Clarksville, Ark.-Cory Briggs drove in five runs to help the #17 Eagles to a 6-4 win over the #4 Texas-Tyler Patriots in American Southwest Conference action on Thursday night.
Trailing 4-1 after six, the sophomore from Greencastle, Pa., powered a three-run shot over the left field fence to tie the division battle at 4-4 in the seventh. Both John Glenn and Bruce Cameron each singled to set up Briggs’ second homer of the season. The Eagles held the Patriots (19-4, 3-1) scoreless in their next at bat, and then came up big again in the top of the eighth. Scott Dietz led off the inning with a walk, and Logan Kizer followed with a sacrifice bunt to put him in scoring position. David Smith put runners at the corners when he reached base on a single to the left field gap. With two outs, Cameron drew a walk to load the bases for Briggs. The ASC’s leading batter knocked a single up the middle to score a pair of runs and give Ozarks a 6-4 lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
The Patriots opened the bottom half of the first with a run, but the Eagles answered when Dietz doubled in Robby Finnell in the top of the second. Texas-Tyler would score three more over the next five and one-half innings before Briggs would provide Ozarks with an offensive lift.
Todd Koch went five innings as the starter and gave up two earned runs. Finnell (3-0) picked up the win, pitching three innings in relief. Finnell struck out three and allowed two hits. John Scheuring then finished off the Patriots by retiring the side in the bottom of the ninth. It was his first save of the season.
Briggs finished 2-for-5 with 5 RBI.
The Eagles and Patriots continue their series tomorrow with a double-header beginning at 1:00 p.m.