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Groton tops Winner/Colome 5-1

Winner/Colome’s John Farner pitches the ball during a first-round game against Groton on Wednesday night at the Class B state amateur baseball tournament at Cadwell Park in Mitchell. (Brooke Cersosimo/Republic)

In the second game of the 2014 Class B state amateur baseball tournament on a misty Wednesday night, Groton defeated Winner/Colome 5-1 in a defensive battle at Cadwell Park in Mitchell.

Groton's starting pitcher Jamie Jorgenson got off to quick start as he sat down the first nine batters he faced and didn't let up, holding the 2013 runner-up Winner/Colome Pheasants to five hits and striking out 13.

Winner/Colome manager Kevin Graesser said his team had one of its worst games against Groton.

"We didn't do much with the bats," he said. "Give Jorgenson credit, he did what he had to do tonight."

Groton (15-4) will play Tabor in the second round at 5:30 p.m. Sunday at Cadwell Park. Winner/Colome is eliminated and ends its season 12-6.

Groton manager Mitchell Locke said Jorgenson's performance helped carry the team, saying, "That's the best game he's pitched all year."

Jorgenson said he had all his pitches working against the Pheasants.

"My fastball was spot on tonight," Jorgenson said. "We had a great team effort offensively, and it gave me a confidence booster on the mound going into the ninth."

Groton threatened to score in the top of the first inning after a Pheasant error but Winner/Colome escaped the inning. In the top of the second, Groton's Tyler Oliver smacked a double into the left-field gap and scored on sacrifice fly by Matt Erickson to take a 1-0 lead.

Groton looked to add to its lead in the third inning with runners in scoring position but Pheasants starting pitcher John Farner stuck out Zach Harry and got Oliver to ground out to end the threat. Groton loaded the bases to start the sixth inning, but failed to score as the Pheasants were able to work out of the jam.

Ryan Richey hit a one-out double for Winner/Colome in the bottom of the seventh for the Pheasants' first scoring threat of the game, but Jorgenson struck out the next batter.

In the top of the eighth inning, Groton extended its 1-0 lead after once again loading the bases. Groton was able to score four runs off one hit and take a 5-0 lead, thanks to a couple of Winner/Colome errors.

"They gave us those runs," Locke said.

Ryan Risse led off the bottom of the eighth with an infield hit for the Pheasants but Jorgenson quickly picked up another strikeout and was able hold Winner/Colome scoreless going into the ninth inning.

In the bottom of the ninth, the Pheasants finally broke through with Risse lacing a base hit to left field and scoring Dillon Lambley. Jorgenson recovered and was able to add a final strikeout to end the game.