PURDY - On two consecutive nights ideal for baseball, the Purdy Eagles have become less about the anemic play of April and more about the business of playoffs in May.
The Exeter Tigers visited on Monday and pushed the Eagles all the way to the end before succumbing 11-8.
The win put Purdy into double digits on the year (10-6) and gave it a share of the Ozark 7 Conference title at 3-1.
The league champion pie has been sliced up among Southwest, Wheaton and Purdy.
Exeter fell to 5-11 and finished winless in league play.
The Tigers came back to life after suffering through three scoreless innings, mounting a 4-run rally in the fifth to go ahead 6-5.
Eagles coach Josh Hughes admonished his team before they came to bat in the bottom of the fifth:
"You let them hang around and now we've got to take care of business," Hughes said.
His charges responded.
Utilityman extraordinaire Daniel Burnside belted a triple in the bottom of the fifth, driving in two to regain the lead at 7-6.
Exeter pitching gave up walks and the fielding suffered too, loading up the bases for a Purdy flourish without the benefit of earned runs. Devon Bennett's drive to center was misplayed, and the ensuing triple drove in a pair to control the game at 10-6.
Purdy's insurance runs an inning later proved critical, as Exeter went out fighting with two more in the top of the seventh.
Purdy threw a variety of pitchers with Kevin Miller getting the win in a brief appearance.
Conference title in the books, Purdy hosted the Marionville Comets (3-15) on Tuesday night.
Again the Eagles got tested, but this time it centered on one inning - the second - when Marionville got aboard with a pair of hits and hit batters. The loaded bases were cleared with a dramatic grand slam over the left field scoreboard, making it 6-1 Marionville.
|It would take Purdy four innings to overcome the Comets' mother lode blast. The Eagles chipped away with 11 hits while scoring in each of the first five innings to build an 11-6 lead, which they rode out the final two innings.||Purdy stayed with starter Miller all the way, earning his second win in as many nights. Miller suffered an injury to his throwing hand in basketball, so he's spent the season holding down third base.|
"Miller battled all the way," said Hughes. "He held their (grand slam) kid hitless after he hit it over the fence.'
Purdy is now 11-6 on the season and is in position for a decent seed when the district seeding is set tonight. Purdy will also host the games on May 15, 17 and 18.