It wasn't a matter of if but a matter of when the runs would come for the Freeman Black Sox Thursday night.
And as Brett Scherschligt kept the Milbank Firechiefs off the scoreboard, the Black Sox booked a spot in the second round of the South Dakota Class B Amateur Baseball Tournament with a 4-0 victory at Cadwell Park.
Freeman broke through in the sixth inning when Eric Hortness singled and then Scherschligt singled to left-center field. The ball was misplayed in the alley by the center-fielder, allowing Hortness to score and put the Black Sox up 1-0.
In the seventh, Hortness hit a two-RBI single to left field to make it 3-0, scoring Phil Madsen and Allan Scherschligt. Madsen was able to add insurance in the eighth inning with an RBI single to set the final score.
Freeman had 11 hits in the game and put together strong at-bats. Scherschligt said the team came through in clutch situations and showed the traits of a team making its third straight tournament appearance.
"Personally for me, you don't get rattled when you've been here before," Scherschligt said. "It's a lot easier to come up here and win ball games when you've got the confidence to come here and win."
The two starting pitchers dueled through the first five innings, with just five combined hits. Dominique Boerger, who pitches at Dakota Wesleyan University and was on the Milbank Post 9 Legion team, held Freeman in check but player/manager Brett Scherschligt said his team was making Boerger work hard.
"I think we were having good at-bats really the whole ball game," Scherschligt said. "I didn't think he had us baffled at any point. I think our bats were good and we were confident we were going to get through (with runs)."
Brett Scherschligt, however, was able to hold the Firechiefs in line all game. He pitched all nine innings, allowing four hits and striking out five for the win. Hortness, Madsen, and Brett Scherschligt each had two hits.
For Milbank, Boerger finished the game allowing nine hits, three runs and striking out three in a losing effort. Ryan Conrad, Jacob Jackson, Travis Lester and Ronnie Krause each had singles.
Freeman (13-15) advances to face Plankinton or Larchwood in the opening second-round game at 5:30 p.m. Monday at Cadwell Park. Milbank's campaign ends at 11-9.
Milbank 000 000 000-0 4 2
Freeman 000 001 121-4 11 1
WP: Brett Scherschligt. LP: Dom Boerger. Pitchers: Milbank: Dom Boerger and Taylor Boerger. Freeman: Brett Scherschligt. Doubles: Freeman: B. Scherschligt.