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Mudcats top Tabor 5-0, advance to quarterfinals

The Parkston Mudcats’ Spencer Freudenthal, left, slides safely into second past the tag of Tabor’s Nathan Kloucek in the third inning of a second-round game during the Class B state amateur baseball tournament Wednesday at Sioux Falls Stadium. (Aaron Saunders/Republic)

SIOUX FALLS — Through two games at the Class B state amateur baseball tournament, the Parkston Mudcats have shown masterful pitching.

In its opening game Sunday, Brady Nolz pitched the Mudcats to an 11-1 victory over Britton. Wednesday the arm changed but the result was the same as the Mudcats defeated the Tabor Bluebirds 5-0 to advance to the quarterfinals of the 32-team tournament.

The Mudcats will face Canova at 8 p.m. Friday at Sioux Falls Stadium.

“I felt pretty good tonight,” Parkston starting pitcher Luke Tiesler said. “I just wanted to go out there and throw a few good innings and see what would happen. When you go from Brady throwing so hard with so many pitches to me, I just like to mix speed and take each batter one at a time.”

The Parkston Mudcats hurler threw a complete game, allowing no runs on four hits, striking out four and walking four.

While Tiesler was busy retiring Bluebird batters in the early stages of the game, the Parkston offense was busy providing insurance runs for him. The Mudcats did the majority of their run scoring in the second and third innings.

The Mudcats got things started in the second inning when Jeff Heisinger hit a two-out single to score Pat Harris and give Parkston a 1-0 lead. After a Trevor Freudenthal ground out started the inning, Harris reached base on an infield single and advanced to third when Tyler Nolz hit a single to right field.

“We had some timely hits tonight, but we didn’t hit as good as we are capable of hitting,” Parkston manager Dave Roth said. “We are going to have to play our best and hit our best when we play Canova.”

Parkston (20-6) tacked on three more runs in the third inning with the help of Matt Malloy and Harris and Spencer Freudenthal. Malloy hit an RBI double, which scored Jeff Fish and opened the floodgates for more Parkston runs. Malloy scored on a sacrifice fly from Harris after he advanced to third on a single to right field by Trevor Freudenthal.

Trevor Freudenthal scored the last run of the inning after Spencer Freudenthal legged out an infield single, making the score 4-0 after three innings. All four of those runs came off Tabor starter Doug Vanecek. The right hander threw 5 1/3 innings, allowing five runs on seven hits, striking out one and walking five.

Parkston was led by was Jeff Harris and Spencer Freudenthal. Harris finished the game 2-for-4 with one RBI, while Freudenthal was 2-for-3 with one RBI.

The biggest chance the Bluebirds had to get in the game came when they had the bases loaded in the bottom of the fourth inning with two outs. But Tiesler struck out Jeff Honner to get the Mudcats out of the jam.

Brett Scherschlight — a pickup player from Freeman — finished the game 2-for-4 to lead Tabor.

“Parkston is a good team,” said Tabor player/manager Jon Vavruska, adding the Mudcats will likely make another run for the state title. “We got off to a sluggish start and you can’t do that against a team like Parkston. We couldn’t get a key hit with the bases loaded, and we just needed more timely hits but we couldn’t get them.”

Tabor ends its season 12-8.