Everything pointed to this being another big game between two former arch-rivals.
With both teams coming up with winning records, the No. 2 seed in the upcoming district tournament was also up for grabs between Pilot Grove and Prairie Home.
Unfortunately for the Panthers, they forgot to bring their A game as Pilot Grove exploded for 15 runs on 14 hits en route to a 15-2 victory.
Pilot Grove coach Neal Bailey said his team is starting to play up to their potential. “We hit well and got another good outing from our pitchers,” Bailey said.
That’s an understatement as the Tigers, who improved to 6-2 on the season, scored in every inning to win by the mercy rule.
As for the pitching, freshman Bailey Quint improved to 4-1 on the season by limiting Prairie Home hitters to just three hits in five innings. Quint also struck out six batters and gave up only three hits and two walks. Cole Meisenheimer, meanwhile, pitched one inning of mop up duty and struck out all three batters to end the game.
As for the pitching by Prairie Home, the Panthers struggled all night to throw strikes by giving up eight free passes. Talon Benne took the loss for Prairie Home, who fell to 4-2 on the season. In one inning pitched, Benne gave up four runs on five hits and three walks while striking out one. Clayton Pethan then came in and pitched three innings in relief and issued eight runs on six hits and four walks while striking out two. Then, to finish the game, Ty Stidham pitched one inning and yielded three runs on three hits and one walk.
The Tigers also scored plenty of runs, which was keyed by a four-run first inning and three-run home run to left by Kealin Vinson.
Pilot Grove never looked back after that while adding one run in each of the second and third innings of play, six again in the fourth and three in the fifth.
Prairie Home scored both of its runs in the bottom-half of the fourth.
Vinson also singled and drove in three runs to go along with his home run for Pilot Grove.
Quint was 2-for-5 with two singles and four RBIs while Hayden Krumm and Dalton Reuter added two singles and two RBIs each, Austin Kollmeyer with two singles and one RBI, Luke Kollmeyer with a double and one RBI, Meisenheimer also with one double and Anderson Twenter and Donnavan Gerke each with one single.
For Prairie Home, who managed just four hits, Alex Rhode and Billy Kellum each had one single and one RBI while Blake Petsel and Creed Flood added one single each.