BENTON– Benton/Shullsburg grabbed sole possession of first-place atop the Six Rivers West baseball standings after pounding visiting Potosi, 14-4, in their home opener at Swift Park on Monday, April 23.
The two teams came into the game unbeaten in conference play this season, but only the Zephyr-Miners (5-1 overall, 4-0 SRC) remained that way after pounding out 13 hits to back a strong pitching effort by junior Nathan Mowry.
Mowry (2-0) surrendered a single run over five innings of working, scattering four hits and a walk while fanning four batters in the win.
Brooks Tiedeman homered and drove in three runs for the Zephyr-Miners, while Nolan Strang, Will Lawrence, Griffin Wiegel and Nick Wagner each added two RBI for the hosts.
Tiedeman led off the bottom of the first inning with a solo home run to get the scoring started, and then Mowry and Lawrence cracked RBI-singles and Wiegel drilled a two-run double to put Ben-Shulls up 5-0.
The Miner-Zephyrs tacked on two insurance runs in the third before exploding for seven runs in the fourth to run away with a mercy-rule victory in five innings.
Mowry went 3-for-3 at the plate and Lawrence finished 2-for-2 with three runs scored for the co-op, while Strang went 2-for-3 with a double and a run. Tiedeman and Wagner each scored twice.
Potosi’s Dylan Pluemer hit a solo home run in the top of the fourth to account for all of the scoring for the Chieftains (4-2, 3-1).
At Blanchardville, on Friday, April 20, the Miner-Zephyrs snapped a scoreless stalemate by scoring twice in the top of the sixth inning to knock off the defending Six Rivers East champion Pecatonica Vikings, 2-0, in a thriller at McKellar Park.
Pitcher Jacob Berendes helped his own cause by lining a RBI-double down the left field line off reliever Carter Ruegsegger to bring in Tiedeman for the game-winning run. Mowry followed with a RBI-single to right to drive in Berendes for a 2-0 lead.
The Vikings (5-2, 3-1) put runners on base in every inning, including lead-off runners in both the sixth and seven frames, but they could not find a way to bring any of them home for a run.
Berendes (2-0) out-dueled Pec’s Evan Prust to start the game. Each worked into the sixth before leaving the mound. Berendes tossed five scoreless innings allowing five hits with eight strikeouts and a walks, while Prust gave up a run on four hits and a walk with nine Ks. Mowry worked two scoreless innings, fanning four and allowing a hit for the save.
Tiedeman hit two doubles and scored a run for Ben/Shulls.
In the non-conference nightcap, the Vikings got their revenge by scoring in every inning to post a 12-1 win and hand the Zephyr-Miners their first loss of the season.
Berendes went 3-for-3 with two doubles and a run scored in game two. Alex Wand finished 2-for-3 with a RBI.
Ruegsegger went 4-for-4 with two doubles, three RBI and a run scored and earned the win on the mound for the Vikings. Bo Hendrickson was 3-for-3 with two runs and two RBI, while Prust drove in three runs and Corey Swenson scored three times.
Ben/Shulls’ Six Rivers West game at River Ridge on Tuesday, April 17, was postponed until Saturday, May 12, starting at 1 p.m. The Zephyr-Miners are scheduled to host Argyle (DH/4:30 p.m.) on Friday, April 27, and Cassville on Monday, April 30 (5 p.m.), and they will head to Belmont on Tuesday, May 1 (5 p.m.).
Ben/Shull…… 000 002 0 – 2 7 0
Pecatonica…. 000 000 0 – 0 6 1
Leading Hitters: B/S– Brooks Tiedeman 2x3. 3B- Nick Jansen. 2B- Tiedeman (2), Jacob Berendes. P– Brunker 2x3. 2B- C. Schraepfer, Prust.
WP- Berendes (5IP, 5H, 0R, 8K, 1BB). LP- Prust (5.3IP, 4H, 1R, 1ER, 9K, 1BB).
SV- Nathan Mowry (2IP, 1H, 0R, 4K, 0BB).
Pecatonica…. 112 26 – 12 13 0
Ben/Shull…… 000 01 – 1 9 2
Leading Hitters: P– Ruegsegger 4x4, Brunker 2x3, Hendrickson 3x3. 2B- Ruegsegger (2), C. Schraepfer. B/S– Jacob Berendes 3x3, Alex Wand 2x3, Nick Wagner 2x2. 2B- Berendes (2).
WP- Ruegsegger (4.3IP, 9H, 1E, 1ER, 6K, 3BB). LP- Wagner (2IP, 2H, 2R 0ER, 4K, 1BB).
At Blanchardville, on Friday, April 20
Ben/Shull…… 502 7x – 14 13 0
Potosi……….. 000 10 – 1 4 1
Leading Hitters: B/S– Nolan Strang 2x3, Nathan Mowry 3x3, Alex Wand 2x2, Will Lawrence 2x2. HR- Brooks Tiedeman. 2B- Strang, Griffin Wiegel. P– HR- Pluemer. 2B- Schmitz.
WP- Mowry. LP- Pluemer.