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Winner/Colome smashes Northville in opener

From the words "play ball," it was all Winner/Colome Friday at the Class B state amateur baseball tournament. The Pheasants scored seven runs in two separate innings and Derek Graesser and Drew Weber combined for a no-hitter in a 18-1, five-innin...

Winner/Colome's Austin Calhoon (25) is congratulated by manager Kevin Graesser (3) while Zach Harter (7) leads Calhoon to home plate after a grand slam during a game against the Northville Merchants in the first round of the class B state amateur tournament on Friday at Cadwell Park in Mitchell. (Matt Gade/Republic)
Winner/Colome's Austin Calhoon (25) is congratulated by manager Kevin Graesser (3) while Zach Harter (7) leads Calhoon to home plate after a grand slam during a game against the Northville Merchants in the first round of the class B state amateur tournament on Friday at Cadwell Park in Mitchell. (Matt Gade/Republic)

From the words "play ball," it was all Winner/Colome Friday at the Class B state amateur baseball tournament.

The Pheasants scored seven runs in two separate innings and Derek Graesser and Drew Weber combined for a no-hitter in a 18-1, five-inning win over Northville at Cadwell Park in Mitchell, advancing W/C to the second round.

"We have the best lineup that I think we've ever had," said starting pitcher Derek Graesser. "The bats and the lineup to really do a lot of damage out there."

The lineup had 18 hits, including six for extra bases, highlighted by a backbreaking grand slam in the fourth inning from Austin Calhoon, punctuating a seven-run fourth inning and bringing the 15-run rule into play.

"We wanted to just go out and score some runs right away, as quick as we could," Calhoon said. "Being the guest, we wanted to score first and give our pitcher a lead and fortunately, we were able to do that. They made a couple of mistakes and we capitalized."

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Winner/Colome got things started with a two-RBI single from Dillon Lambley with the bases loaded, scoring Graesser and Calhoon. After a RBI single from Ryan Richey, J.J. Farner doubled to left field to score two runs and No. 9 hitter Lakin Neugebauer added two more runs with his triple to the left field corner, bringing the score to 7-0.

In the second, the Pheasants tacked on four more runs. Austin Richey doubled to right field to score two runs to make it 9-0. Ryan Richey and Neugebauer each added RBIs for Winner/Colome to make it 11-0 after two frames.

Meanwhile, Graesser made sure that Northville couldn't get much going. He struck out the first six batters he faced, leaving the Merchants without any answers. He finished with seven strikeouts in three innings.

"We didn't know a whole lot about them but, just like any other game, we have to come in and be prepared," Graesser said. "You expect the teams to be really good here. And you don't want to lose the first game."

Weber came in and threw just 19 pitches in two innings, picking up a strikeout.

According to the state tournament records, it's the first recorded combined no-hitter in the event's history. It's the first five-inning no-hitter since Rick Weber threw one for Salem in 1985. Drew Weber already threw a no-hitter for the Pheasants this year on June 14 against Class A Pierre in Winner but that game was decided in seven innings.

"It's not a true no-hitter but it's still pretty cool," Weber said. "You're in the record books and obviously with the production we had today, it's a game you're never going to forget."

Northville got its run in the third inning when Eric Peterson led off the inning with a walk and then Bryan Weber reached first on an error at shortstop. A second error in the inning by the catcher Geno Katz allowed Peterson to come around to score, allowing the Merchants to leave with at least a run.

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Calhoon provided the fireworks to the final score. Facing Weber, Northville's reliever who came into the game with the bases loaded, Calhoon smashed a fastball to right field for a grand slam and putting the Pheasants up 18-1.

"I was looking for a fastball," Calhoon said. "I saw him shake off something, so I was expecting a fastball and I put a good stick on it."

Neugebauer drove in four runs. Austin Richey, Ryan Richey and Geno Katz each had three hits. Reed Harter and Graesser each had two hits and scored two runs.

Winner/Colome, now 20-4, will take on Four Corners at 8 p.m. Monday at Cadwell Park for a spot in the quarterfinals.

NOTES: The victory by Winner/Colome is the first 15-run rule game to finish in five innings at the Class B state tournament since 2012, when Canova/Howard defeated Four Corners 15-0 in the first round. ... Eighteen runs is the most runs for one team in a state tournament game since Wynot, Nebraska scored 18 in a victory over Irene in the 2014 quarterfinals, en route to the Class B title.

Winner/Colome 740 70-18 18 2

Northville 001 00-1 0 2

WP: Drew Weber. LP: Eric Peterson.

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Winner/Colome: Derek Graesser, Drew Weber (4) and Geno Katz. Northville: Eric Peterson, Bryan Weber (4) and Mitch Reed. 2B: W/C:

Winner-Colome's J.J. Farner (23) fields a throw to second base during a game in the first round of the class B state amateur tournament on Friday at Cadwell Park in Mitchell. (Matt Gade/Republic)
Winner-Colome's J.J. Farner (23) fields a throw to second base during a game in the first round of the class B state amateur tournament on Friday at Cadwell Park in Mitchell. (Matt Gade/Republic)

Related Topics: CADWELL PARK
Traxler is the assistant editor and sports editor for the Mitchell Republic. He's worked for the newspaper since 2014 and has covered a wide variety of topics. He can be reached at mtraxler@mitchellrepublic.com.
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