FARGO, N.D. — The team from Omaha Creighton Prep couldn't repeat its opening-day offensive performance and now finds itself one loss from the end of its season.
PI Midwest (Prep) lost 3-2 to Iowa champion Carroll County on Friday night at the American Legion Central Plains Regional. Coach Pat Mooney's squad, which scored 15 runs in its tourney opener, will play South Dakota champion Rapid City in a 1 p.m. elimination game Saturday.
“We didn't come through with the bats when we needed to,” Mooney said. “Their pitcher was really tough, and he did a nice job of keeping the ball down.”
It was the second straight win over a Nebraska team for Carroll County, which defeated KB Building Services (Omaha Westside) 4-2 Thursday.
PI Midwest led 14-0 after the second inning in its opening victory Thursday but was shut out until the sixth inning Friday by Carroll County's Preston Church. He allowed four hits in seven innings, and Dylan Nelson pitched the final two to earn the save.
Carroll County scored once in the first and twice in the third against PI Midwest starter McLaine Jonas. He went seven innings and scattered eight hits.
“McLaine did a nice job on the mound,” Mooney said. “They really only hit a couple of balls hard against him the whole game.”
Trailing 3-0, Mooney's squad broke through with a pair of runs in the sixth. Alex Allbery scored on a passed ball and his brother Jason belted a one-out RBI triple.
But Jason Allbery was stranded on third when Adam Wilson grounded out and Mike Emodi flew out.
PI Midwest (49-11) had another scoring chance in the eighth inning with the help of two Carroll County errors. But Nelson got out of the jam, and then retired PI Midwest in order in the ninth.
Alex Hechtner had two of PI Midwest's five hits. Jason Allbery, Adam Wilson and Kirk Kudlacz had one apiece.
Saturday's opponent, Rapid City, stayed alive in the double-elimination tourney Friday with a 9-2 win against Fargo, N.D.
Mooney, who guided his 2012 team to the Legion World Series, said his squad has the ability to bounce back from its first tourney loss.
“We lost the same game last year and still went on to win the regional,” he said. “We've got a pretty resilient bunch and I think they'll come out ready to play tomorrow.”
Mooney said ace Jeff Albrecht will likely draw the pitching start against Rapid City.
PI Midwest ............................... 000 002 000—2 5 1
Carroll County, Iowa ................ 102 000 00x—3 8 3
W: Church. L: Jonas. 2B: CC, Halbur. 3B: J. Allbery.