Seneca drew even with a big rally in the sixth inning, but couldn’t hang on as the Nevada Tigers tacked on three in the top of the seventh to steal an 8-5 victory at the 39th annual Bill O’Dell Tournament at Carl Lewton Stadium.
Trailing 5-0, the Indians looked all but done in the sixth until Payton Rawlins lined a single to right to make it 5-1. Marty Mailes later punched a single to left to make it 5-3, and Brett Roark singled with one out to right to make it 5-4. Cole Lankford then lifted a sac fly to left to score Cade Cornett to tie it 5-5.
“You’ve got to hand it to these kids, they’ll battle and they’re never out of a ballgame,” Indians coach Chris Yust said. “We’ve had big innings this year, so we knew we could do it again. We never got our heads down, we got down five runs and still felt like we could come back and tie it up.”
The Tigers responded in the top of the seventh, scoring the go-ahead run on an error with the bases loaded and one out to make it 6-5. Clay Regers then punched a two-run single to left to cap it at 8-5.
“Tip your cap to (the Tigers). They’re a good team, they made big plays and got the big hits at the end,” Yust said.
Seneca pitcher Payton Rawlins went the distance on the mound, scattering seven hits and allowing seven runs (four earned) on three walks and five strikeouts.
Mailes had two hits and two RBIs for the Indians, while Rawlins, Roark and Lankford had a hit and an RBI apiece. Dalan Merriman also had a hit.
Cole Sanderson earned the win on the hill in a complete-game effort for the Tigers.
Seneca (5-2) takes on Webb City at 7 p.m. tonight in Carthage.