MINOT, ND – Anyone who had any doubt that the Western Nebraska Pioneers were the Expedition League’s best team had those doubts silenced on Saturday night, as the Pioneers rolled all over the second-place Souris Valley Sabre Dogs with a 16-5 victory at Corbett Field.
The Pioneers fell behind early in the first when the Sabre Dogs jumped out to a 4-1 lead after one inning. From there, Jonny Petsch settled in excellently to earn his fourth win of the season. Petsch allowed just three hits and four walks over five innings of work, striking out five while allowing just one earned run past the first inning. Behind him, four Pioneer relievers combined for 4 innings of scoreless baseball, but it was the offense that carried the load.
The pitching for Souris Valley was off from the start, with starter DJ Lewis walking eight over four innings of work. He only allowed three hits, but did himself in with four hit-by-pitches in his four innings. Behind him, relievers Alec Ivanoff, Stephen Skeggs, and Brock Baughcum surrendered ten runs and five walks on thirteen hits over the final five frames.
The Pioneers got plenty of offensive production across the board. Eight of nine position players had base hits (the only one that didn’t, Lane Harvey, was feet shy of a homer on two separate occasions). Jack Pauley, Travis Turney, and Luther Woullard all homered, while Brandon Bohning drove in four runs and Colin Ludwig scored four runs. Only Beau Bratton had a one-hit day, and he reached base four times via a walk.
Fresh off the offensive onslaught, the Pioneers will get a day off to travel back to Gering. They will take on Hastings at Duncan Field on Monday, with first pitch at 5:35 PM MST.