The big inning defined the first round Class B state amateur baseball tournament, but Winner/Colome found a way to win with a different approach in the second round.
The Pheasants never scored more than two runs on Wynot, Nebraska on Sunday at Cadwell Park. Instead, they scored one run in four of five innings, spanning from the third to the seventh inning.
Along with a slow, but steady approach, Winner/Colome was able to take down the Expos, 6-2, to advance to the quarterfinals against Plankinton at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday.
“We would have liked to see some crooked numbers, but we got some guys on base to put some pressure on them,” Winner/Colome manager Kevin Graesser said. “Would like to not leave them on base, but we knew if we could get J.J. (Farner) some runs, he’s pitched well for us all year.”
Farner once again delivered on the mound for the Pheasants, earning the complete-game win after allowing two earned runs on nine hits and two walks.
He didn’t have to use a deep variety of pitches, either, as Farner relied heavily on his fastball and pitch placement.
“I was just spotting up with my fastball and tried to throw strikes,” Farner said. “My defense played a heck of a game tonight. It’s all on them. I just try to throw strikes and they made the plays.”
Austin Richey and Jeff Harris (Parkston pick-up player) had RBI singles in the top of the second and then Chandler Bakley plated a run on a ground ball in the third. Austin Calhoon had a pair of RBI singles for Winner/Colome (17-4), helping to offset 11 runners left on base.
Meanwhile, Wynot was able to put runners on throughout the game, but struggled to move them around to score. The Expos grounded into three double plays and left seven runners on.
“It seemed like we just couldn’t string them together,” Wynot player-manager Lee Heimes said. “Every time we had a bit of momentum, that’s when the double play ball would come or we’d hit it right at them. To their credit, they made plays. You have to make those plays and they made routine plays.”
Calhoon finished 3-for-5 with a pair of RBIs, while Bakley and Kelly O’Bryan each collected two hits.
With Farner going the distance and Connor Hopkins tossing the full nine innings in the first round on Wednesday, Winner/Colome should have a fresh pitching rotation for the quarterfinals.
“Connor will have eight days off and we’ve got other guys,” Graesser said. “We’ve got three or four other guys that can pitch. I don’t know what we’re going to do. We’ll use Connor and J.J. a lot, because we can leave or defense set and we don’t have to move other guys around.”
Jackson Sudbeck and Dawson Sudbeck had RBIs. Heimes had two hits and won the Mark Mehlhaff Memorial Award after making a come back from multiple injuries sustained after falling 20 feet from a ladder during a home improvement project last August.