TRUMAN - Pipestone American Legion Post 6 right-hander Austin Evans and Truman Post 115 left-hander Jeremy Smith locked up in a pitcher's duel for six innings on Friday night.
After clinging to a narrow 1-0 lead, Pipestone manufactured five runs on just three hits combined with one Truman error - in addition to four wild pitches and a balk by Post 115's reliever - during the top of the seventh inning in Truman.
Evans then recorded two of his game-high eight strikeouts during the bottom of the seventh to seal his two-hit shutout in pacing Pipestone's 6-0 triumph over Truman during Division II, 2nd District first-round baseball action.
BELLY SLIDE — Truman American Legion Post 115 runner Sam Geistfeld (right) beats the pickoff throw to Pipestone Post 6 first baseman Gunner Manderscheid during first-round Division II, 2nd District baseball action Friday night in Truman. (Photo by Charlie Sorrells)
Pipestone (15-6) advances to face Windom - a 5-0 winner over St. James - at 7 p.m. tonight back in Truman. Truman (7-11) plays St. James in a 1:30 p.m. elimination game today.
Evans proved nearly unhittable - with the exception being Post 115's No. 2 batter Garrett Schock - for seven innings. In fact, the Post 6 ace right-hander stranded five Truman runners overall, allowing only one to reach as far as second base via back-to-back walks to Sam Geistfeld and Darren Balcom in the last of the fifth frame.
Schock accounted for both of the hometown lineup's two hits, drilling singles off Evans during the first and sixth innings.
While Evans held Truman scoreless, Smith surrendered one of his three unearned runs during the top of the fourth via a double-steal maneuver.
Damian Skyberg, who topped all batters with three of Pipestone's seven hits, singled before wheeling to second via one of Truman's four errors. Skyberg moved to third on Reid Schiebout's fielder's choice before scampering home when pinch runner Alex Ossefoort spiked the baseball loose from Post 115's middle infielder on a double-steal.
Trailing 1-0, Smith exited the hill after giving up a one-out single to Eric Buffington before another Truman miscue allowed Jason Nettik to reach base.
Post 115 reliever Clayton Feis got Nathan Dubbelde to hit into a fielder's choice to plate Buffington before a wild pitch, a walk and Evans' RBI single doubled Post 6's lead to 4-0. Skyberg followed with a single before a balk and another wild pitch allowed two more runs to cross.
Smith allowed three runs - zero earned - on five hits in 6 1/3 innings to receive the loss for Truman. Smith struck out five, did not issue a walk and hit one batter.
Schock went 2-for-3 for Truman.
PIP 000 100 5 - 6 7 0
TRU 000 000 0 - 0 2 4
Austin Evans (WP) and Eric Buffington. Jeremy Smith (LP), Clayton Feis (7) and Garrett Schock.
LOB-Truman 5; Pipestone 7. SAC-Jason Nettik (P).