DICKINSON, N.D. – Jonny Petsch was masterful over seven innings and the Western Nebraska Pioneers offense did just enough to top the Badlands Big Sticks, 5-3, Thursday night at Astoria Field. The game took just 2 hours and 1 minute, making it the shortest nine-inning game in team history.
The Pioneers took an early lead in the first inning off of an RBI triple from Hobbs Nyberg and a Jack Pauley sacrifice fly, but quickly surrendered it in the bottom of the first when Jonny Petsch continued his first inning struggles. Wyatt Setian hit a three-run homer to give the Big Sticks a 3-2 lead. From there, Petsch did not struggle again at any point in the rest of his outing.
At one point, Petsch retired 13 Badlands hitters in a row, and did not allow a baserunners from the second through fifth innings. He earned his sixth win of the summer after allowing just those three runs on three hits and two walks over six innings, while also striking out five. Logan Gilbertson tossed a 1-2-3 eighth inning, and Jeff Hakanson earned his ninth save with a scoreless ninth that included two strikeouts.
The Pioneer offense tied the game up in the second against Wilson, but was held mostly quiet throughout the rest of the game. Travis Turney hit an opposite-field homer in the sixth inning, his seventh of the year, and Brandon Bohning hit an RBI single later that inning to push the lead to two. Wilson took the loss after allowing the five earned runs on nine hits and two walks over seven innings, while striking out just two.
The Pioneers, now winners of at least one game at every visiting Expedition League ballpark, will look for the two-game series sweep on Friday at Astoria Field. Evan Ingram will pitch for the Pioneers, with first pitch set for 6:35 PM MST.