Sioux Central's Adam Huebner came through in the clutch for the conference champions on Monday night in Fonda, nailing a line drive single off of St. Mary's relief pitcher Billy Mach in the top of the seventh to help Sioux Central defeat the Panthers at Fonda, 7-5.
St. Mary's and Sioux Central split each of their regular season games coming into the district final, and their third contest was also evenly matched, as the Panthers and Rebels traded runs before entering the final frame tied at 5-5. Alex Rehnstrom started off the seventh with a triple off St. Mary's relief pitcher Billy Mach, and Huebner then drove in Rehnstrom with his RBI line drive.
Jason Ferguson then added to the Sioux Central total with a RBI single over third base, plating pinch-runner Matt McKibben for the game's final run.
St. Mary's then put together a scoring threat of its own in the bottom half of the inning, as Kevin Brown hit a double to right field and Andy Dahm then drew a walk off of Rebels pitcher Alex Rehnstrom. Tim Brown then fisted a tough popup to right field, but Jason Ferguson made the play to secure the victory.
Alex Rehnstrom threw 138 pitches in the game, scattering seven hits, four of those coming in the third inning, when St. Mary's scored four runs to come back from a 4-1 deficit to take a 5-4 lead. That half-inning was paced by St. Mary's starters Matthew Smith, Billy Mach, Dahm and Tim Brown, who all had hits, and Kevin Brown, who had a RBI groundout. Nine batters came to the plate for St. Mary's in the inning.
Sioux Central's Mike Haraldson tied the game at 5-5 with a RBI single in the fifth, setting the stage for Huebner's RBI two innings later.
Charlie Benz threw six innings for St. Mary's, allowing five runs and eight hits. He walked three and struck out three, but had a no-decision, as the game was tied when he left after six innings. Billy Mach was tagged with the loss, giving up two runs on three hits.
St. Mary's ended its season with a 22-12 record. Sioux Central improved to 25-8 and will play Algona Garrigan in a regional final in Pocahontas Thursday at 7:30 p.m.