By Joel Coleman
MABEN – East Webster's Ty Hendrix drew a one-out walk in the bottom of the sixth inning and ultimately came around to score the decisive run in the Wolverines' 9-8 win over Eupora in the second round of the East Webster Spring Break Tournament.
Hendrix's run came just a half-inning after Eupora's Charles Morton connected for a two-out, three-run homer off of East Webster's Codie Silver that pulled Eupora into an 8-8 tie.
Morton's blast was just another blow in a contest that went back and forth from the beginning.
East Webster, which advanced to Saturday's night game after a 22-6 win over Shaw earlier in the day, took an early lead over Eupora by scoring three runs in the bottom of the first inning.
Hayden Hendrix, Nich Morrow and Austin Seawright each drove in runs for the Wolverines in their opening at-bat against Eupora starting pitcher Jeremy Wright.
The Eagles, who beat Ethel 14-1 earlier in the day to advance to Saturday night's game, bounced back with four runs of their own in the top of the second, all coming with the benefit of just one hit.
Silver, who started the game on the mound for the Wolverines, walked two batters in the inning and fell victim to a pair of defensive errors that allowed Eupora's Wright, B.G. Salley, Justin Newton and Corey Richardson to score and give the Eagles a 4-3 lead.
East Webster reclaimed the advantage in the home half of the third.
Silver, Austin Halford and Jamie McKee all drove in runs to help the Wolverines go up 6-4.
The East Webster lead spread to 8-4 in the bottom of the fifth.
Morton, who took over the pitching duties for Eupora in the fourth inning, struggled in his second frame on the hill, surrendering two East Webster runs without allowing a hit.
Morton more than made up for the runs he gave up in the sixth.
After Cain Young drove in a run with a double to cut Eupora's deficit to 8-5, Morton stepped to the plate with runners at second and third and sent a Silver pitch deep over the right field fence to tie the game.
What was already a big inning for the Eagles just missed becoming even bigger.
Following Morton's blast, Wright was hit by a pitch, putting him on first with two outs.
McKee then relieved Silver on the mound for East Webster and was promptly greeted with what would have been a run-scoring double by Casey Oliver if not for the field umpire's ruling that Wright missed third base on his way to the plate.
The call ended the frame as East Webster came to bat in the bottom of the sixth when Ty Hendrix plated what would be the game-winner.