SEFFNER — Ty Pierson rounded third base and his Armwood teammates spilled out of the dugout as if they had just won a state title, mobbing their designated hitter at the plate.
Pierson, hitting just .228 coming in with one hit in his past 11 at-bats, crushed a two-run home run in the fourth inning, sealing a mercy rule 12-2 win over Springstead for the surging Hawks.
"Right when I hit it, I knew it was gone," said Pierson, who was sitting on the offering. "Fastball, all the way."
Pierson's blast capped a nine-run fourth inning for Armwood, with Springstead contributing three errors to make five of those runs unearned.
"A couple of errors, and they start hitting, and that's how every loss goes," said Eagles shortstop James Wright. "It snowballs and everyone loses their focus."
Armwood (17-9) has won five straight games, its longest winning streak of the season. A state semifinalist last season, the Hawks have been up and down but lately, just up.
Leftfielder Tyler Alexander hit a two-run homer in the first inning on the first pitch he saw to set the tone. It was his third straight game with a homer, and after a slow start he now has five doubles, three homers and 18 RBIs in his past nine games.
"Lately I've been hitting in the first inning; I hit the first pitch I saw tonight" he said. "I'm just trying to be a leader."
Springstead (20-6) was making its first region appearance since 1996.
The Eagles tied the score in the third inning on starting pitcher Brett Maggard's homer, but he balked in a run in the bottom half to put Armwood ahead for good.
Sean Cramer (4-2) threw four innings to get the win for the Hawks. Maggard, who came into the game with a 0.83 ERA, finishes with a 3-2 record.
John C. Cotey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org