POTOSI – Senior shortstop Pierce Russell snapped a 3-3 tie with a run-scoring double in the top of the ninth inning and sophomore catcher Brett Matye followed with a two-run single to give his team some cushion as Shullsburg/Benton remains the last unbeaten team in the Six Rivers West after defeating Potosi, 6-3, in a thrilling extra-inning prep baseball game at PHS on Monday, April 22.
Potosi got to the co-op early, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first inning thanks to Chase Kruser’s two-run double. Kruser later stole third and home to put the Chieftains up 3-0.
But, that would be all the runs the hosts would score as Nathan Hendrickson and Matt Cook shut down the Chieftains’ offense over the final eight innings.
The Miner-Zephyrs (3-1 overall, 3-0 in SRW) answered back with single runs in the third, fourth and sixth innings to tie the game at 3-3 before winning it with their three run rally in the ninth inning.
Russell doubled home Nick Soppe in the third, while Collin Hauser singled in a run in the fourth and Connor Crotty walked and scored on passed ball in the sixth.
Hendrickson worked the first seven innings allowing three runs (none earned) on two hits and four walks with nine strikeouts. Cook pitched the final two innings to earn the win, yielding two hits and two walks with four Ks.
Russell was 2-for-3 with two doubles and two RBI and a run scored, while Matye went 2-for-5 with two RBI and Soppe scored twice for S/B.
At Belmont, on Tuesday, April 16, the Miner-Zephyrs struck for five key insurance runs during the final two innings to hold off the hosts Braves, 11-6, in a SRW battle.
The co-op took an early 2-0 lead on a two-run home run by first baseman Connor Crotty in the top of the first inning, and they added runs in three of their next four turns at the plate to build up a 6-2 lead.
The Braves (1-3, 1-3) fought their way back into the game with a three-run rally in the home-half of the fifth. Mitch Ray’s two-run single during the rally cut the gap to 6-5.
The Miner-Zephyrs came back with two runs in the top of the sixth, and then tacked on three more runs on a booming home run by third baseman Kyle Hoppman in the top of the seventh to put the Braves away.
Hoppman finished 4-for-4 at the plate to lead the Miner/Zephyrs, while Pierce Russell and winning pitcher Nathan Hendrickson each added two hits on the day.
Ray finished 3-for-4 with a double for the Braves.
The co-op’s scheduled crossover doubleheader against Argyle on Thursday, April 18, was postponed due to rain. It will be made up on Thursday, May 16.
Shullsburg/Benton has games scheduled at home against Cuba City on Thursday, April 25; and at home against Pecatonica (DH) on Friday, April 26. The Miner-Zephyrs also have games at River Ridge on Monday, April 29, at 5 p.m., and at Highland on Tuesday, April 30.
Belmont has upcoming games scheduled at Argyle on Friday, April 26, at Highland on Monday, April 29, and at home against Cassville on Tuesday, April 30.
Shulls/Bent… 001 101 003 - 6 7 2
Potosi…...….. 300 000 000 - 3 4 2
Leading Hitters: Pierce Russell 2x3, Brett Matye 2x5. 2B- Russell (2).
WP- Matt Cook. LP- Fritz.
Shulls/Bent… 210 212 3 - 11 10 3
Belmont…….. 010 130 1 - 6 7 4
Leading Hitters: Shulls/Bent– Kyle Hoppman 4x4, Pierce Russell 2x5, Nathan Hendrickson 2x4. HR- Connor Crotty, Hoppman. Belmont– Mitch Ray 3x4. 2B– Ray.
WP- Hendrickson. LP- Kyle Van Bogaert.