Zach Eversmeyer stepped up to the plate with one out and the bases loaded. He got behind in the count, but the Muscatine junior never panicked. After an at-bat that Muscatine baseball coach Grant Pippert said went “10-plus pitches” Eversmeyer finally broke through and smoked a double into an outfield gap.

The hit scored all three base runners and gave Muscatine a 9-8 walk-off win over Clinton in game one of Monday’s doubleheader at Tom Bruner field.

“The unique thing about baseball is there’s not a clock so we preach if there’s an out, there’s a chance,” Pippert told The Journal Tuesday. “Zach stepped up and probably hit a ball better than he’s ever hit a ball in a game.

“Zach epitomizes what we’re looking for. He’s just a competitor and will find a way.”

The second game, however, did not have nearly as satisfying of an ending for the Muskies, as the River Kings scored 10 runs in the final two innings to run away with a 19-7 win. Muscatine (3-1) is off to its best four-game start since 2016 after splitting its Mississippi Athletic Conference opener Monday night.

Drew Logel got the start on the mound for the Muskies and Leo Garcia picked up the win in the opening game. The River Kings (2-7) threatened to steal game one with three runs in the top of the seventh, but the Muskies responded with three of their own in the bottom half of the inning to win on a walk-off.

“The kids kept fighting and stayed positive,” Pippert said. “They just found a way to win and that was good for them.”

Muscatine led 1-0 after the first inning of game two, but that was the only time it led. Clinton scored three runs in the second, four in the fourth and two in the fifth to lead 9-7 after five. Then, the Muskies surrendered 10 runs in the final two innings.

“We really need to handle the highs and lows of a baseball game and season better,” Pippert said. “It was more of implosion by us than an explosion by them. We ran out of pitching a little bit and had some costly errors.”

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