FARGO, N.D. — With the end of the season awaiting the loser of Saturday's game between KB Building Services and Eden Prairie (Minn.), the team from Omaha Westside had to rely on a strong outing from starting pitcher Matt Waldron.
Waldron gave his team just that.
KB Building Services won 7-3 behind Waldron's complete game. All three of Eden Prairie's runs were unearned as Waldron finished with four strikeouts.
“He was really tough,” KB coach Bob Greco said. “We had a couple innings where we made some errors and he had to battle out of it. He did a great job.”
KB Building Services (43-12) gave its starter some breathing room early. Kent Curran hit KB's leadoff hitter Jake Meyers with his first pitch of the game. Meyers advanced to second on a balk, and later took third on a wild pitch. Mike Waldron took the next pitch back up the middle to put his team up 1-0.
Meyers scored again in the third. After doubling, he advanced to third on a wild pitch and came home on Drew Fitzmorris' two-out single.
Eden Prairie made it 2-1 in the fifth. Mark Gasner singled and ended up on third following an error. He scored on a sacrifice fly by Cody Wetmore.
Then KB put together a four-run sixth inning. Curran was replaced by Chris Choles after walking the first two batters. After Matt Waldron's bunt single, two runs scored and Waldron ended up on third following a pair of throwing errors on the play. In the next at-bat, Mitch Hagan struck out but reached base safely on a dropped third strike as Waldron scored on the play. Jonathan Vidlak, who pinch-ran for Hagan, made it 6-1 on Brock Nemecek's single.
Errors helped Eden Prairie get back into the game in the top of the seventh. With two outs and a runner on first, Wetmore singled but right fielder Allen Rosenblum's error allowed a run to score. With Wetmore on third base, a fielding error by Luke Biggs helped Eden Prairie make it 6-3.
Though KB committed four errors, which led to all of Eden Prairie's runs, Greco wasn't concerned with his team's defense.
“We don't worry about that stuff,” said Greco. “We try to tell the kids mistakes are going to happen, but the biggest thing is how we react.”
KB capped the scoring in the seventh. Devin Stueck opened the inning with a single and later scored on a wild pitch. Waldron retired Eden Prairie's final six batters in order.
KB advanced to play Carroll County (Iowa) on Sunday. Carroll County handed PI Midwest (Omaha Creighton Prep) its first loss of the tournament Friday night. Greco will likely pick between Biggs and Nemecek to start Sunday.
Eden Prairie ............................................................. 000 010 200—3 5 2
KB Building Services (Westside) ............................ 101 004 10x—7 8 4
W: Waldron. L: Curran. 2B: KB, Meyers.