Magnolia survived two late rallies by host Union Local using some good defense to strand ten base runners en route to a 5-2 Thursday afternoon win over the Jets.
The Jets looked like they had shut down the Blue Eagles in the opening frame retiring two batters on fly balls until Kyle Elliott reached on an error.
As is often the case, veteran coach Dave Cisar's squad would make them pay for their miscue as the next batter, Zac Wilhoit, ripped the next pitch for an RBI double.
Magnolia’s Kyle Elliot successfully swipes second as Union Local second baseman Griffey Girty attempts to make the tag. Additional images may be found at cu.timesleaderonline.com
Jake Starkey would line drive an 0-2 pitch into the gap to score Wilhoit and Tanner Hanna singled aboard before Jets hurler Justin Riley would strike out the number six batter to end the two out rally.
Wilhoit would struggle early on the mound for Magnolia plunking the Jets leadoff batter Austin Curry and walking Tyler McGary on 4 straight pitches.
Wilhoit got the next batter to pop out before sophomore Tristan Bruce plated Curry on a fielders choice. Wilhoit would fan the next batter to end the inning and strand a pair for Union Local.
Chandler Sapp would lead off in the top of the second for the Blue Eagles and reach on an error. Coach Dave would signal the steal to put a runner in scoring position but this time the Jets would hold as Riley notched a second K and relied on his defense to retire the next two and strand Sapp at third.
Riley would start off the inning for Union Local in the bottom of the second with a single, Eric Dunfee moved him to second with a single but Riley would get tagged out on a ground ball to shortstop Jason Keller.
Curry would notch an RBI single to score Dunfee with two out before McGary flied out to deep right ending the inning stranding a pair.
Once again the Blue Eagles would benefit from Union Local errors as Elliott was plunked and stole second base. Riley would strike out the next batter but a dropped third strike allowed Elliott to advance to third base. Tanner Hanna would reach on an error which kept the inning alive and allowed Elliotts crossing of the dish to count giving Magnolia back the lead.
The Jets would threaten in the fourth and fifth but the Blue Eagles would strand a pair again in the fourth frame and then Union Local would leave the bases loaded in the bottom of the fifth.
The Blue Eagles added an insurance run in the top of the seventh as Jayson Keller became the third Magnolia batter to be hit by a pitch Keller swiped second and reached third on a passed ball where Elliot sent him home on a sac fly to account for the fifth run.
Dave Cisar made the switch to Hanna on the hill, the closer would not disappoint for the Blue Eagles as he issued two infield outs and struck out four batters to preserve the win.
"We were real happy to get this win because this season we have struggled in close games," said Dave Cisar. "Union Local was generous with fielding errors and gave us a couple but I thought we played solid all the way around.
"That has been the story of our week so far," said Jets' skipper Rich Mercer. "Unearned runs, we let 4 runs in, all on 6 errors.
"I thought we pressed a little at the plate," Mercer added. "We had base runners in scoring position with just one out and could not get the clutch hits."
Magnolia 201 100 1 5 5 0
Union Local 110 000 0 2 4 6
Batteries: Wilhoit, Hanna (6) and Cain. Riley and R. Simpson.
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