The Pilot Grove Tigers baseball team went from one extreme to the other Thursday night while playing the Prairie Home Panthers.
After beating Sturgeon earlier in the week 1-0 in a pitcher’s duel, head coach Evan Oswald said this was slugfest as the two teams combined for 36 runs on 28 hits.
The only difference is that Prairie Home defeated Pilot Grove by a score of 19-17.
“Our first game was a pitching duel and this was a slugfest,” Oswald said. “We really hit the ball well, unfortunately so did Prairie Home. I was very pleased with our performance as a whole. Our kids really were aggressive and it showed with 14 hits and 17 runs. Nobody wants to lose a game, but the way we lost told me something about our team. We were down 19-10 in the top of the seventh and gave Prairie Home a scare by putting seven runs up and bringing the tying run to the plate. It was a long three hour game, but I was proud to have the kids fight until the last out.”
While the game was only Pilot Grove’s second of the season and Prairie Home’s sixth, the Tigers led at one point 5-4 after three and 8-4 after 3 1/2. However in the bottom half of the fourth, the Panthers took the lead for good by exploding for nine runs to lead 13-8. Prairie Home also added two runs in the fifth to go up 15-8 only to have Pilot Grove plate two in the sixth to cut the lead to five at 15-10. Then, after the Panthers tacked on four more runs in in the bottom of the sixth to extend the lead to 19-10, Pilot Grove came back and rattled the bats with a seven-run seventh inning to make it a two-run ballgame.
Prairie Home coach Trever Huth said this was the Panthers best game of the season this fall. “We started off slow in the first inning but picked it up through the rest of the game,” Huth said. “The first inning is where we need to figure it out as a team to start off the game the right way. Pitching was a lot better for us. Mason Wells gave us the start we needed and threw the ball well. Offensively we hit the ball well and did what we needed to at the plate to score runs.”
Junior Mason Wells picked up the win on the mound for Prairie Home while Luke Kollmeyer took the loss for Pilot Grove, 1-1. Wells pitched the first-three innings and gave up eight runs on four hits and five walks while striking out four. Kollmeyer also pitched three innings for the Tigers and allowed nine runs on eight hits and four walks while striking out two.
Prairie Home’s Clayton Pethan also had a big night for the Panthers at the plate by going 4-for-5 with four RBIs. Mason Wells was 3-for-3 with four RBIs while John Fontanna added two doubles and one RBI, Blake Petsel a single, double and one RBI, Alex Rhode two singles, Ty Stidham one single and three RBIs, Blane Petsel one single and two RBIs, Kassen Lock one single and one RBI and Oliver Lock with one RBI.
For Pilot Grove, Lucas Fahrendorf went 2-for-4 with a double, triple and three RBIs. Cole Meisenheimer added two doubles and three RBIs while Luke Kollmeyer finished the game with two doubles, Dylan Schupp two singles and three RBIs, Bo Vinson two singles and two RBIs, Hayden Krumm two singles and one RBI, Kealin Vinson one single and three RBIs and Gavin Shepherd with one single.