Maize pitcher Dillon Kerans wasn't ready to exit, but if he had known how easy it would be for reliever Conner Knight to get the final out that eluded Kerans, he might have changed his mine.
Kerans issued a nine-pitch walk with two outs in the final inning against Goddard and was removed after 99 pitches. Knight closed it by getting the tying run, Levi Meyer, to fly out on the first pitch and preserving a 4-1 win in the second game of a doubleheader.
The Eagles dominated the two games with pitching. Gage Byers tossed a four-hitter in Maize's 8-1 win in the opener.
"I understand, but I wanted it bad, though," Kerans said. "I wanted to finish it, but Conner Knight came in and took care of in one pitch what I couldn't in however many I threw (21) in the last inning."
Byers didn't pitch under pressure as much as Kerans, as Maize scored all eight runs between the third and fifth innings and Goddard didn't score until the seventh.
Byers was plenty efficient, though. He finished the complete game in 90 pitches and retired the first 10 hitters.
The Lions led 1-0 after three innings in the second game before Kerans and Knight shut them down.
The only baserunners Goddard had after the second inning came on five errors and a seventh-inning walk. The defensive miscues forced Kerans to pitch out of trouble, which he did before being removed with two outs in the seventh.
"I just tried not to let anything bother me and control what I can control," Kerans said.
After tying it 1-1 in the fourth, Maize got a runner to second with no outs in the fifth but didn't score.
A leadoff double by Shaun Reid in the sixth sparked a three-run inning, with Ross Cunningham breaking the tie with a two-run single.
"I don't know if I was fully confident, but we just tried to get guys in position (to score)," Maize coach Rocky Helm said. "At first we didn't do a very good job executing, but finally we broke through and the sixth was huge for us."
Maize002 330 0 — 8 11 0 Goddard000 000 1 — 1 4 1
W—Byers. L—N. Huelsmann.
Maize000 103 0 — 4 9 5 Goddard010 000 0 — 1 3 1