Republic managed just seven base hits, but took advantage of seven Ozark errors, six walks, and two hit batsmen to win its Central Ozark Conference opener on the road, 10-8.
Ryker Harrington led Republic with three hits, including a bases-loaded double in the first inning that gave Republic a lead it never relinquished. Vincent Pyeatt worked 4 1/3 innings to get the win, and Cole Iles turned in another strong relief effort to close out the game.
Republic took the lead in the top of the first inning. Vincent Pyeatt walked and Gavyn Beckner singled ahead of an RBI double by Ryker Harrington. Kyle Hill drove in Beckner with a sacrifice fly to deep left field. Jared Hughes struck out, but the pitch was in the dirt, and Harrington scored when the Ozark catcher threw down to first base to retire Hughes too late.
Harrington drove in two more runs in the second inning with a two-out, bases-loaded double. His base hit drove in Richard Potter and Gavin Walker, and Vincent Pyeatt came in to score from first on a misplay by the Ozark catcher, making the score 6-0.
After Ozark cut the lead to 6-3 in the bottom of the second, Republic added one run in the third and one in the fourth to go ahead 8-3. But Ozark made it close again with a three-run rally in the fourth, making the score 8-6.
Republic got a couple of big insurance runs in the sixth and seventh innings, both of them without benefit of a base hit.
Ozark rallied in the bottom of the seventh inning, scoring two runs and bringing the potential winning run to the plate, but Iles got Devyn Wright to ground the ball back to the mound to end the game.
After Republic had gone a decade without beating Ozark, Tuesday’s win was the second in a row for Republic over Ozark.
Republic improves to 6-4. The Tigers will play a double-header at US Ballpark in Ozark Friday – starting with a noon game against Kickapoo, and followed by a 2 pm game against Aurora.