JEWELL — Andrew Mitchell didn’t know he was starting on the mound for Prairie City-Monroe’s baseball team on Monday until a few innings into the junior varsity game.
But the Mustang sophomore was up to the challenge and his solid start helped the Mustangs down South Hamilton, 7-3, on the road during Heart of Iowa Conference action.
Mitchell tossed 4 2/3 innings to get the win and sophomore Beau Webb and junior Gabe Steenhoek finished it off in relief as the Mustangs pounded out 10 hits at the plate against South Hamilton’s best pitcher.
It was the fourth straight win for PCM, which improved to 6-2 overall and 3-2 in conference play.
“We are getting good starting pitching, the defense is good and we are starting to swing the bats,” PCM coach Jeff Lindsay said. “That’s a recipe for success.”
PCM chased Hawk starter Zeke Balderas after three innings, scoring one in the first, three in the second and two in the third. The Mustangs led 7-2 after four innings. South Hamilton (4-3, 3-3) was plagued by five errors.
Sage Burns, Olin Meinders and Derek Brown all had two hits to lead the offense. Burns also scored two runs and had one RBI, Meinders walked once and had two RBIs and Brown scored a run and collected an RBI.
Brayton Van Dyke walked three times and scored two runs, Reed Worth had one hit, one RBI and one steal, Dane Owens had one hit and one walk and Preston Van Wyk and Wes Cummings each had one hit and one run. Caleb Duinink walked twice and had an RBI.
“We faced their best pitcher and got seven of our 10 hits against him,” Lindsay said. “We made him throw a lot of pitches. Our approach was good.”
Mitchell allowed two runs — one earned — on three hits with five strikeouts, three walks and one hit batter in 4 2/3 innings. Webb pitched 1 2/3 innings and allowed one run on one hit with one strikeout and no walks. Steenhoek got the final two outs, allowing two hits and striking out one.
PCM hosts Saydel for another HOIC battle at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday in Prairie City.
South Hamilton 11,
PCM 0 (5 innings)
Hailey Schutte and Belle Hudnut had the Mustangs’ only two hits, and host South Hamilton ended the game early with an 11-0, five-inning victory.
The Hawks (10-4, 7-1) scored five runs in the first inning and added three more in the second to take a big lead.
The Hawks had 12 hits and took advantage of three PCM (4-7, 1-4) errors.
“South Hamilton came out with a strong first punch, and we were not able to recover,” PCM coach Shaun Hudnut said. “They are a good hitting team, and we unfortunately made a few mistakes early that they capitalized on. We can’t afford to give quality teams extra outs and swing momentum.”
Paige Steenhoek took the loss in the circle after allowing eight runs — four earned — on eight hits in two innings. Riley DeVore pitched two innings and allowed three runs — one earned — on four hits. Neither pitcher walked a batter or had a strikeout.
PCM hosts Roland-Story at 7 p.m. on Tuesday in Monroe.