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South Prairie rallies late, Central McLean counters in split doubleheader

The South Prairie Royals and Central McLean Cougars met on Monday in a Region VI matchup. The Royals were winless heading into the day, while the Cougars were just above them in the standings with one win on the year.

Both teams were looking to finish up the regular season on a positive note and they both managed to do that, as they split the twin bill on Monday night. The Royals came out on top in game one with a 4-2 win, while the Cougars bounced back in game two with a 14-4 victory.

The Cougars climbed to an early lead in game one when Ethan Halsted walked and came around to score on an error, giving the Cougars a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first. The Royals would answer in the top of the third inning, when Ethan Dobson scored on a fielder’s choice after singling to start the frame, making it a 1-1 game.

A leadoff single would again be key for the Royals, who jumped out to their first lead in the top of the fifth inning. Joshua Groninger got the rally started with a single. An error and a passed ball would have him standing on third with only one out. Isaac Shervan grounded into a fielder’s choice that brought Groninger home, giving the Royals a 2-1 lead.

Just as things started looking good for the Royals, it was the Cougars time to answer back. In the bottom of the sixth inning, Kevin Brunelle singled to get things started and stole second. Owen Anderson would drive Brunelle home on a single of his own, making it a 2-2 game.

With it seeming like a brand-new ballgame entering the final inning of regulation, the Royals decided they had one more rally in them. Lance Pitner wasted no time putting the Royals back on top, as he tripled to start the inning and scored on an error in the top of the seventh.

After a Brytin Hauf walk, Carson Anderson singled to put Hauf on third. A passed ball would bring Hauf home and the Royals would come out with a 4-2 victory in game one. In dramatic fashion, the Royals were able to secure their first win of the season.

Leading the way for the Royals was Isaac Shervan, who drove in two runs and had one walk, Joshua Groninger who went 1-for-4, and Lance Pitner who went 1-for-2 with a triple, walk, and two stolen bases. Josiah Bagwell got the start for the Royals and he tossed six innings, while allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits, four walks, and four strikeouts.

For the Cougars, they were led by Owen Anderson who went 1-for-3 with an RBI, Jarrett Troyna who went 1-for-2 with a walk and two stolen bases, and Keaton Rust who went 1-for-4 and threw two and one-thirds of one run ball on the mound.

Game two featured a more prominent offensive showing by the Cougars and once they started scoring, they did not stop. After the first inning, the Cougars owned a 2-1 lead and would start turning it up.

In the top of the third with two outs, Jarrett Troyna was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, giving the Cougars a 6-1 lead. Consecutive walks and a passed ball brought in three more runs, and Sam Heger drove in two runs on a single, giving the Cougars an 11-1 lead after a massive six run inning.

The Royals kept trying to battle back, scoring two in the bottom of the frame, but in the end, the firepower of the Cougars bats in game two proved to be too much. The Cougars would end the day with a 14-4 victory in game two.

Carter Korslein led the way for South Prairie, going 2-for-3 with two RBIs. Josiah Bagwell also had a strong day, going 1-for-1 with an RBI and two walks.

For Central McLean, Keaton Rust, Kevin Brunelle, Owen Anderson, and Sam Heger all drove in two runs each. Jayce Lauer went 2-for-3 with an RBI as well to help lead the team to victory. Anderson also started on the mound where he went for five innings, allowing four runs (one earned) on four hits, eight walks, and seven strikeouts.

Game One

South Prairie 4, Central McLean 2

SP 0 0 1 0 1 0 2 – 4 5 2

CM 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 – 2 4 2

2 OR MORE HITS: None; DOUBLES: None; TRIPLES: Pitner; 2 OR MORE RBIs: Shervan.

Game Two

Central McLean 14, South Prairie 4

CM 2 3 6 2 1 x x – 1 8 5

SP 1 0 2 0 1 x x – 4 4 4

2 OR MORE HITS: CM – Wagner, Lauer. SP – Korslein; DOUBLES: Rust; TRIPLES: None; 2 OR MORE RBIs: CM – Rust, Brunelle, Anderson, Heger. SP – Korslein.

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