KOSSUTH – Facing elimination in their Class 3A North Championship series against the Nettleton Tigers, the Kossuth Aggies used quality pitching and manufactured just enough runs to take a 4-1 victory in Friday’s Game 2.
The win by the defending 3A state champion Aggies forces a decisive Game 3 at 2 p.m. today in Nettleton.
“That was a must-win,” said Kossuth coach Trave Hopkins. “That was a tough one, because Nettleton is a well-coached ballclub. Nikolas Wilcher came out and pitched a heck of a ball game and (Elijah) Potts has been our bulldog all year. He came in and did a great job.”
The Kossuth pitching duo of Wilcher and Potts allowed just two Nettleton (27-10) hits, both by John Austin Taylor, whose solo shot in the top of the first gave the Tigers a 1-0 lead.
That would be all the scoring Nettleton as game-winner Wilcher went 3 2⁄3 innings, fanning four and walking three. Potts went the final 31⁄3, retiring the first seven he faced. He entered in with the bases loaded in the top of the fourth, inducing a ground ball to hold Kosuth’s 2-1 lead.
Building the lead
Kossuth (20-11) totaled eight hits on Nettleton starter Hayden Guin (5-4). Jacob Wilcher’s RBI-double in the first tied the game at 1-1. The Aggies would add in the third on a RBI by Matthew Woodruff.
A groudout by Garrison Lathrop scored Charlie Boone in the fourth after Boone started the inning with a single, stole a base and was sacrificed to third. A Lathrop RBI in the sixth scored Zack Walker to round out the scoring.
Nettleton coach Will Hawkins was upset with his team’s inability to produce hits.
“I’m highly disappointed in it,” said Hawkins. “We got behind and then swung late on bad pitches and that has plagued us in that past. Unacceptable to have to hits and this stage in the game.”