The Prairie Home Panthers baseball team knew what was at stake Wednesday while hosting the Bunceton Dragons in CCAA action.
Having already beaten the Dragons back on April 11th by a score of 4-3, the Panthers knew if they won this game they could also make a case for the No. 2 seed in the upcoming Class 1 District 10 Tournament in St. Elizabeth.
As it turned out, Prairie Home  out-hit and out-played Bunceton in every facet of the game for a 10-7 victory.
“We played an overall good game tonight,” said Prairie Home coach Trever Huth. “We had a couple of defensive situations that ended up costing us some runs. Other than that we made the plays we needed to make and got the outs. Bunceton is a good hitting team and Mason Wells really showed up and pitched well for us by staying down in the zone and working the counts well. Hitting was also great again. We didn’t give any at bats away and competed every time at the plate.”
The first inning proved Huth’s point as the Panthers came out and exploded for four runs to lead Bunceton 4-2. Two innings later, Prairie Home added three more runs to go up 7-2 only to have Bunceton rally back with two in its half of the fourth and fifth to cut the lead to one at 7-6. The Dragons never got any closer as Prairie Home tacked on another run in the bottom half of the fifth and two again in the sixth to make it 10-6. Then, in the top half of the seventh, Bunceton sent one run across to complete the scoring.
Bunceton coach Dustin Ray said as a team the Dragons came out and swung the bats well. “Pitching eliminated free passes and did their job,” Ray said. “Where we lost the game was giving up unearned runs; simple mistakes of not doing the little things.”
Mason Wells picked up the complete-game victory for Prairie Home while Layne Maddex took the loss for Bunceton, who dropped to 7-3 on the season. With the win, Wells gave up seven runs on 10 hits and four walks while striking out one batter. Maddex, meanwhile, pitched the first-three innings and allowed seven runs on seven hits and one walk while striking out four batters. Brayden Doyle then came in and pitched three innings in relief and surrendered three runs on six hits while striking out one batter.
Prairie Home also out-hit Bunceton 13-10, with Clayton Pethan going 3-for-4 with one singles, two doubles and one RBI. Blake Petsel had two hits, both being doubles. Blane Petsel, Mason Wells and Kassen Lock added two singles and one RBI each while Colton Searles added one single and two RBIs and Alex Rhode with one single.
For Bunceton, Dylan Flatt went 3-for-3 with three singles and one RBI. Hunter Shuffield added two singles and two RBIs while Layne Maddex contributed two singles, Austin Alpers one single and two RBIs and Jason Burnett and Dakota Rose each with one single.