Vilez homers Mustangs into next round

PELLA — Hunter Vilez hit a two-run home run in the top of the seventh inning to cap a three-run rally as the East Marshall baseball team came back to beat Williamsburg 3-2 in the first round of Class 2A District 10 action on Saturday at Pella Christian High School.

The Mustangs (11-17) trailed 1-0 entering the seventh inning before scoring three times in the top half. Gage Hulin walked and stole second base before scoring when Chase Gratopp’s grounder to short was misplayed. Vilez stepped in and delivered the biggest hit of his career while facing a two-strike count.

Zach Jacobson surrendered a solo home run with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning but got Garrett Jensen to fly out on the infield for the final out.

Jacobson struck out seven and walked three in the complete-game win, giving up four hits and one earned run. The Mustangs were led at the plate by Austin Elliott who was 2-for-4 at the plate. Jacobson, Dane Thompson and Garrett Kerber each added singles in the win.

East Marshall advances to face West Marshall (26-5) on Tuesday night in State Center in the second of two district semifinal games at Schelling Field. PCM and Pella Christian play at 5 p.m. with the Mustangs and Trojans to follow.

This marks the third consecutive year the two Marshall County schools will have met in district play. West Marshall took the regular-season series this summer.