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By Corey Stott
MEMPHIS, Mo.- 5/2/22- It was a great game in awful weather. The Scotland County Tigers (7-9, 4-3) were looking for redemption coming off a tough loss to Westran. They were hoping to find it last Monday night when Canton came to town. After surrendering the lead late, the Tigers of Scotland were able to rally for a walk-off 5-4 win over the Tigers of Canton.
Lucas Durflinger started on the bump for Scotland County and Robert Sutton was the starting hurler for Canton. Both pitchers made it through the first inning unscathed. In the bottom of the second, Scotland County was able to get on the board when Elias Hatfield hit a hard grounder that caused an error for the second baseman. That grounder scored Xavier Lucas and Scotland County led 1-0 after two innings.
Canton returned the favor in the top of the third. Brady Hoewing launched a sac fly to deep center field that scored Aydin Morlang. Preston Brewer later singled to right to score Dalton Berhorst. Canton led 2-1 mid third.
Scotland County answered in the bottom of the frame with a run of their own. An Ian Wilson sac fly to left scored Riley Small. The game was tied at two apiece.
Both teams went scoreless in the fourth before Scotland County took the lead in the bottom of the fifth. Payton Frederick drilled a single that scored Corbyn Spurgeon. Scotland County was back ahead 3-2 at the end of the fifth.
The game again became a defensive battle in the sixth, but that was just a warm-up for the excitement that would be the seventh inning.
A Hoewing RBI ground-out scored Morlang and a Preston Brewer single scored Berhorst. Canton had retaken the lead 4-3 middle of the seventh and things felt bleak for Scotland County.
But Coach Sears’ boys had other ideas. A one-out rally paved the way for the eventual win. Lucas got the rally rolling with an RBI single to score Wilson and the game was tied at four apiece. Lucas then stole his way to third to put the winning run in scoring position. Payton Frederick drew a walk and then Canton issued an intentional pass to Logan Buford to load the bases.
Canton was gambling on a double-play to escape the inning. The gamble backfired. With bases loaded and one out, Hatfield drove the first pitch on a line to center field for a walk-off RBI single that put Lucas across the plate to score the winning run. The Scotland County Tigers mobbed Hatfield near home plate to celebrate the 5-4 victory.
Durflinger got the start for Scotland County and went six innings facing 30 batters. He walked three and struck out five, while allowing four runs on six hits. Buford worked the final inning and picked up the win. He registered a strike out while allowing one walk and one hit.
Sutton started for Canton and lasted six innings. He faced 28 batters, walking two and striking out nine while allowing three runs on six hits. Brewer worked the final 1/3 inning of relief. He picked up the loss by putting the winning run on base. He allowed two walks and two runs on three hits.
Lucas was two of three with an RBI. Wilson, Frederick and Hatfield also had an RBI each. The Tigers hit the ball better at a nine of 29 clip.