Some would say that Pilot Grove pitcher Bailey Quint was due Monday night while taking the mound against Northwest of Hughesville.
While entering the game at 1-4 on the season, Quint also had an ERA hovering around 2.00.
Say no more. In 6 2/3 innings against the Mustangs, Quint struck out 16 batters and gave up just three hits and two walks as Pilot Grove defeated Northwest 3-1.
“Bailey Quint was absolutely lights out tonight,” said Pilot Grove coach Evan Oswald. “He got into a couple jams tonight, but was able to wiggle out of them. It seemed to me that he had some extra gitty up on his fastball. His breaking ball was working as well, so it kept them off balance all night. Even though he struck out 16, our kids stayed engaged and made some outstanding plays. Luke Kollmeyer made a huge play from right field to cut down a run at home plate. Bo Vinson made an unbelievable play at third to stop any momentum in the seventh inning. It was very good to get this caliber win tonight. Shows the boys we can not only compete with the best teams, but wind up winning them as well. We had eight hits tonight, but we were still pretty inconsistent throughout. If we could find a way to get more consistency throughout our lineup, we will be one tough out going forward.”
The good news is that Pilot Grove still manage to out-hit Northwest 8-5. The bad news is that the Tigers left eight runners on base and struck out nine times during the game.
The first, fourth and sixth innings weren’t one of those times as Pilot Grove plated one run in the first on a lead off triple to right by Bailey Quint and a fielder’s choice by Cole Meisenheimer.
Of course the Tigers also had chances in the second and third innings while leaving the bases loaded in the second and stranding a runner at third in the third. Meanwhile, in the bottom half of the fourth, Pilot Grove put up another run on an error on the shortstop and a dropped fly ball in center.
Oswald then tried a switch on the mound, which quickly backfired as Northwest loaded the bases in the top half of the fifth. The Mustangs still got one run on a fly out to right but a throw home to get the tying run resulted in a inning-ending double play to make it 2-1.
Pilot Grove answered with another run in its half of the sixth on singles each by Kealin Vinson and Dalton Reuter to extend the lead to 3-1. Then, in the top half of the seventh, Quint worked his magic again with the help from his defense to end the threat.
As for the hitting in the game for Pilot Grove, Dalton Reuter went 3-for-3 with one RBI. Quint had two hits with a double, triple and one RBI while Kealin Vinson added two singles and Cole Meisenheimer with one single and one RBI.
For Northwest, Pierson Tichenor, Connor Tichenor and Braiden McEachern each had one hit.
Blaine Kreisel took the loss for Northwest by giving up three runs on  eight hits in 5 1/3 innings. Kreisel also had seven strikeouts.