The St. Mary Vikings hosted the Murray Tigers on the baseball diamond Monday night in a First Region showdown. What looked to an early victory for the visitors, turned into late rally from the home team as the Vikings secured the 12-11 victory.
Monday nights win keeps St. Mary perfect early in the season with a 4-0 record.
Senior Luke Heath clinched the win from the mound as he threw for the final frame, throwing 14 strikes on 22 pitches and allowing just one hit.
“Luke Heath came in and shut it down for us,” St. Mary head coach Chris Haas said. “He’s our go-to guy and I’m glad he shut the door when he did.”
Murray led 11-4 going into the bottom of the fifth inning as the Tigers had a strong seven-run second inning to get the ball flying. A fly ball double from Carson Tucker brought home Daven Hood for that 11th run, but the St. Mary defense would shut down their visiting opponent from there.
Junior Landon Durbin preceded Heath at the plate where he pitched the fifth and sixth innings, allowing just the lone run. On the night Durbin struck out five while allowing one hit and two walks while throwing 23 trikes.
An eight-run inning for St. Mary started with a line drive to center field from Jackson Willett, bringing home Durbin. Murray would snag their first out of the inning from there, but the Vikings would rally, as a single from head brought home Avry Duncan.
A walk for Austin Duncan loaded the bases with Brett Haas in scoring position. A Zack Krueger walk scored Haas and kept the bases loaded, making it an 11-7 ball game and still only one out.
This cycle continued and bases remained loaded until a ground out by Duncan gave Murray their second out of the inning, but not before Luke Sims rounded home.
The winning run came courtesy of Landre Smiles when he stole home on a wild pitch to take the 12-11 lead.
St. Mary’s defense took over the rest of the way as Durbin threw three quick strikeouts and handed the game over to Heath to close things out.
“It’s always good to get out on the right foot,” Haas said. “We have a senior-led team, we have six seniors that are leading these guys and that certainly helps. Our guys are playing good baseball right now and we hope to continue to play good ball.”
St. Mary will stay in action on Tuesday night as they host Massac County and will follow that up with a home game against Hickman County on Thursday. Murray will look to regroup and get back to their home field on Thursday night when they host the visiting University Heights Blazers.
ST. MARY 12, MURRAY 11
SMHS: 0 3 0 1 8 0 X 12-11-3
MHS: 0 7 0 3 1 0 0 11-9-4
2B: MHS — C. Garner 2, C Tucker
TB: SM — L. Sims 2, Z Krueger 2, J. Willett 2, L. Durbin 2, L. Heath 2, B. Quigley 2. MHS — C. Garner 4, C. Tucker 4, A. Starks 2, J. Elmore 1, D. Jennings 1.
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