Corey Kunkel took matters into his own right hand Friday night to lift the Mark Twain Tigers to their first victory of the season.

Corey Kunkel took matters into his own right hand Friday night to lift the Mark Twain Tigers to their first victory of the season.

The senior hurler tossed 6 2/3 shutout innings and allowed just two hits during Mark Twain’s 1-0 road win over Cairo (Northeast).

On from the start, Kunkel hit the strike zone with 51 of his 74 pitches.

“From the first pitch of the game, (Kunkel) was as locked in as I’ve ever seen him,” Mark Twain coach Ian Hatton said. “He was pretty much ahead of every batter. He started every batter with strike one. He was able to get a lot of soft contact. He kept hitters off balance.”

The squads traded zeroes the first five innings in what quickly became a pitching duel. Peyton Taylor threw a gem for Cairo, striking out 11 batters over seven innings while surrendering just one run.

The game-winning score for Mark Twain came in the sixth inning.

Parker Eddington, the Tigers leadoff hitter, got things started when he reached base on a 4-pitch walk. Brady Hooley then singled on a ground ball to the second base to bring Eddington home.

Taylor recorded a strikeout and induced a double play to escape the inning without further damage, but the one run was all Mark Twain needed.

“We found a way to get a guy or two on base in that sixth inning and scratch one across against a quality pitcher,” Hatton said.

On a day when runs were at a premium, Mark Twain strung together a solid, error-free showing in the field.

“The defense was crazy good and we’re excited to get out of there with a win — and with a shutout too,” the coach said.