Panthers rout Keokuk in SEC twinbill
KEOKUK — Mt. Pleasant picked up two big conference wins last night against Keokuk, 11-0 and 13-1, to keep themselves in the race for the SEC title.
Dustin Amos and Connor Shull shut down the Chiefs in a pair of road games while the Mt. Pleasant bats were going strong — strong enough to end both contests in just five innings.
Amos gave up just two hits and one walk while striking out three. He threw just 43 pitches over five innings in a game-one win.
Shull gave up six hits for one earned run. He walked none and struck out five batters.
“Once again, (Amos and Shull) threw two great games,” Broeker said. “They found the strike zone, made Keokuk hit it, and we played defense for them. It was a good night for both of them and for the team.”
The Panthers are now 14-11 overall and up their conference record to 10-4, which ties them with Fairfield.
Ft. Madison has only two losses, but still has Mt. Pleasant, Fairfield and Washington to play.
For both Mt. Pleasant and Fairfield, the Bloodhounds are the only conference opponent left on the schedule.
“It will probably come down to the last game of the year to see who wins the conference championship,” Broeker said.
The Panthers’ sweep of Keokuk helped keep them in the race.
“When you go play a team that’s not at the top of the conference, you worry about letting one game slip away,” Broeker said.
But he needn’t have worried.
The Panthers went scoreless through the first two innings of the opener, but put up a five-spot in the third inning. They added four runs in the fourth and tacked on two more in the fifth — enough to end the game there.
The Panthers were led at the plate in the game by Austin Smith, who went 3-for-3 with a double, two stolen bases and three runs scored.
“Austin Smith had a great night,” Broeker said. “He keeps improving in every game. He’s great on the bases — he’s one of the best base-runners I have. He’s also a kid who will battle for you; he rarely strikes out and he’s quick, so if he can get it on the ground, he has a chance to beat it out.”
Colton Schinstock also had a big game for the Panthers, going 3-for-4 with a double and two runs knocked in; Justin Dilks was 2-for-3 and also had a double and two RBIs.
Matt Murphy took the loss on the mound for Keokuk.
“Thought they would throw (Dakota) Shaw in game one, because he’s the one who shut us down through five innings last time, but they didn’t,” Broeker said. “They brought him in for the second game, but we were ready for him.”
The Panthers hit just as hard in the nightcap and got six runs on the board in the opening frame — Alex O’Donnell set the tone of the game with a leadoff triple; he scored on a single by Schinstock.
O’Donnell, Tyler Pace and Dustin Amos had two hits each in the contest and five other Panthers had one hit. Amos, who had a triple in the fourth inning, knocked in four runs. Justin Chalupa also hit a triple in the game, and Tony Cristoforo hit a double.
Next up for the Panthers is their final non-conference, regular season game.
They play against Burlington at Community Field tonight, starting with the JV game at 3:30 p.m.
Mt. Pleasant 005 42 — 11
Keokuk 000 00 — 0
WP — Dustin Amos
Mt. Pleasant — Alex O’Donnell: 1-4, run. Austin Smith: 3-3, 2B, BB, 3 runs. Colton Schinstock: 3-4, 2B, 2 RBI. Justin Dilks: 2-3, 2B, BB, 2 RBI, run. Jacob Dilks: 0-1, 2 BB, HBP, run. Carson Remick: 0-2, BB, SAC, RBI, run. Tyler Pace: 1-4, RBI. Connor Shull: 0-2, BB, RBI. Tony Cristoforo: 0-2, BB. Devyn Broeker: 0-0, 3 runs. Justin Chalupa: 0-0, run.
Steals — Smith (2), Justin Dilks, Jacob Dilks and Broeker.
Mt. Pleasant 612 31 — 13
Keokuk 000 10 — 1
WP — Shull
Mt. Pleasant — O’Donnell: 2-4, 3B, 2 RBI, run. Smith: 0-1, BB, HBP, 2 runs. Schinstock: 1-2, HBP, RBI. Justin Dilks: 0-2, SAC, 2 RBI, run. Jacob Dilks: 1-2, SAC. Remick: 0-2, BB. Pace: 2-4, RBI, 2 runs. Amos: 2-3, 3B, 4 RBI, 3 runs. Chalupa: 1-2, 3B, BB, 2 RBI, run. Cristoforo: 1-1, 2B, run. Broeker: 0-1, run. Colten Moore: 0-0, BB. Brady Richards: 1-1, run.
Steals — O’Donnell and Pace.