In the first game of Monday’s home doubleheader against Eden Valley-Watkins (EVW), Pierz found itself lamenting missed opportunities in a 6-5 defeat.
In the second game?
Not so much.
The Pioneers cashed in early and often, taking apart the Eagles 12-2 to gain a split.
Eden Valley-Watkins started quickly in the opening contest, scoring in its first three at bats to seize a 6-1 advantage.
The Pioneers held the Eagles off the board the rest of the way, though, enabling them to pull within 6-5 after plating a run in the bottom of the third and three more in the fifth.
Pierz missed out on a pair of chances in the last two innings to tie it up, however, leaving a runner stranded at third in both frames.
Senior Chris Ortman went 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs, junior Beau Winscher collected two hits, two runs and an RBI and sophomore Noah Boser singled, drew three walks and scored for Pierz.
Boser also held the Eagles to one hit over 3 1/3 innings of shutout relief.
“We had a lot of chances with runners in scoring position, but just couldn’t come up with the big hit,” Pierz head coach Dan Saehr said.
Pierz completely turned the tables in game two, pushing across five runs in the first and another four in the second to erase any doubt as to the outcome early.
Leading 9-2 after four innings, Pierz tallied its final three runs in the fifth to capture a 10-run rule win.
“We played a very good all-around game,” Saehr said. “We hit the ball very well and (senior) Nate Athman pitched a great game for us.”
Athman’s effort consisted of six strikeouts with only three hits and two walks allowed as he went the distance.
Offensively, freshman Matt Kummet and Boser each had three hits and scored twice, with Boser also knocking in two runs and stealing a pair of bases.
Freshman Lane Girtz contributed two hits, two runs and an RBI while sophomore Aaron Weber doubled and drove in three.
Cathedral breaks tie in seventh to top Pierz
In a classic case of the final score not doing the game justice, St. Cloud Cathedral pulled away in the final frame of a seesaw battle to upend host Pierz 16-7, May 2.
Despite falling behind 4-0 against one of the top pitchers in the state, the Pioneers refused to fold, rallying back for four runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to tie it up, then answering a Crusaders run in the fifth to once again level the contest in the sixth.
Cathedral put the game away for good though in the seventh, plating 11 runs.
Kummet had two hits and a run, Weber and Winscher each doubled and combined to drive in three runs and senior Evan Woitalla collected the other Pierz hit.
HLWW steals pair
Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted (HLWW) pulled off consecutive come-from-behind wins to sweep a doubleheader at Pierz 3-1, 7-5, May 1.
The opening game was scoreless through four innings until Pierz got on the board on an RBI single by senior Mac Gruber to bring in sophomore Nick Herold in the fifth.
The Lakers managed to bounce right back with three unearned runs in the top of the sixth, though, to steal the win.
Gruber finished 2-for-2 and Boser had a hit and stole a base.
Pierz bolted to a 5-0 lead in the first inning of the finale, but couldn’t score again as HLWW came right back with three runs in the second and four more in the third.
Kummet reached base four times, singling, doubling and being hit by a pitch twice.
Girtz doubled and drew two walks, Weber had a double and knocked in two runs and junior Cody Meyer had an RBI and a run.
Huskers split six games
Holdingford went 3-3 during a six-game stretch over the week, running its record to 5-3 on the year.
The Huskers’ offense was clicking as it reached double digits twice to sweep a pair from visiting Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa 10-2 and 10-5, Monday.
Seniors Cody Bialka, Jeremy Springer and Mitch Messman all had two hits, with Bialka driving in three runs and scoring twice.
Senior Jake Nelson collected three RBIs and earned the complete-game win on the mound.
Holdingford’s offense was equally efficient in the finale, as all nine starters picked up at least one hit, led by Nelson with a 3-for-3 effort that included a double, three RBIs, two runs scored and two stolen bases.
The Huskers didn’t have as much luck in a doubleheader at HLWW, May 2, falling 11-1 and 15-5.
Springer collected three hits and three runs in the finale, with Nelson going 2-for-4 with three RBIs and junior Nathan Brinker also picking up two hits.
Holdingford traded a pair of lopsided contests with visiting Kimball Area, May 1, dropping the opener 8-1 before coming back to take game two 10-0.
Senior Mitch Merten and junior Austin Gerads had two hits apiece in the opening game.
Nelson tossed a five-hit shutout in the second game while also reaching base in all four of his plate appearances.
Messman went 2-for-4 with two runs and two RBIs and senior Jordan Gombos collected two hits and stole four bases.