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JOHNSONBURG â€“ The Rams used a 1-2 pitching combination of Cole Peterson and Mitchell Holmberg to combine on a 3-hit shutout Friday as Johnsonburg toppled visiting Otto-Eldred, 7-0.
Peterson started the first two innings and scattered one hit and one walk while striking out six batters before leaving with a 1-0 lead. He turned the ball over to Holmberg who pitched three innings of shutout ball with four strikeouts.
Peterson would return to the mound in the sixth inning and scattered another hit in two innings of work but secured the shutout win.
Peterson struck out the side in the first inning but gave up a 1-out single to Seth Bigley after catching mound opponent Clay Pinner looking at strike three. After a walk to Dakota Vaughn to put two aboard, Peterson got Nate Rodgers and Sam Colebert swinging to end the inning.
The Rams got their pitcher a run to work with in the bottom of the first inning. A leadoff double from CJ Herbstritt put a runner in scoring position and Taylor Feronti would bring him home off a double of his own for a 1-0 lead. Pinner would regroup, however, to escape the inning with Feronti stranded at second base.
Holmberg picked up where Peterson left off, striking out Hobie Milliron and Garrett Brugh to start the third inning. He would later get Colebert to pop up in right field to end the inning.
The Rams added another run in the bottom of the third inning. Peterson was hit by a pitch to start the inning and after Cameron Grumley struck out, Peterson stole second base to get into scoring position. After Holmberg hit a flyout to center field, Luhr hit a single to bring in Peterson for a 2-0 lead.
The Rams managed a baserunner in the bottom of the fourth inning but couldn't get another run on the board. An error at third base allowed Vaughn to reach in the leadoff spot in the fifth inning and Rodgers followed with a single to mount a threat. Holmberg regrouped and picked off the runner at second base, then got Dakota Eaton to pop up back to the pitcher's mound before getting Milliron to go down swinging to get out of the minor jam.
Grumley, who enjoyed a 3-for-4 day, got on with a 1-out single in the bottom of the fifth inning but couldn't get around to score.
Peterson went back to the hill in the top of the sixth inning and set down the side, catching Brugh and Gotshell swinging.
Looking for a few insurance runs, the Rams got more than they needed in the bottom of the sixth inning as Johnsonburg put five runners across the plate to take a 7-0 lead.
Frank Kocjancic got things rolling with a 1-out single to left field and after stealing second base, came in to score after Kyle Sheldon roped a single to center field. A fielding error at second base on the throw in allowed Sheldon to move to second base.
The mistake proved costly as Dylan DeLong hit a single to left center field to bring in Sheldon for a 4-0 advantage. DeLong advanced to second base on the throw to the plate. A Peterson single brought home DeLong and Peterson also would move to second on an airmailed throw home. Grumley capped off his day with a run-scoring single as Peterson crossed home plate for a 6-0 lead. After Grumley stole second base, Holmberg brought him in for Johnsonburg's seventh run of the game before Quinn Luhr hit into a groundout.
After Pinner hit a 6-3 groundout for the first out of the seventh inning, Bigley reached on an error at shortstop and a single from pinch hitter Dakota Lee would have got things rolling but Bigley was caught trying to advance to third base.
Peterson polished off Rodgers looking at a full count pitch to end the game.