STUTTGART — Greg Easter expected his Pine Bluff baseball team to work out some kinks against Stuttgart on Monday.

STUTTGART — Greg Easter expected his Pine Bluff baseball team to work out some kinks against Stuttgart on Monday.

But Stuttgart lined 10 hits and scored three runs each in the fifth and sixth innings to pull away for a 9-2 nonconference victory at Charlie Crawford Field. The Ricebirds (5-6) won the season series 2-0 over the Zebras (2-8), including a 12-8 victory a week earlier in Star City.

Now, the Zebras have to try and end a two-game losing streak against Lake Hamilton in 6A-South Conference play today. The good news for Pine Bluff: Today’s 4:30 p.m. game is at home.

“When you get in the 6A-South, it doesn’t get any easier,” Easter said. The Zebras are 1-1 in the conference and will get two more victories from Little Rock J.A. Fair, which forfeited the rest of its season, Easter said.

Pine Bluff trailed 3-2 through four innings when it left four runners — all in scoring position — on base. Three more Zebras were stranded as the team managed only four hits off Jay McGee, who pitched a complete-game victory.

“We left a lot of baserunners on again,” Easter said. “It seems like their balls get through, ours don’t.”

McGee struck out three and walked one. Pine Bluff starter Larry Williams had four strikeouts and allowed six runs (three earned) on six hits in 4 1/3 innings, suffering the loss. Aaron McDonald relieved Williams the rest of the game, giving up three runs and four hits and fanning one.

“Pitching did well today, got us the ground balls we needed,” Easter said. “We just couldn’t make plays behind the pitchers.”

Each team committed three errors — which Easter said was “pretty generous” for his team.

“If we can ever get the routine play, we’ll be OK,” he said.

Easter said the Zebras started the year struggling to hit but played good defense, but added that has flip-flopped in recent games.

None of the Zebras had more than one hit Monday. Williams hammered a double — the only multiple-base hit of the game — in the top of the third inning after Adam Graham hit a sacrifice fly to score Paul DeWalt to pull the Zebras within 2-1. DeWalt scored on a passed ball in the fifth, drawing Pine Bluff within 3-2.

Hunter Harris, Dontrell Brown, Jon Curtis and Jay McGee each had two hits for Stuttgart. Harris and Brown each scored twice.

Despite the sweep, Ricebirds coach Kevin Youngblood said his group played better Monday against the Zebras.

“We took advantage of some mistakes, and Jay McGee threw well,” Youngblood said. “He kept everybody off-balance and kept his pitch count down.”

The Ricebirds scored their fifth-inning runs on a fielding error at shortstop and two passed balls. Brown knocked in a run in the sixth, and Curtis followed with a two-run with another single.

Ryan Green will take the mound for Pine Bluff against Lake Hamilton today.