After a close win on the home field in Paris, the Eagles travel the few miles east to face the Subiaco Academy Trojans on their turf last week.
It was a packed parking lot, with many in attendance having connections to both teams. Not many years ago, those in the stands played on regional teams together in American Legion baseball before the high school programs were instituted. With their children now of age, the rivalry draws family and community to watch familiar names face off.
Kris Graham took the mound for the Eagles, and Tencleve would toe the rubber for the Trojans. The Eagles took the lead in the first, but only mustered one run. Close calls and questionable calls marked this game from the outset, and would prove a point of frustration throughout.
For Paris, a team that uses its speed to stretch the infield and force throws, those calls were directly linked to scoring opportunities.
The frustration would not interfere with the pitching, as Graham would go 3 2/3 innings without giving up a run, striking out six and limiting his pitch count. Paris put up three runs in the fourth, adding another run in each inning thereafter.
The Trojans were kept scoreless until the sixth, where they put up four runs. They added another in the bottom of the seventh, but the rally ended there and Paris again took a close 7-5 win.
Toby Inman and J P Potts would both have three hits on the evening, with Potts also stealing three bases on the evening.
Paris had no rest, as rain forced an earlier game to be played the following night. Fortunately for the Eagles, only Graham would require a days rest, as the pitching staff was efficient in its approach.
After the long drive to Waldron, Paris would jump out to a 5-1 lead after two innings, and with Toby Inman on the mound, that is usually a safe margin. Inman lasted 4 1/3 innings, but gave up runs late in his tenure, as Waldron collected eight hits and turned them into eight runs, though the Eagles did not commit a defensive error.
The Eagles could only muster one more run, and took the road loss 8-6. Again, they had a short turn around, as they hosted Cedarville the following night.
With the new pitching rules already mandating rest according to pitch count, back to back to back games compound the issue, requiring coaching to balance pitch counts and opportunities.
Against Cedarville, Graham would be able to again take the mound due to his efficient play against Subiaco Academy. After giving up two runs in the top of the first, there was some tension in the air. How would Paris respond on their third consecutive night of play? The answer came fast and left no doubt.
Paris pounded out five runs in the bottom of the first, following with two more in the second, and four more in the third. Now up 11-2, the Eagles wanted to be efficient and end the game without exhausting their staff. They would need a 10 run lead to accomplish that, and when Cedarville added another run in the top of the fifth, the Eagles would need two in the bottom half of the inning to end the game early.
With the first two men reaching base, the red hot Inman stepped up and singled to right field. Coach Baxter would send the runners with no outs, and both would score, ending the game with no outs in the fifth inning.
On the night, Toby Inman went 4/4 with five RBIs. Paris put 13 hits on the board and put the game away in the most efficient way possible.
With a weekend to rest before hosting Charleston Tuesday, then traveling to Lamar on the Thursday for a double header and to Booneville on the Friday for the regular season finale.