Consistent hitting in all seven innings helped Storm Lake St. Mary's earn a Northwest Conference victory on the road on Thursday evening over Sac City, 6-1.
The Panthers were able to pound out 14 hits in the game against the Indians, but did not score more than two runs in any inning. St. Mary's put together scoring rallies of two in the first, one in the second, two in the third and one in the sixth.
"We never had a huge inning, but we were consistently putting one run on the board," St. Mary's head coach Ryan Berg said. "It's always nice to be able to get at least one run throughout the game like we did."
Kevin Brown led the offensive charge by going 3-4 with a RBI, and teammate Tim Brown went 2-4 with a RBI single. Ryan Gessner and Jeff Speers both had 2-4 days at the plate for St. Mary's.
Kevin Brown went the distance on the mound, allowing only four hits, striking out four and walking five to earn his third victory of the year.
"Kevin had one of his best performances of the season," Berg said. "He walked the bases loaded to start the game, but after that he settled in and really did a nice job."
The Panthers (17-9, 11-4 NWC), are only one game behind Sioux Central in the Northwest Conference standings, but need help from other teams in order to have a chance at sharing the league title with the Rebels. Sioux Central played Albert City-Truesdale last night and will travel to Sac City tonight for its final two games of the conference and regular season.
St. Mary's, meanwhile, will play its final league game tonight at home against Pomeroy-Palmer. The Panthers will host Galva-Holstein on Thursday and will travel to Kingsley to take on Kingsley-Pierson in the last regular season game for the team.
Sac City 10, Alta 7
Alta pitchers gave up three runs in the third inning and four runs in the sixth frame against Sac City last Wednesday in a 10-7 loss to the Indians.
Jamie Hammer gave up six earned runs in 5 1/3 innings of work on the mound for Alta to get saddled with the loss. He struck out five and gave up 10 hits, but had control problems, walking four and throwing three wild pitches. Steve Hamer walked the only batter he faced in the sixth and Eric Holton threw the final 1 2/3 innings for Alta.
Hammer led the team at the plate, going 2-4 and scoring two runs, while Dru Leyden also had a good night offensively with two hits, one RBI and one stolen base. Every other Cyclone who played had at least one hit, but the team was unable to put together large scoring rallies.
"Things just didn't fall into place tonight," Alta head coach Jerry Braunschweig said. "Defensively we played well, and offensively we had 11 hits but just couldn't get that timely one or string them together right."