Mudcats shut out Harrisburg, advance
A strong pitching performance from Brady Nolz and a couple of three-hit performances helped the Parkston Mudcats cruise to a 5-0 win over the Harrisburg Woodies in round two of the Class B South Dakota state amateur baseball tournament Tuesday at Cadwell Park in Mitchell.
Nolz pitched all nine innings of the contest, allowing six hits and one walk while striking out nine. The Woodies were able to record three hits in the opening inning but struggled the rest of the game.
"They were getting hits early, but they weren't scoring runs so I didn't change a thing," Nolz said. "My job is to put up zeroes and I did that."
A pickoff in the first inning helped Nolz escape without giving up a run as the next two batters reached base with singles. Parkston manager Dave Roth said he wasn't concerned, even though three of the first four hitters were able to record hits.
"(Nolz) was throwing strikes and they've got some good hitters at the top of the order," Roth said.
The win advances the Mudcats (29-4) to the quarterfinals of the state tournament at 6 p.m. Friday at Cadwell Park in Mitchell.
Nolz credited his defense for helping him record the shutout. The Mudcats had one error in the game that came on a throwing error by Nolz in the seventh inning.
"I have total faith in my defense," he said. "Obviously, the guys did their jobs because they made every play."
The offense for the Mudcats was sparked by Jeff Fish and Trevor Freudenthal. Fish went 3-for-4 with a double, two runs scored and an RBI, while Freudenthal was 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored.
"Our offense looked better tonight than it's been," Roth said. "Even a lot of our outs were hit hard, so hopefully that can continue."
The Mudcats got on the board in the third inning with the help of two Harrisburg errors. Then, a four-hit fifth inning gave Parkston some breathing room as the team put up three more runs to go up 5-0.
"Once the guys had a couple-run lead, they played relaxed," Roth said. "That helps on defense and they played great."
John Spaeth took the loss for the Woodies. Spaeth threw five innings, allowing five runs, three earned, on six hits and one walk. He struck out two batters.
Brian Stoebner was the only batter for Harrisburg to reach base multiple times. He went 2-for-4 for the Woodies, who end their season with a 10-13 record.
NOTES: After the game, Mudcats pitcher Tom Murtha was recognized for being named a Mark Mehlhaf Memorial Courageous Comeback Player of the Year. Murtha was one of two recipients of the award this year, the other was Tyson Gau of the Alexandria Angels. ... Through two state tournament games, Brady Nolz has two pitching wins. He recorded the win in the Mudcats' first-round matchup against Redfield DQ Friday after pitching 4 1/3 innings of relief. Nolz said he didn't feel any fatigue during Tuesday's contest. "I never really feel fatigue during a game when the adrenaline's rushing," he said.