PCM tracks down Trojans in title game

Mustangs get revenge on West Marshall in rematch

T-R PHOTO BY ROSS THEDE • West Marshall’s Cameron Bannister, right, slides safely into second base behind PCM’s Noah Henkenius with a stolen base during the third inning of Saturday’s title game at the Rose Festival Tournament in State Center. PCM defeated the host Trojans 3-2 to claim its first Rose Festival Tournament crown since 2013.

T-R PHOTO BY ROSS THEDE • West Marshall’s Cameron Bannister, right, slides safely into second base behind PCM’s Noah Henkenius with a stolen base during the third inning of Saturday’s title game at the Rose Festival Tournament in State Center. PCM defeated the host Trojans 3-2 to claim its first Rose Festival Tournament crown since 2013.

STATE CENTER — And on the seventh day, the Trojans rested.

The West Marshall baseball team rounded out an eight-game week with a pair of nailbiters at its annual Rose Festival Tournament, falling 3-2 to PCM in Saturday’s championship game rematch.

The Trojans and the Mustangs met in the final round for the third time in the last four tournaments (it was rained out in 2015) with PCM avenging last year’s 11-8, eight-inning thriller with this season’s come-from-behind victory.

The Mustangs (13-6) capitalized on a couple West Marshall miscues and tied the game with two runs in the bottom of the sixth before winning the game with a single tally in the seventh. Trojan relief pitcher David Disney issued two walks in the bottom of the seventh and a wild pitch with two PCM baserunners in scoring position allowed Olin Meinders to race home and slide safely across home plate ahead of catcher Alex Dickey’s return toss to Disney.

The loss ended a six-game winning streak for West Marshall (17-7), which played 10 games in nine days after participating in Colo-NESCO’s four-team tournament last weekend as well.

T-R PHOTO BY ROSS THEDE
PCM’s Olin Meinders, left, dives back to the bag safely as West Marshall’s Cameron Bannister (29) scoops the pickoff attempt during the bottom of the seventh inning of Saturday’s Rose Festival Tournament title game in State Center.

T-R PHOTO BY ROSS THEDE PCM’s Olin Meinders, left, dives back to the bag safely as West Marshall’s Cameron Bannister (29) scoops the pickoff attempt during the bottom of the seventh inning of Saturday’s Rose Festival Tournament title game in State Center.

“We played well I thought overall,” said Trojans head coach Jerod Brown. “A couple mistakes in the sixth inning caught up to us, but our pitching and defense gave us a chance today.

“PCM’s very consistent. They executed a little better and hit a little better than us, and they took advantage of our mistakes. Their pitchers are around the plate, and that gives them a chance.”

Eighth-grader Ryan Reyerson went six innings to start against PCM, allowing two unearned runs on seven hits and one walk while striking out four. West Marshall held a 2-0 lead before the bottom of the sixth, when an infield single by Braden Phifer and Brayton Van Dyke’s dropped fly ball started things for PCM. Noah Clark bunted both baserunners over, Ethan Thomas drove in one with a groundout, and Ryan Hill’s double to right-center field just eluded Parker Hulbert’s outstretched glove.

Reyerson gave way to Disney for the seventh, but walks to Meinders and Noah Henkenius set the table for PCM’s game-winning rally. With Phifer at the plate, a pitch in the dirt skipped past Dickey to the backstop, and Henkenius scored ahead of the play as the game-winning run.

West Marshall’s 2-0 advantage came despite the Trojans collecting only three hits in the game. Hulbert walked with one out in the third and scored from second on Cameron Bannister’s single to right field. In the top of the sixth, Disney singled off relief pitcher Trevor Bistline’s lower leg, stole second, moved up when Dickey’s sacrifice bunt was misplayed, and scored on Cody Mead’s sacrifice fly to left.

T-R PHOTO BY ROSS THEDE
PCM's Olin Meinders scored the game-winning run on a wild pitch, beating the throw back to pitcher David Disney (14) on the final play.

T-R PHOTO BY ROSS THEDE PCM's Olin Meinders scored the game-winning run on a wild pitch, beating the throw back to pitcher David Disney (14) on the final play.

A double by Mead in the fourth was the only other hit West Marshall managed against PCM starter Brady Fagen, who walked three and struck out one in 4 2/3 innings, and Bistline, a freshman making his first varsity appearance on the mound.

In spite of the loss, Brown was content with the way his team showed up to play at the end of a brutal schedule over the last nine days. The Trojans defeated Collins-Maxwell/Baxter 4-1 in Saturday’s opener behind Chandler Sponseller’s three-hitter.

“It was nice to play a couple really clean games, good games,” Brown said. “It was our 10th game in nine days, and the fact that we showed up pretty focused is a good testament to our players. It would have been easy to mail it in and they didn’t do that.

“It was really good to be in a close game like this. In a tight game like this it’s good to find ourselves in some situations. We’ll learn from it and move on.”

West Marshall 4, CMB 1

Sponseller struck out four, walked one and allowed only three hits in a complete-game victory in Saturday’s tournament opener against Collins-Maxwell/Baxter, 4-1.

The Trojans had just four hits but made the most of them as three arrived in the bottom of the first inning. Mead hit a two-run double, Sponseller helped his own cause with a run-scoring double and Disney’s single drove in a run as West Marshall jumped out to a 4-0 lead after the first frame.

Ross Randall had a double for the Trojans’ only other hit against CMB freshman Carter Nelsen, who walked four and struck out one.

CMB (3-12) scored its only run in the top of the seventh.

The Raiders dispatched Grundy Center 16-6 in six innings in the consolation game. The Spartans fell in their first-round game to PCM, 7-1.

Rose Festival Tournament

Saturday

At State Center

Semifinals

West Marshall 4, CMB 1

PCM 7, Grundy Center 1

Consolation

CMB 16, Grundy Center 6, 6 innings

Championship

PCM 3, West Marshall 2

PCM 3, West Marshall 2

WM 001 001 0 — 2 3 1

PCM 000 002 1 — 3 7 1

Ryan Reyerson, David Disney and Alex Dickey; Brady Fagen, Trevor Bistline and Ryan Hill. W–Bistline. L–Disney. 2B–WM: Cody Mead; PCM: Brayton Van Dyke, Hill. 3B–PCM: Reed Worth. LOB–WM 7, PCM 4.