After two losses during the regular season against the Prairie Home Panthers, the Bunceton Dragons baseball team got a little payback Monday night in the opening round of the Class 1 District 10 Tournament at St. Elizabeth.
Except this time, the 9-1 win by the Dragons sent the Panthers packing for the rest of the season while Bunceton moves on to face top-seeded St. Elizabeth tonight in the semifinal round starting at 7 p.m.
Bunceton coach Dustin Ray said first round was a tough one for his Dragons. “We faced off against a tough team that had already beaten us twice,” Ray said. “We came out and swung the bats very well, and the hitting was timely. We had a very good evening at the plate, racking up 11 hits and scoring nine runs. Dillon Alpers also threw a very solid game on the mound. The combination of the two was enough to put us on the winning side.”
Although the win was the 12th of the season for the Dragons in 16 ballgames, Prairie Home still didn’t make it easy on Bunceton while playing to a 1-1 tie after the first inning. However after a scoreless second inning, Bunceton came back and plated three more runs in the third and then sent five more runs across in the sixth for the victory.
Prairie Home coach Trever Huth said his team had good at bats during the game but just couldn’t get runs across the plate when they needed them. “Defensively we did not have our best night and that resulted in giving Bunceton more runs,” Huth said. “But all in all we had a great season and I couldn't be more prouder of this bunch of young men.”
The Panthers finished the season at 7-7.
Dillon Alpers picked up the win on the mound for Bunceton while Blake Petsel took the loss for Prairie Home. Alpers pitched the first-six innings and struck out eight batters while giving up one run on three hits and five walks. Hunter Shuffield then came in and pitched one inning in relief and allowed two hits and one walk while striking out one batter.
For Prairie Home, Petsel pitched six innings and issued nine runs on 10 hits and three walks while striking out three batters. Ty Stidham then came in and pitched one inning in relief and issued one hit.
Bunceton also out-hit Prairie Home 11-5, with Jason Burnett going 2-for-4 with a single, double and two RBIs. Dillon Alpers also had two hits, both being singles. Trevor Anderson added a double and two runs batted in while Layne Maddex had one double and one RBI, Dylan Flatt with one double, Hunter Shuffield with one single and two RBIs, Brayden Doyle with a single and one RBI and Austin Alpers and Dakota Rose each with one single.
For Prairie Home, Blane Petsel had two singles and one run batted in while Clayton Pethan added one double and Blake Petsel and Ty Stidham each with one single.