Pilot Grove does just enough to get by Prairie Home in season opener 3-2

Chris Bowie

The Pilot Grove Tigers baseball team did just enough to get by the Prairie Home with Bunceton baseball team Thursday night in the season opener at Pilot Grove.

Although the Panthers out-hit Pilot Grove 6-5, the Tigers scored just enough runs in the end to win the game by a score of 3-2.

Pilot Grove coach Joe Vossler said the Tigers came out early with some good at bats, but Prairie Home’s pitcher did a good job limiting them to one run.

“Their pitcher kept us off balance at the plate early on,” Vossler said. “A few walks cost us the lead, but that didn’t make us lose confidence. Dade Christy did a great job in relief, and Bo Vinson delivered at the plate in a key situation.”

Pilot Grove opened the game with one run in the bottom half of the first only to have Prairie Home rally back in the very next inning with two runs to go up 2-1. Meanwhile, after both teams failed to score in the third and fourth innings, the Tigers came back and tacked on two more runs in the fifth for the victory.

Dade Christy picked up the win in relief for Pilot Grove while Hunter Shuffield took the loss for Prairie Home, who dropped to 0-2 on the season.

Bo Vinson started the game for the Tigers and pitched 3 1/3 innings, giving up two runs on three hits and five walks while striking out three batters. Christy then came in and pitched 2 2/3 innings in relief and allowed one hit while striking out two batters. Then, to finish the game, Bailey Quint pitched one inning and gave up two hits while striking out three batters.

For Prairie Home, Talon Benne pitched the first-four innings and surrendered one run on two hits and five walks while striking out six. Shuffield then came in and pitched two innings in relief and issued two runs on three hits and one walk while striking out one.

Prairie Home coach Trever Huth said the boys played a really good game.

“We hit the ball really well and looked really good up at the plate at times,” Huth said. “We just had a couple base running mistakes that may have costed us a run or two. With that when we get two strikes on ourselves, we have to protect the plate with anything close and we did not do that very well. Other than that pitching and defense was great tonight.”

Vinson went 2-for-3 in the game for Pilot Grove with a single, double and three RBIs. Bailey Quint also had a single and a double while Hayden Krumm added one single.

For Prairie Home, Dillon Alpers went 2-for-4 with a single and a double while Garrison Parkhurst added one single and one RBI and Blane Petsel, Jason Burnett and Hunter Shuffield each with one single.

Pilot Grove’s baseball team will play next on Thursday, Sept. 10 on the road against the Glasgow Yellowjackets starting at 7 p.m. Then, on Friday, Sept. 11, the Tigers will travel to New Bloomfield for a single game starting at 5. Prairie Home will play at New Bloomfield on Tuesday starting at 5 p.m.