PRAIRIE CITY — Sophomore Derek Brown and the PCM baseball team only needed four innings to take care of Baxter in non-conference action. The Mustangs beat the Bolts on June 28, 15-0.
Brown was nearly untouchable pitching, striking out nine batters and allowing one hit in four innings pitched.
“I think Derek did really well,” PCM head coach Jeff Lindsay said. “He seemed really confident, and he was dialed in.”
Facing a bigger school, Baxter head coach Lewis Daye knew his team was in for a challenge.
“Anytime we’re out here, regardless of our opponent, you want to come and compete,” Daye said. “A game like this, we’re looking at it as experience.”
The Bolts put the ball in play in the first inning as their first two batters grounded out.
Brown struck out the third batter to go three up, three down.
Sophomore Cole Damman got his third start of the year on the hill for Baxter. The Mustang batters took advantage of Damman in the first, scoring four runs.
Juniors Reed Worth and Preston Van Wyk walked to start the inning. Junior Brayton Van Dyke brought them both in on a two-run double to left-center field. Junior Wes Cummings hit an RBI single to left field and junior Olin Meinders hit an RBI double before the inning came to a close.
Brown struck out the side in the top of the second inning.
Van Dyke and Cummings each had RBI singles in the second inning. Freshman Caleb Duinink brought in Van Dyke on a single to left field. Sophomore Dane Owens hit a sacrifice fly to right field, bringing in Cummings.
“We’ve hit the ball to all fields and been pretty consistent with that here recently,” Lindsay said.
Again, Brown struck out all three Baxter batters in the third inning.
In the bottom of the third, Van Dyke had his fourth RBI, bringing in Van Wyk on a double to left center field.
With two outs already recorded, Baxter made a pitching change. The Bolts brought in senior Bryce Bacon and he struck out Duinink for the last out. The score after three was 9-0.
Senior Travis Lindemoen recorded Baxter’s only hit to start the fourth inning. Nothing came out of it though as junior Derrick Klemme hit a pop fly and Brown struck out the final two batters.
“We kept in it, kept our heads up and tried to battle,” Daye said. “It was just one of those days where they were hitting the ball.”
Bacon struck out the first batter of the fourth inning, but the Mustangs scored six straight runs to close out the game.
Van Dyke led the Mustangs offensively, hitting two doubles and two singles. He also had five RBIs. Cummings also had two hits and two RBIs.
“What I liked seeing the most was us showing consistency at the plate,” Lindsay said. “I think we’re understanding what it is we’re looking for early in counts, mid-counts and what we have to do to keep ourselves alive late in counts.”