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Preston sent nine batters to the plate in the bottom of the fourth inning to break open the game and defeat third-ranked Don Bosco 5-2 in a Class 1A first-round state tournament game Saturday night at Principal Park. The Trojans scored three runs in the inning and were aided by four walks and a run-scoring balk.

Coming into the game, the Dons of Don Bosco were averaging 11 runs per game and had lost only once — to top-seeded Mason City Newman Catholic.

In the top of the third inning, the Dons were able to get on the board first. Cole Welter drew a one-out walk, and subsequently stole second base. Two batters later, he was singled in by Clay welter, making it a 1-0 advantage in favor of the Dons.

Preston was able to answer in their half of the third inning. Derek Meier led off the inning with a double. After the next two batters were retired, Meier was doubled in by Jason Feddersen, tying the score at 1.

The Trojans’ three runs in the bottom of the fourth were all they needed to keep the game in their hands. Starting pitcher Austin Hughes was able to keep the Dons' high-powered offense in check all evening. Hughes (13-3) tossed a complete game, allowing six hits, two runs, three walks, while striking out seven.

The Dons were able to mount a rally in the top of the seventh inning. Brandon Delegardelle drew a one-out walk. Cole Welter followed him with a single to give the Dons runners on the corners with one out. Austin Demuth knocked a single to cut the Trojans’ lead to 5-2, but was thrown out aggressively trying to advance to second on the play. Hughes was able to bear down and coax Clay Welter to fly out to end the ball game, and the season for the Dons.

Preston pushed their record to 24-10 and will play top-ranked and undefeated Martensdale-St. Marys on Thursday at 2 p.m. in a 1A semifinal game.


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