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Carrico saves yet again in Eagle win, 7-5

Graves County's Drew Montgomery fires a ball toward a Madisonville-North Hopkins batter Tuesday at Elmer Kelley Stadium in Madisonville. Montgomery threw a stellar game over six innings before Chase Carrico came on for the save and the 7-5 Eagles win.

ERIC WALKER/The Mayfield Messenger

By ERIC WALKER ewalker@mayfield-messenger.com

MADISONVILLE -- After Monday night's exciting win over No. 4 McCracken County, Graves County offered up a little bit more excitement Tuesday against Madisonville-North Hopkins.

The Eagles got four cushioning runs in the top of the seventh inning for a 7-1 lead. Madisonville, however, heated up with an equal amount of scores before seeing their rally quashed with a called strike and Graves emerging with a 7-5 win.

Chase Carrico got his second straight save after coming in to relieve Drew Montgomery, who threw 61/3 innings and allowed three runs off five hits while walking three and striking out seven.

Carrico, who came in the seventh Monday in Graves' 1-0 win over McCracken, entered with the bases loaded and pitched into a fielder's choice for the second out, but Madisonville added a run to make the score 7-2.

Two singles, a walk and a passed ball later and the Maroons were down by two with runners at second and third. But Carrico buckled down and got the batter out on a called strike.

Graves County head coach Andy Ford admitted the previous win may have had some lingering effects into Tuesday's game, but admired seeing the fire his closer had again in that tight situation.

"Drew wanted the ball, but he was obviously tired (and) I probably left him in one batter too long and put Chase in a bad situation," Ford said. "He didn't have the same stuff on back-to-back nights, but when I went to pull him, he told me to stay in the dugout and he got the job done.

"You like to see the competitiveness, but you also want your guys to bear down and not get themselves in that situation anyway."

The win moves the Eagles to 21-8 as they look to wrap up the regular season Saturday against another Second Region team at University Heights.

The Maroons (16-14) got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the first, but Caden Green negated that with an RBI shot of his own to score Cody Dawson from second base. Graves County battled another pitching duel through the fourth inning when Green was scored by Lane Howell's double to break the tie, 2-1.

Howell, who was 2-for-4, got his second RBI with a triple that scored Jordyn Naranjo in the sixth before the offensive seventh frame.

Conner Mills reached on an error and made his way around to third, then scored on a wild pitch. Green, who went 2-for-3, plated Dawson again with a double and scored himself off an error following Naranjo's single that scored Clint Williams, who posted a 3-for-4 night.

All told, the Eagles struck for 11 hits and the seven runs were the most they had posted since a 9-2 win over St. Mary.

"Our sticks," Ford noted. "Caden Green getting the opportunity and stroking the ball. Lane going opposite field all of a sudden ... it was good to see."