MOUNT AYR — Friday's Pride of Iowa Conference matchup here featured a pair of southpaw pitchers battling to the end in an attempt to give his team a conference victory.
Interstate 35 junior Zach Goering out-dueled Mount Ayr senior Quency Vos, as the Roadrunners topped the Raiders 5-4 in eight innings.
The game was 0-0 through five innings, as both teams threatened, but neither was able to push a run across.
"We couldn't get that hit, could we?" Interstate 35 head coach Jim Smith said. "I think their pitcher got a little tired as it went along. I felt we were gaining on him late."
Mount Ayr struck first in the bottom of the sixth inning, taking a 1-0 lead on Rhett Murphy's RBI single.
With their backs against the wall in the top of the seventh inning, the Roadrunners responded.
Junior Austin Kindley tied the game up at 1-1, when a ball he put in play ended with a throwing error by Mount Ayr's second baseman, allowing one run to score.
The play could have just as easily been the third out of the inning, ending the game. One the previous at-bat, Mount Ayr had what seemed like a double play. But, the first baseman's foot came off the bag on the throw.
Instead, the Roadrunners took advantage of the errors, which gave them new life.
Freshman Elijah Smith kept things going for the Roadrunners, hitting a bloop single into right field to score Zach Stewart, giving Interstate 35 a 2-1 lead. Sophomore Cole Daniels later drew a bases-loaded walk to score another run, making it 3-1.
"I told the guys, that was a real good gut check there," coach Smith said. "We were down 1-0 and we got a three spot in the seventh. Course, they didn't roll over. And then we came back. We battled real well here at the end."
Vos kept the Raiders alive with a two-run bloop single of his own to shallow right field, sending the game into extra innings.
In the top of the eighth inning, freshman Brock Bush knocked a single to left field, making the score 4-3. Later in the inning, Goering drew a bases-loaded walk to give himself a 5-3 cushion.
Mount Ayr threatened again in the bottom half of the inning, as Levi Jarred brought a run home with an RBI groundout to cut the lead to 5-4.
But, Goering struck out Jacob Taylor looking to end the game.
"It was good pitching," coach Smith said. "Very good. Goering did a great job for us. It (pitch count) was over 100. He was throwing hard. He had a bases-loaded situation there early and he got out of it."
Interstate 35 improved to 4-13 for the season with the win.