The law of averages finally brought an end to the Southwest losing streak. Josh Hartin mastered the Purdy lineup on Monday night, facing only 26 batters in his six innings of work, and Levi Roberts came on to pitch the final inning as the Trojans won an Ozark 7 Conference contest over their Highway 37 rivals.
In the first inning at Washburn, Purdy's Riley Veith matched Hartin's wizardry on the mound. Throwing an effective mix of fastballs and tempting slow curves, Veith shut down the Trojans to keep the game scoreless. Hartin pitched to only four batters in both the top of the first inning and the second, but Veith would falter in his bid to keep up when the home team faced him for the second time.
Kenny Ferguson's team batted around in the home half of the second and plated six runs on four hits, two walks and an error. Cam McCurdy, playing in his first game since being injured in a track workout in March, smashed a two-RBI triple to open the scoring.
The Eagles scratched out a run in the top of the third, converting the always troublesome leadoff walk into a run against Hartin. But Purdy's Daniel Burnside popped out to Austin Evans at third base to end the potential rally.
Southwest stranded Jordan Savage in the bottom of the third frame, and Purdy answered by leaving Kevin Miller on base as the third out came in the top of the fourth. The Trojans manufactured another run in the home half of that inning though, when Roberts drove in Hartin with an RBI double.
The fifth innning passsed uneventfully, and Purdy came to bat in the top of the sixth facing a 7-1 deficit. The Eagles scored twice when Miller delivered a two-RBI single to change the score to 7-3.
Veith yielded the mound to Burnside as the Trojans came to bat in the sixth. After coaxing Jake Shrum into a lineout back to the mound, Burnside nicked Hartin with a pitch, who was then thrown out on the base paths for the second out.
Roberts then clobbered a triple to the outfield fence, and Purdy elected to give Tyler Ferguson an intentional pass. But a six-pitch walk to Skylar Knoll loaded the bases, and Josh Hughes switched pitchers again, putting Landon Terry on the mound with no room for error. Terry met the challenge, striking out McCurdy on three pitches.
Roberts took the hill for the Trojans to start the seventh inning. The Southwest senior retired the Eagles on just five pitches to secure the win.
Southwest improves to 4-3 with the end of the losing streak. Purdy falls to 1-3 overall. Both teams have already lost to Wheaton in Ozark 7 play.