CARTERVILLE — Cole Sizemore's double in the bottom of the sixth inning gave the Carterville Lions a come-from-behind 7-6 win over Du Quoin in a SIRR Mississippi Division baseball game Thursday.
"Both teams have played a bunch of games this week, so my guys knew it was all hands on deck today," said Carterville coach Bobby Jackson.
Carterville's (8-5, 3-3 Mississippi) game-winning rally began with one out when the shortstop couldn't get a glove on a hard smash by Blake Jackson. Jackson stole second two pitches before Bryce Clarry hit Kaleb Vaughn to put runners at first and second with Sizemore coming up.
Sizemore took a ball in the dirt as Jackson stole third, and when the ball got away from the catcher, Vaughn advanced to second.
The junior catcher, who had struck out his first two at-bats and popped out to right to lead off the fifth, lined Clarry's next pitch down the left field line to clear the bases and regain the lead for the Lions, 7-6.
"I was struggling early caught looking on some curveballs, but I came up in my last at-bat looking for a fastball," Sizemore said. "I was getting some encouragement from the dugout when I got the one I wanted up-and-in and took it to left field."
Alex Haake (1-0), who had came into the game with one out in the fourth inning in relief of starter Alex Griffin, struck out the first two batters in the seventh before hitting Alex Zimmerman to give the Indians a chance. However, one pitch later, Hank Stewart flew out to right to end the game.
"Alex had a lot of time on the mound and I have a lot of confidence in him," Jackson said. "He threw well last Saturday and came in and shut door today."
Du Quoin (10-8, 2-4 Mississippi) took the early led with two runs in the top of the first starting with Stewart drawing a leadoff walk and Tevin Lee following wit a base hit to right center. One out later, Stewart scored when the right fielder dropped a high fly ball and Lee scored on a sacrifice fly to right by Ashton Smith.
Griffin tied the game in the second with a two-out bases loaded single. The Lions took the lead in the third, starting when Vaughn led off and reached base on a dropped third strike.
Sizemore followed with a ground ball to deep short, but the throw to second was wild, leaving runners at first and second. Peter Baker drove in Vaughn with a single down the left field line and Sizemore scored on a wild pitch.
"We gave them too many runs," said Du Quoin coach Tim Craft. "We had too mistakes in the field and our approach at the plate wasn't good for the most part."
Griffin got out of a two-out bases loaded jam in the first by striking out Bryzn Witcher. Stewart tripled with one out in the second, but the Lions caught a break when he was thrown at home trying to score on a wild pitch.
After setting down the side in the third, Griffin walked Charley Mercier to lead off the fourth. One out later, he walked Witcher and Zimmerman singled to load the bases.
After getting Stewart on a pop fly, Griffin hit Tevin Lee to force in a run. Braden Lee then hit a line drive that third baseman Cam Hall could only get a glove on to drive in two runs to regain the lead for the Indians, 5-4.
Haake was brought in and was greeted with a bloop infield hit by Jordan Edwards to reload the bases. The senior right-hander got out of the jam on a line drive to center by Smith.
Du Quoin upped its lead to 6-4 in the fifth when Blaine Bradley singled with one out and scored on a wild pitch one out later. Haake pitched around hitting Braden Lee to lead off the sixth.
The Lions cut the lead back to one run in the bottom of the fifth when Hall singled with one out and scored on an errant pick-off attempt by Clarry.