After nearly three hours of baseball and five total pitchers combined, Pilot Grove junior Laben Twenter decided that enough was enough Monday night in the bottom of the 11th against the Bunceton Dragons.
Although both teams had plenty of chances to end the game prior to the 11th, Twenter’s walk off double to left was just enough for the Tigers to beat Bunceton by a score of 3-2.
Pilot Grove coach Derek Skaggs said as his team closes in on their last week of fall baseball  the tigers took Monday night’s game the distance.
“We were able to maintain focus in the end and Laben Twenter came through on a walk off hit in the 11th inning to plate an RBI,” Skaggs said. “We move onto Thursday against Prairie Home and then host Madison in our final conference game on Friday.”
Of course this game had all the makings of being a great game against two former conference rivals. Although the Tigers wound up out-hitting Bunceton 11-10, the two teams also had plenty of defense to go around with multiple double plays.
As for the scoring in the game, Bunceton jumped on top of Pilot Grove early with one run in the top-half of the first on two walks and one error. However, the Tigers probably felt like they gave Bunceton a run while picking off junior Blake Petsel twice only to throw the ball away. Petsel ended up scoring on a ground ball by Dillon Alpers.
As for the Tigers, they struggled to get anything going in the first-four innings. Pilot Grove’s first actual hit came in the bottom-half of the third on an infield single by freshman Bailey Quint.
Bunceton also added a run in the fourth on a double to center by Jason Burnett to extend the lead to 2-0. Then, as bad luck would have it for the Tigers in their half of the fourth, Dragons shortstop Blake Petsel made a heads up play by tagging two Pilot Grove runners at second base after a dropped fly ball in right.
Of course the Tigers would make up for it in the fifth with two runs on a RBI-single to right by Donnavan Gerke and a RBI double to left by Cole Meisenheimer to tie the game at 2-all.
Then, after a 1-2-3 inning by both teams in the sixth, the Dragons had a golden opportunity to take the lead after a double to left by Mason Wells.  Unfortunately for Bunceton, Meisenheimer came back and got three quick groundouts to end the inning.
Pilot Grove also stranded one in its half of the seventh.
Both teams also went quietly in the eighth while leaving one runner on base. Meanwhile, in the ninth, the Dragons made some more noise after back to back singles. But after having one runner thrown out at second for the first out in the inning, Meisenheimer again shut the door on Bunceton with two flyouts.
In Pilot Grove’s half of the ninth, Luke Kollmeyer led off with a single and advanced to second on a stolen base. But after getting a strikeout, the Dragons recorded their second double play of the second when the left fielder caught a fly ball and threw back to second to get the runner.
Pilot Grove also had problems on the basepaths in the 10th as Bunceton completed its third double play when the right fielder hauled in a fly ball and doubled the runner off first. Meisenheimer doubled right after that while Austin Kollmeyer beat out an infield single only to be left stranded on a strikeout to end the inning.
In the 11th and final inning, Bunceton again left one runner on after a two-out single. Meanwhile, in Pilot Grove’s half of the inning, Luke Kollmeyer reached base after a strikeout and then advanced to second before coming home on the walk off double to left by Twenter for a 3-2 victory.
Meisenheimer picked up the win on the mound for Pilot Grove while Wells took the loss for Bunceton. Meisenheimer pitched six innings in relief and gave up no runs on five hits and one walk while striking out five. As for Wells, the sophomore hurler pitched five innings in relief of starting pitcher Dillon Alpers and surrendered one run on six hits while striking out six batters.
Pilot Grove also out-hit Bunceton 11-10, with Meisenheimer going 2-for-4 with two doubles and one RBI. Gerke and Austin Kollmeyer each had two singles while Twenter doubled and drove in one run. Quint, Kealin Vinson, Luke Kollmeyer and Hayden Krumm each had one single.
For Bunceton, who dropped to 5-7, Dillon Alpers went 3-for-3. Wells had a single and a double while Dylan Flatt added two singles, Jason Burnett with one double and one RBI and Dakota Rose and Austin Alpers each with one single.