Walnut Grove gets the better of Stephens County in a pitchers’ duel and hands the Indians their first region baseball loss.
The Warriors’ Drew Merritt threw a complete game and held the Indians to only one run and three hits as Walnut Grove edged the Indians 2-1.
Merritt threw 108 pitches for the Warriors, striking out six and walking five.
For the Indians, Dustin McCall took the hard-luck loss. McCall also pitched a complete game, allowing only two runs on four hits. Throwing just 69 pitches, McCall struck out seven and did not walk a batter.
After a scoreless first couple of innings, Walnut Grove scored first when Bailey Dutton singled and later scored on a Bailey Smith RBI single in the bottom of the third.
Then in the bottom of the fourth, Ryan Garner led off with a double for the Warriors and scored when a pitch in the dirt blocked by Logan Bell got just far enough away from home plate to allow him to beat McCall to the plate.
Trailing 2-0, the Indians scored their only run in the top of the fifth when Dustin McCall doubled and scored when Luke Gibbs hit into a fielder’s choice.
With the loss, the Indians fell to 7-3 on the season overall and 2-1 in Region 8-AAAA. Walnut Grove moves to 6-7 overall with the win and remains unbeaten in region play with a 3-0 record.
The two teams will square off one more time on Monday when the Indians will host the Warriors.
First pitch Monday from the Reservation is set for 5:55 p.m. with airtime on AM 630 WNEG and wnegradio.com set for 5:45 p.m.