By Matt Goisman
STUART — The Stuart Hornets hung with the defending state champion Red Oak Eagles for three innings, but a big fourth inning started Stuart on a downward slide.
Against the Moss Pirates, that slide turned into a free-fall.
Red Oak and Moss out-played Stuart on offense, defense and the mound, leading to losses by the Hornets in both games of Tuesday’s three-way at Stuart. The Hornets lost to the Eagles, 8-2, and got run-ruled in four innings by the Pirates, 12-0.
Eagles 8, Hornets 2
Red Oak broke a 1-1 tie by sending eight to the plate in the top of the fourth. Tyler Parks led off with a walk, Lane Grogan dropped a perfect bunt down the third base line to reach and move Parks up, then Cody Muncy walked two batters later to load the bases.
Colt Browne drew Red Oak’s second walk in a row to put Red Oak up 2-1.
Stuart starting pitcher Dillon Lawrence came back to strike out Dewayne Grogan, but nine-hole hitter Morgan Crenshaw then blasted one to deep right field. Right fielder Traynor Blasengame couldn’t quite track the ball’s trajectory and it got over his head, clearing the bases on a three-RBI double that made it 5-1.
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