EDDYVILLE — Woodward-Granger head coach Eric Evans returned to his old school Friday, leading the Class 2A fifth-ranked Hawks to Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont. Evans is a 1998 graduate of what was then E-B.
E-B-F (16-15) is coached by Tom Hallgren, who was an assistant under Scott McKinley at W-G from 2006-09.
All the connections meant little when it came to the desire for victory on the diamond, and the Rockets used a five-run sixth to streak past the Hawks for a 7-5 win.
After starting the season 25-0, W-G has staggered down the stretch, winning only two of their last five to enter the playoffs 27-5.
Errors doomed W-G Friday, as six of the E-B-F runs that crossed the dish were unearned.
The Hawks plated three runs in the top of the second inning to grab an early lead, but the Rockets chipped away with single tallies in the fourth and fifth before surging to a 7-3 lead after five players stepped on the plate in the sixth.
W-G rallied to score twice in the top of the seventh but could not find a way to add at least two more tallies and suffered the loss.
Matt Rhodes pitched four innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on two hits and four walks while striking out four. He was replaced by Reese Jamison, who walked one batter and allowed four hits while five unearned runs scored in his 1-2/3 frames of work. He struck out one batter, with Matt Buch retiring the only batter he faced to end the sixth.
Brady Aunspach was 3-for-3 with two singles, and a double. He drove in two runs and drew a walk and is tied for second in 2A with 46 hits on the season.
Marcus McConahay had two hits and stole his 36th base (in 38 attempts) this season, increasing his own school record for career thefts to 86. His 36 swipes are second-best in 2A.
Rhodes drove in a run with a double and leads 2A with 46 RBIs while Jamison remains in a three-way tie for third with 43 RBIs.
Austin Scharlau had two hits and a RBI, with Buch adding two hits while Cole Theisen walked twice, with Spencer Hanson drawing a walk and recording a RBI. Aunspach, McConahay, Scharlau, Buch and Theisen each scored for the guests.
Bracken Taylor went six innings for E-B-F, allowing four runs (two earned) on seven hits and three walks while recording six strikeouts. Wyatt Klyn yielded a run on three hits and a walk in two-thirds of an inning, with Noah Strausser walking one and striking out one for his only out.
Joey Voyles had a double and two RBIs for the hosts, with Jordan Hawk adding a pair of base hits.
Central Decatur and Mt. Ayr play at Truro at 5 p.m. tonight, with Clarke facing host Interstate-35. The winner of the latter game plays Des Moines Christian in Granger Tuesday at 5 p.m. in a Class 2A District 12 Semifinal, with W-G to battle with winner of tonight’s first game.
Tuesday’s winners return to Granger to contest the District 12 Final July 15 at 7 p.m. with the Substate 6 Final slated for July 18 in Indianola at 7 p.m.