The first two innings were unkind to the Eagles, as the Warriors scored a total of nine runs on 11 hits. Austen Leath took the ball out of the park to score three of those runs. Leath would be one of three Warriors to go long on the night.
"We started off a little shaky," South Putnam coach Harold Campbell said.
"We really hurt ourselves in the first inning, just with the errors we made and just not making routine plays," he said. "You dig a hole like that, you're fighting the rest of the game to get back in it."
The Eagles did score in the first on a Noah Boswell slam to the outfield, but their cluster of runs would have to wait until the fourth inning.
In the fourth, Adam Hammond hit a shot to left-center field for a single and Brad Eickhoff hit a dribbler up the third base line for another single, to put two on with Adam Nees coming to the plate.
Nees watched as the count climbed to two strikes and one ball, then took the Ryan Smith offering over the left-center wall to score three runs. Unfortunately the Eagles couldn't keep the momentum going as the next two batter were put down.
Danville was scoreless for the next two innings, but went off for four runs in the fifth as Nick Runiyon hit a bomb the tickled the foul pole and brought in three of those runs. Ty Foster also went yard for the Warriors in the seventh inning.
The Eagles struggled for the rest of the game, but the word quit seemed never to cross their minds.
Freshman starter Brice Steinbaker had a strong outing for the Eagles. Despite allowing 15 hits, coach Campbell was nothing but positive.
"I'm very pleased," Campbell said. "He's got guts and he showed a lot of character tonight."
Steinbaker also performed well at the plate, crashing a double into the fence in the fourth inning.
Steirnbaker was joined by freshman starter Derek Dean and Drew Cash. The youth of the Eagles may sometimes cause them problems but Campbell also believes that they are growing.
"The freshmen we have, have no fear," he said. "They don't care who they face. At the plate they may strikeout but they're going to be aggressive."
Campbell acknowledged there's more to the game the wins and losses, its a journey toward a goal. Now with some games behind the team, Campbell sees a bright future.
"It's about looking at their heart, their attitude, and their effort," Campbell remarked. "That's what we're working on right now. They'll be dangerous real soon."
South travel to North Putnam to take on the Cougars Monday at 4:30 p.m.
At South Putnam
Danville 450 040 2 -- 15 17 1
S. Putnam 103 000 0 -- 4 9 3
Steinbaker/Eickhoff (5) and Dean; Thurston/Hancock (7) and Clark
WP -- Thurston
LP -- Steinbaker
2B -- Steinbaker (SP); Smith Foster (D)
HR -- Nees (SP); Leath, Foster, Runiyon (D)
Next game -- South travel to North Putnam to take on the Cougars Monday at 4:30 p.m.