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The Pirates prolonged the game with a run that tied the score 1-1 in the 7th inning, but the Indians shut them down in the 8th inning with a hit by Blake Lutgen.
The Indians’ Jake Berry opened the 6th inning with a single to center field. Jacob Shoemaker followed with a bunt that took him safely to 1st. Next at bat was Jacob Wade, whose bunt landed him out at first but allowed Berry and Shoemaker to fill 2nd and 3rd bases.
The Indians’ Chaz Price sealed the deal with a hit to outfield that brought Berry across home plate for the first run of the game, 1-0. Caleb Robinson walked the next batter and struck out the Indians’ attempt to place two more runs in the inning.
In the bottom of the 7th, the Pirates’ Garrett Cline walked to first, followed by another walk by Taylor Whitworth. Cline and Whitworth stole 2nd and 3rd bases as Anthony Frame took the plate. Frame’s solid hit to center outfield brought Cline home and sent the game into an 8th inning, 1-1.
In the top of the 8th, Shoemaker hit a double for the Indians, followed by a walk to first by Jacob Wade. Chaz Price loaded the bases with his hit, and Blake Lutgen got the hit that brought Shoemaker home and gave the Indians a 2-1 lead, a score that held after Jacob Wade’s two strikeouts against the Pirates at the top of the 8th.
Both the Pirates and Indians showed their fielding strength in the first two innings. The Pirates’ Caleb Robinson pitched a perfect inning at the bottom of the 3rd.
Indians coach Shane Pierce was pleased to see an improvement on defense.
“Our defense played really well. We haven’t been playing really well up to this point, so it was really nice to see our defense play well tonight,” said Pierce.
Robinson earned his fourth strikeout for the Pirates in the 5th inning, and Shoemaker picked up three strikeouts and allowed one walk in the 5th.
Ash Grove hosts Fair Grove on Thursday afternoon. Strafford hosts Springfield Catholic on Thursday.
Shoemaker 4 strikeouts (6.5 innings)
Jacob Wade 2 strikeouts (1.5 innings)
Chaz Price, 2 hits
Ash Grove (0-3):
Caleb Robinson 4 strikeouts (6 innings)