Big fourth inning sends Winner/Colome past Beresford
LENNOX -- Sometimes it takes time to solve a puzzle.
On Friday, the puzzle Winner/Colome Post Post 169 was Beresford Post 72’s starting pitcher Eli Skoglund. Through the first three innings of Winner/Colome’s Class B American Legion state tournament opener, Skoglund gave up two hits.
But in the top of the fourth, Jackson Kinzer led off with a double to deep right field and an error on a Carter Brickman ground ball started an avalanche.
Kinzer scored from second on the play and Winner/Colome would tack on four more runs on three hits, another error and a walk en route to a 7-4 win, advancing to face the Dell Rapids/Lennox winner at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday.
“With a good pitcher like that, sometimes it takes a while to get a good look at him,” Winner/Colome head coach Kory Foss said. “A lot of things had to go our way in that inning. Balls found some holes, a couple of errors and our kids were able to take advantage of that. That was huge for us to get somewhat of a push.”
Kinzer started the scoring, but he did not need much run support on the mound, as he stifled Beresford batters all day.
Post 72 managed to put runners in scoring position in the second and third innings, but Kinzer worked his way out of the predicament on both occasions and all three of Beresford’s hits off him came in those innings.
Kinzer finished the day without allowing a run across 5 ⅔ innings, before being pulled with 75 pitches to preserve him should Winner/Colome (18-7) reach Tuesday’s championship round.
“Jackson was great and that’s all you can ask for from your Day 1 starter,” Foss said. “He came out and threw strikes. That was the biggest thing -- getting in front of batters so we didn’t run the pitch count up. To get him through almost six innings without going over 80 (pitches) was big, too.”
Beresford would score four runs in a last-ditch rally attempt in the bottom of the seventh, before Layton Thieman struck out Marcus VanDriel to end the game.
Kinzer finished 3-for-4 at the plate with an RBI, while Oscar Pravecek drove in two runs and Thieman and Joren Bruun had an RBI apiece.
Beresford faces the Lennox/Dell Rapids loser at 1 p.m. on Saturday.