URBANA - Macks Creek returned to the ball diamond after a week hiatus, opening pool play in the Wheatland/Halfway Tournament at Skyline with a 7-3 victory over the Niangua Cardinals on Monday night.
Niangua plated two runs in the bottom of the first.  Wyatt Bailey singled and moved to second when Scott Terry walked.  Both would advance on a wild pitch.  Austin Hankins came to the plate and hit a ground ball to second, which was misplayed, allowing Bailey and Terry to score for a 2-0 advantage.
Macks Creek plated a single tally in the third.  Brian Devivo walked and moved to second on a Tommie Willis single.  Both runners would execute a double-steal to put runners in scoring position.  Matt Hicks hit a chopper to short, where a play was made on Willis, but came up too slow to get Hicks at first.  Brian scored on the play and cut the lead to 2-1.
The Cardinals responded with a run of their own in the bottom half.  Bryce Adams walked and promptly stole second and third.  He would score on a ground ball back to the pitcher and create a 3-1 lead.
The fifth proved to be the big inning for the Pirates.  Brian struck out but reached first on a passed ball.  An attempt to get him at first sailed by the pitcher and Devivo raced around to third.  Willis followed with a ground ball to short, which was misplayed, and scored Brian.  Hicks then singled before he and Tommie completed another double-steal to put runners in scoring position.  After a strikeout, Cameron Charlton ripped a ground ball through the right side pushing both runners across to give Macks Creek their first lead, 4-3.
Macks Creek would plate another run in the sixth.  Austin Mitcell singled and later scored on a Brian Devivo single.  Hicks and Charlton would both score in the top of the seventh to create the final margin.
"Hidden in the good things we did tonight is the one statistic that stands out," commented Coach Trusty, "offensively we struck out 18 times.  To get a win in come-from-behind fashion with that many of those is ugly, but right now a win is a win."
"I'm proud of the way our boys grinded this one out."
Ben Lutz picked up his second win in as many starts with four-and-one-third innings pitched.  He struck out eight, walked three, and allowed three runs, one earned, on two hits.  He moves to 2-1 overall.  Brian Devivo relieved and worked the final two-and-two-thirds of an inning.  He struck out five, walked one, and allowed a single hit.
Bryce Adams worked the complete game for Niangua.  He allowed seven runs, three earned, on eight hits while striking out 18 and walking two.
Cameron Charlton paced the Pirates' offense with a three-for-four night at the plate.  The freshman collected three RBI's and also scored a run.  Brian Devivo reached base on a walk, strikeout, and singled while Tommie Willis reached on an error and singled as well.  Matt Hicks walked, hit into a fielder's choice, singled, and reached on an error in his four trips to the plate.  Andrew Kohler reached on a dropped third strike, Jacob Devivo reached on an error and had a hit in the contest as well while Chase Schmidt reached on a fielder's choice.  Austin Mitchell singled in the contest.  Brian and Hicks scored twice while Willis and Mitchell each crossed the plate once.  Brian and Hicks also collected RBI's in the contest.
Bryce Adams also paced the offense with a two-for-four night.  He scored a run as well.  Wyatt Bailey singled and scored, Scott Terry reached base twice via the walk, Tre Kochs reached on an error, and David Champlin walked.  Austin Hankins reached on an error, which pushed two runs in, collected an RBI and walked.
Macks Creek improves to 3-3 with the win.  Macks Creek will take on the Skyline Tigers, currently the seventh ranked team in Class 2 on Tuesday.  A day off on Wednesday will be followed by the last game of pool play on Thursday as they play Climax Springs.
               1   2   3   4   5   6   7    R   H   E
MC        0   0   1    0   3   1   2    7   8   2
NIAN.   2   0   1    0   0   0   0    3   3   6