By PATRICK SLACK
Fifth-ranked Browerville took a 2-0 lead and no-hitter into the seventh inning, Monday, then held off a late Royalton rally to win 2-1 and advance to the Section 5A finals at Joe Faber Field in St. Cloud.
Both pitchers cruised through the first two innings and Royalton junior starting pitcher forced a quick pop out to start the third.
But after a soft liner fell in safely in the left-center field gap for a double, Browerville used an intentional walk, hit batter and balk to push the first run of the game across.
The Tigers remained on top 1-0 after five innings, then used another bloop double to open the sixth followed by a stolen base and sacrifice fly to push across an insurance run.
The Royals mounted a two-out threat in the bottom of the inning, utilizing a walk and an error to put two runners in scoring position, but the Browerville starter picked up a strikeout to end the threat.
Trailing 2-0 heading into its final at-bat, junior Lucas Snyder got aboard with a clean one-out single to left to break up Browerville’s no-hit bid.
Senior pinch runner Tyler Sieben moved ahead to second on a wild pitch, then scored on a base hit to right by senior Brandon Lattimer to pull the Royals back within one.
However, Browerville turned a pop up into a double play to escape the threat and hang on for the win.
Silbernick went the distance for Royalton, allowing only four hits and one walk while striking out six.
Royalton will play against St. John’s Prep back at Joe Faber Field, Tuesday, at 5 p.m., for a spot in Thursday’s section final, where it would need two wins over Browerville to advance to state.
Browerville 2 4 1
Royalton 1 2 1
Royalton—Lucas Snyder: 1-1; Brandon Lattimer: 1-2, BB; Matt Silbernick: 7-IP, 2-R, 4-H, 1-BB, 6-K.