Wildcats (7-12) are slated to play at Gallatin County Thursday.