Austin used a double, passed ball and sacrifice fly in the top of the seventh to score a run and post a 6-5 Mid-Southern Conference win at Brownstown Central Monday afternoon.
The lead between two of the top teams in the MSC went back-and-forth throughout the afternoon with the Braves holding leads of 2-0 and 3-2 before the Eagles grabbed a 5-3 lead, and scored the winning run in the seventh.
“It was a well-played ballgame by both teams,” Braves coach John Lawson said. “There was good pitching on both sides, and some timely hitting, and both teams took advantage of some opportunities.
“Our defense was really good. We had one throwing error. We had guys diving, knocking balls down, and keeping it in the infield. We had a lot of effort, a lot of energy tonight, and I’m proud of that.”
The Braves got their bats going early as Carson Lambring led off the bottom of the first with a single. Ty Maxie hit a ground ball to the second baseman, who tried to make a play on Lambring at second base but his throw was late.
Sy Zickler followed with a drive into the gap in left-center that brought in Lambring and Maxie.
The Eagles scored single runs in the third and fourth innings to tie the game before Nick Marling led off the bottom of the fourth with his first home run of the season to put the Braves back on top at 3-2.
That lead didn’t last long as Tanner Craig pounded a three-run homer over the fence in left-center in the top of the fifth to put the Eagles on top 5-3.
Brownstown took advantage of some shaky defense by the Eagles to tie the game in the bottom of the fifth. Lambring started the rally with a double, he moved to third on a sacrifice by Maxie and scored when the shortstop errored Kramer’s ground ball.
Marling reached first base safely on an error by the shortstop and Devon Stuckwisch singled to drive in Kramer.
The Braves (9-2, 3-1 MSC) outhit the Eagles 9-6 as Lambring, Zickler and Marling had two hits each. Lambring scored two runs and Zickler had two RBIs.
Cody Williams went the first 6.1 innings on the mound for the Braves and had four strike outs, walked two, gave up six hits and five earned runs.
“Austin’s a really good ball team,” Lawson said of the Eagles, who are ranked No. 6 in class 2A. “They’re solid, they’re 11-3. They’ve had some good wins against some quality teams. (Drew Buhr) was their No. 1 (pitcher). They’ve got deep pitching. We’ve got deep pitching too. It was a well-played game, we just came up short.
“We left eight runners on base. If we could have just capitalized on some of that… That’s baseball. You read the box scores on any level of baseball you’re going to have that. I was proud of the way they played. There is no such thing as a good loss in my mind.
“There can be a productive loss. That I think we can build off of this our energy and enthusiasm. We competed from pitch one.”
The Braves stranded two runners in the first, fifth and sixth innings.
The Braves will travel to Scottsburg Thursday for a MSC game, and will host Floyd Central and Bedford North Lawrence Saturday.