KINGMAN - The Kingman Academy High baseball team went toe-to-toe with Flagstaff, the AIA's No. 1 ranked Division II team, for four innings. However, the Eagles won the battle for the last three and left Southside Park with a win over the Tigers Tuesday, 6-3.
"We hung with a good team," said KAHS coach Bill McCord. "If we play like this the rest of the way, we should be pretty good."
It was a scoreless tie through four innings, and each team squandered an opportunity to put runs on the board with the bases loaded in the second. Flagstaff (7-0) got them loaded when Kingman Academy starter T.J. Pena hit three batters. However, he got Trace Anderson to ground out to second baseman Quinn Garcia to end the threat.
In the bottom half of the inning, the Tigers loaded them with two outs on hits by Cody Quick and Quinn Garcia, a fielder's choice and walk to Pena. Westin McCord's hard-hit grounder to Eagles shortstop Trevor Buell was handled, and Kingman Academy's threat was over.
Austin Tomlinson relieved Pena in the third inning and was solid in the third and fourth. Flagstaff's only base runner in those innings reached on an error but was quickly erased on a Tomlinson to Garcia to Quick double play.
Tomlinson's superiority ran out in the fifth.
He began the fifth with a strike out, but the ball hit the dirt and bounced over Tigers' catcher McCord's head and the runner was safe at first. A sacrifice bunt hit back to Tomlinson went awry when Tomlinson threw the ball into center field. Another sacrifice bunt was thwarted when McCord made an outstanding play to get the lead runner at third.
But then Flagstaff's Kyle Wilson unloaded on a Tomlinson pitch and blasted a three-run home run over the left-field fence to put the Eagles up for good, 3-0.
Kingman Academy (8-3) answered with one run in its half of the fifth on Bailey Rust's RBI single that drove in Tomlinson.
In the seventh with Skubal on the mound, Flagstaff added another three runs on two walks, two singles and an error. Skubal was tagged with the loss.
The Tigers attempted a comeback in their last at bats but only put two across the plate. McCord led off the inning and reached first on an error. He then scored all the way from first on Tomlinson's double that hit the left-field fence. Tomlinson advanced to third on a balk and scored on Skubal's groundout to second base.
Tanner Fuhrmann earned the win for Flagstaff. He pitched six innings, gave up two runs - one earned - on five hits and two walks. He struck out seven.
"He threw hard and is pretty good," McCord said. "We had a lot less strikeouts, so that was pretty good."
The coach liked the effort put forth by his squad and saw his defense step up against the Eagles.
"We made a lot of plays today, defensively," he said. "Quinn Garcia played great."
Kingman Academy, ranked No. 16 in D-III, plays at D-IV No. 13 ranked Bagdad (5-2) at 4 p.m. Friday.