For the second time in four days, a Lakota West pitcher shutout the defending Division I baseball state champions.
Behind sophomore pitcher Grant Schuermann, Lakota West blanked the Lakota East Thunderhawks by the score of 3-0 on Friday. Then, on Monday, it was senior Zak Farmer who shutout Lakota East in a 7-0 victory at the Hawks Nest.
Lakota West's Michael Seaman jumps in the air to celebrate a run with a teammate during a 7-0 win against Lakota East Monday. Photo taken by Amanda Davidson.
“We have nothing but respect for Lakota East, obviously, they are the defending state champions,” said head coach Bill Dreisbach, who led Lakota West to a state title in 2007.
“Farmer was outstanding from the first inning on. All his pitches, he was throwing for strikes today. He was getting ahead of hitters. He just had a great effort and he has been pitching like that recently. Hopefully, it continues.”
After freshman Austin Allinger tripled to lead off the game and senior Jake Wagner followed with walk, Farmer drove in the game’s first run on what appeared to be routine double play that was broken up when the ball hit the base umpire.
“I didn’t see the play, but when I hit it I thought it was going to be a double play,” Farmer said. “But a run still would have scored, so I wouldn’t have been too upset.
“It kind of started a rally for us.”
The rally, led to four runs in the top half of the game’s first inning.
The run support was more than enough for Farmer, who allowed only two hits and struck out six batters in a complete-game effort. The win was the senior’s first as a varsity pitcher against the Thunderhawks.
“Since it is East, our rival of course, it feels really good,” said Farmer, who improved to 5-1 on the season. “This is good for the young guys.
“It is a big one for all of us.”
Meanwhile, the loss was the Thunderhawks fifth in a row and second straight without scoring a run. Prior to the losing skid, Lakota East had won seven consecutive games and outscored its opponents 57-to-15 during that stretch.
“Baseball is like that. It is a long season. You just have to find a way to get a hit and manufacture a run,” Lakota East head coach Ray Hamilton said. “I have never been a part of team that had been good offensively and then, all of sudden, changes in the last three games (of the season).”
After the five-run first, the Firebirds had trouble finding a way to hit Lakota East senior pitcher Michael Conrad. The senior struck out 12 batters in six innings of work and only gave up one hit after the first inning.
Relief pitcher, junior Brett Colburn, gave up two runs to Lakota West in the top of the seventh.
“We got some good swings on him (Conrad in the first inning) and we were fortunate enough to get the runs in that inning,” Dreisbach said. “You always feel fortunate to get some runs on a pitcher like him, because he is very good.”
BOX: W–Farmer (5-1, 6 K’s); L–Conrad (4-2, 12 K’s). Leaders: LW-Allinger 3B; Farmer 2-4, 2 RBIs; Dombart 2-4, 2 RBIs; Seaman 3B, 2 RBIs; Kuznof RBI. Records: Lakota West 14-9, 12-4 in GMC; Lakota East 13-11, 9-7 in GMC.
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