While the 2016 Central States Big League Baseball Regional Tournament may have moved from its usual location of Wyoming’s Pinery Park to DeWitt Field on the campus of Cornerstone University, it showed little effect on the host team from Wyoming District 9.
Behind nine strikeouts, no walks, and only two hits allowed, Christian Falicki led his team to a 9-0 shutout victory over the team from Illinois in the afternoon opener for both.
That put District 9 into Monday’s winners bracket nightcap against Missouri, a team that received a first round bye due to their immense travel distance. District 9 was just as dominant under the lights as they had been in the sun, as they posted their second shutout of the day, 8-0.
Mark Primus got the win as he pitched the first four innings and faced the minimum 12 batters. The only runner to reach base was Dylan Hoelscher with a second inning lead off single, but was thrown out attempting to steal second to end the inning. Primus finished with five strikeouts on the night and no walks. He was replaced by Bruce Buurstra, who had started the game in right field. Buurstra worked two innings and gave up two hits, struck out one, and helped himself out as he picked Hoelscher off first base after he had reached on an error in the fifth. In the sixth inning, he was helped out by his defense when third basemen Eli Spencer and second basemen Isaiah House turned a double play to close out the inning. It was the first time throughout the game that Missouri had two runners on base in the same inning.
Andrew Bojas closed out the game by pitching the seventh inning where he gave up a walk and a base hit. Bojas stranded the runner on third base after his second strikeout of the inning. A diving catch by second baseman House followed to usher in an official end to the game.
Offensively, District 9 was the visiting team in the game and got off to an early 1-0 lead in the first inning as House singled and was pinch run for by Jake Ritsema, who scored on a single by Brendan Oosse after he had reached second on a wild pitch by losing pitcher, Blane Meyer. They added another run in the second as Buurstra and catcher John Corey both singled in the inning. Corey came home as center fielder Jared Nickel grounded out to the shortstop.
They made it 3-0 in the third as designated hitter Oosse scored on a wild pitch. The score stayed there until a five run sixth inning, thanks in large part to two walks and two Missouri errors, was put together by only two hits.
District 9 will play Tuesday night at 7:30pm against Indiana. Indiana defeated Iowa early yesterday and followed it up with a 4-3 victory over Blissfield, the other Michigan team in the tournament. The winner of Tuesday’s game will advance to the championship game on Thursday at 5:30pm. The loser will play at 7:30pm on Wednesday night.