SPEEDWAY -- South Putnam's baseball squad traveled to Speedway to face the hosts in the opening game of IHSAA Class 2A Sectional No. 44.
It would become the Eagles' last road trip of the season as the visitors fell 7-0 to the Sparkplugs.
South Putnam threatened in the top of the first inning after Rob Gibson lead off with a single. Gibson stole second and stole third on a close play, but the Eagles failed to get the centerfielder across home plate.
Speedway scored three in the third inning, sending eight batters to the plate, scoring on hits by Nick McCormick, Evan Rosner and Matt Turk.
The hosts added three more in the fourth on hits by Bryce Pennington and Rosner. South Putnam starting pitcher Aaron Parker was chased after hitting a batter and was replaced by Seth Hammond.
Hammond got out of the inning when Michael McCormick lined a shot to second baseman Sawyer Arnold, who stepped on the bag for an unassisted double play to end the inning.
Speedway scored their final run of the game in the seventh on a single by Michael Maloian was compounded when the ball skipped away from first base, allowing a runner to reach home.
South Putnam had their best chance to score in the seventh when the Eagles loaded the bases with two outs, but a Tanner Thompson strikeout ended the threat and the game for the visitors.
The Eagles were flummoxed by starting pitcher Mike McCormick, who recorded 17 of the 21 available outs by strikeout.
Afterwards, South Putnam head coach Ryan Gilman said the squad played a solid game but couldn't find the answers on offense.
"I thought we played well. I thought Aaron came out and did a really good job of throwing strikes, which is what we talked about doing," Gilman said.
"We made quite a few plays behind him and played one of our best defensive games of the season. Speedway did a good job of putting the ball in play and manufacture runs."
"We've always said we have to be a defensive-minded team and try to squeak some runs by. Unfortunately, their pitcher did a good job of keeping us off balance," Gilman added.
"We had a few left on base and we weren't able to take care of the opportunities. McCormick made pitches to get out of those jams as well."
South Putnam loses three seniors to graduation and Gilman said that all three helped balance the squad.
"Rob has been an instigator on offense and a very solid defensive player. He's a player we've put everywhere and no matter where he was, he was solid," Gilman said.
"Cody Heller was solid for us in left field. He came on strong towards the end of the year at the plate. Seth's been a solid shortstop and pitcher. He's done really well to help us stabilize the middle of the infield," Gilman added.
"Whenever you lose three seniors like Rob Gibson, Seth Hammond and Cody Heller, you've got holes to fill."
Speedway 003 301 0 -- 7 9 2
South Putnam 000 000 0 -- 0 4 2
WP -- M. McCormick
LP -- Parker