take third at State
The State Tournament was all about pitching for the Prairie Pirates as they allowed just 2 runs in 3 games and earned the third place trophy at Orofino May 20-22.
In the opening game Matt Baerlocher tossed a 2-hitter with 13 strikeouts and Brent Frei had 4 RBI as Prairie beat Malad 5-0.
In the semifinals an unearned run in the third inning by Kamiah was the only run scored as Prairie lost to the Kubs 0-1.
In the third place game Baerlocher had another outstanding outing as Prairie defeated Grangeville 7-1.
Baerlocher threw only 82 pitches, 68 for strikes.
Meanwhile the bottom of the order came through on offense as Frei hits #8 in the order but had two 2-RBI singles in the first 3 innings.
Prairie put together 4 straight hits in the second to get on the board. C.J. Rieman and Chad Arnzen each singled and a balk moved them up to second and third. Frei hit a soft liner past the first baseman to right field to score both runners. Jacob Nuxoll followed with one of his patented bloop singles, this one just past the shortstop in short center. With 2 outs, Shane Doyle singled to left to score Frei.
In the third inning Tyler Crane led off with a walk but was forced at second on Mat Forsmann’s sacrifice attempt. With 2 outs Arnzen walked and again, a balk moved the runners to second and third. Frei then hit a single to left this time to score both runners for a 5-0 lead.
Prairie managed just 2 baserunners in the final 3 innings but one was caught stealing and the other picked off first.
Prairie had 6 hits, all singles. Frei had 2 hits with Doyle, Rieman, Arnzen and Nuxoll collecting 1 hit each.
Rieman and Kamiah’s Aaron Lewis hooked up in a pitcher’s duel that saw only 8 total base hits and 1 unearned run.
Prairie had only 4 baserunners in the game and never more than 1 in an inning.
Doyle, Baerlocher and Frei each had a single and Doyle also reached once when he was hit by a pitch.
In the fourth inning Doyle was hit leading off the inning and Baerlocher followed with a deep fly ball that looked like it was headed in left center but it stayed in the park and was caught for an out.
In the sixth inning both Jacob Riener and Baerlocher connected on deep fly balls down the line in left that, on a day the air wasn’t so damp and heavy, could both have been over the fence for homers.
Rieman did an outstanding job on the mound, allowing just 5 hits with 2 walks and 6 strikeouts.
In the third inning back-to-back singles put runners on first and third. On a steal attempt Doyle threw toward second but the ball slipped on him and it sailed high into centerfield with the runner on third scoring the game’s only run.
Prairie put a run on the board in the top of the first thanks to a pair of Grangeville errors.
The first error didn’t hurt as the rightfielder backed up the play and threw Doyle out at second. Baerlocher was then hit by a pitch with 2 outs and Tyler Crane’s grounder down the first base line went through the wickets of the first baseman, sending Baerlocher to third. Mat Forsmann then singled to left to score Baerlocher.
The score stayed 1-0 until the top of the seventh inning as Prairie managed just 2 hits and 4 total baserunners in the intervening innings. Baerlocher meanwhile shut down the Bulldogs as the only baserunners were by an error in the second and a hit batsman in the third.
Baerlocher got into trouble in the sixth when he allowed a walk and a hit batter with 1 out. He then struck out Grangeville’s power hitting Lee Nadinger before walking Johnson to load the bases. He then dug down and managed to strike Kevin Allen out on 3 pitches to end the inning.
In the top of the seventh the wheels came off for Grangeville as 3 singles and 3 errors led to 6 Prairie runs.
Frei led off with a single to left and Nuxoll followed with an infield single as his dribbler found a perfect spot just far enough from the pitcher for him to beat it out. Phillip Henry pinchran for Nuxoll but was forced at second by Riener as Frei went to third.
Doyle then hit a slow roller to the pitcher’s left and was thrown out at first as Frei scored. With 2 outs Baerlocher singled to left to score Riener and wound up at third on an errant pickoff attempt. Crane then reached on an error by the first baseman as Baerlocher scored. Forsmann reached on a throwing error by the third baseman and Rieman walked. A passed ball allowed Crane to score and Arnzen walked to reload the bases. Frei got his second single of the inning and his 5th and 6th RBI of the tournament to make it 7-0 for Prairie.
In the bottom of the seventh pinch-hitter Kurt Urbahn broke up Baerlocher’s no-hitter with a single to right. After a popup to Doyle and a strikeout, Urbahn scored Grangeville’s only run on Brandon Stark’s single that dropped in front of Frei in centerfield. After a hit batsman, Baerlocher induced Jared McCulley to hit a grounder to third and Riener threw to first for the game’s final out.
Prairie wound up with 7 hits in the game with Frei and Forsmann collecting 2 hits each, Riener a double and Baerlocher and Nuxoll a single each.
Baerlocher gave up just 2 hits with 2 walks, 3 hit batters and 14 strikeouts.
Baerlocher had a 0.50 ERA over 14 innings while Rieman had a 0.00 ERA in his 7 innings in the tournament.
Baerlocher was the lone Pirate to make the all-tournament team but a case could’ve been made for Frei who was 5 for 9 with 6 RBI in the tournament for a .556 average. Grangeville placed both Johnson and Nadiger on the all-tournament team while Kamiah had Lewis and Tysan Guy on the team. Guy was named the tournament MVP for his 2 wins and 2 home runs.
Prairie ends their season with a 12-6 record.
Malad 0 0 0 0 0 0 0—0 2 1
Prairie 0 3 2 0 0 0 x—5 6 0
Prairie 0 0 0 0 0 0 0—0 3 2
Kamiah 0 0 1 0 0 0 x—1 5 0
Prairie 1 0 0 0 0 0 6—7 7 1
Grangeville 0 0 0 0 0 0 1—1 2 6