HUSTISFORD -- Derek Merkes had a two-run single in the bottom of the eighth inning for the game-winning hit as the Hustisford Astros rallied to beat the Neosho Rockets 7-6 in a Rock River League baseball game on Friday at Firemen's Park.
Neosho grabbed an early 4-0 run lead after a two-run homer to right center by Robby Proehl in the fourth and a two-run homer to left center by Brandon Egnarski in the fifth.
Hustisford rallied with three runs in the home half of the fourth and one in the fifth to tie it at 4-4.
The Astros loaded the bases when Derek Pieper drew a leadoff walk and John Ellenberger and Aaron Roeseler hit back-to-back singles. Tanner Galeazzi followed with an RBI fielder's choice and a second run scored on a throwing error. Jami Kaul's RBI fielder's choice later in the inning made it 4-3.
In the fifth, Hunter Nehls hit a leadoff single, Justin Perschke sacrificed him over and Aaron Roeseler later hit a two-out RBI single to tie the game.
The Rockets retook the lead on Egnarski's second homer of the game, this time a solo shot to left center to make it 5-4.
Hustisford grabbed its first lead in the eighth, scoring three unearned runs off reliever Zach Lauersdorf.
Sam Roeseler reached on an error with one out, Ellenberger singled and Aaron Roeseler reach on an error which tied the game. After Galeazzi drew his second walk of the night, Merkes put the Astros in front for good with a two-run single up the middle.
Neosho pulled within one in the ninth when Lauersdorf reached on an error to lead off and scored on Matt Beyer's two-out RBI single to left.
Husty starter Austin Massey got Brent Young to ground out to end it. Massey went the distance, allowing five earned runs on 12 hits with five strikeouts and one walk to earn the decision.
Brad Wittnebel started for Neosho. He threw four scoreless innings to start off and pitched out of a bases loaded jam in the fourth. He left with a 5-4 lead after seven innings, having allowed four runs (three earned) on seven hits with 10 strikeouts and five walks.
HUSTISFORD 7, NEOSHO 6
Neosho 000 220 101 -- 6 12 3
Hustisford 000 031 03X -- 7 9 3
LP: Z. Lauersdorf
Pitching (ip-h-er-bb-so) -- N (Wittnebel 7-7-3-5-10, Z. Lauersdorf 1-2-0-1-0), H (Massey 9-12-5-1-5)
Leading hitters -- Egnarski (N) 2x5, Gellar (N) 2x5, Beyer (N) 2x5, Lawrence (N) 2x4, Roeseler (H) 2x5, Nehls (H) 2x3, Ellenberger (H) 2x3
HR -- N (Egnarski 2, Proehl)