Defense was the name of the game Monday, as top-ranked and top-seeded Van Meter took down eighth-seeded Treynor 1-0 in eight innings to advance to the 2A semifinals.
The defending 2A state champion Bulldogs (21-2) and Cardinals (12-8) battled through a pitching duel for most of the game until an offensive break late. Van Meter pitchers totaled 17 strikeouts in a combined no-hitter. Treynor pitchers fanned six and allowed just two hits.
The deciding (and only) run came in the bottom of the eighth inning when Van Meter sophomore Jack Pettit hit a ball to right field. The ball landed just inside the foul line, sending senior Bryce Cole home with the game-winning run. Cole reached on an error with one out and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Zach Pleggenkuhle. He scored easily on the hit by Pettit.
But aside from Pettit’s hit in crunch time, offense was hard to find thanks to dominant pitching.
Van Meter’s Anthony Potthoff had himself a day, tossing a no-hitter before leaving the game due to reaching his pitch count. He struck out 13 batters in his 6.2 innings on the mound while only walking one. Pleggenkuhle finished the game, striking out four and also no-hitting Treynor in his 1.1 innings.
Meanwhile, Treynor pitcher Drew Petersen kept the Bulldogs scoreless in his five innings. Petersen struck out six batters, walking four. Reliever Nate McCombs pitched the final 2.2 innings.
Treynor nearly took the lead in the top of the fifth. The Cardinals had runners on second and third, but a fielder’s choice put the runners in the pickle. Van Meter picked up the double play, and that would be as close as Treynor would come to scoring another run.
Van Meter will face the winner of Mid-Prarie and West Lyon on Thursday in the 2A semifinals.