HARTLEY - South O'Brien erupted for eight runs in the sixth inning to break open a 4-2 game, and beat Clay Central-Everly, 12-2, in a Class 1A District Tournament second-round game.
The Wolverines' lead-off man, centerfielder Cole Ebel, had three hits on the night, including two doubles, and he also drove in three runs and scored twice. Sophomore Bret Puhrmann also collected three hits for South O'Brien, and Zane Roberts and Michael Callahan had two hits apiece for the Wolverines, who totaled 12 hits as a team to the Mavericks' three.
Zane Roberts got the complete game victory on the mound, pitching six innings and allowing two runs (neither earned) on three hits, while walking no one and striking out seven.
South O'Brien coach Heath Reichle said, "It was a good game for us to kick off District baseball. It took a while for us to put up some runs. It wasn't because we came out flat, it had more to do with CCE playing a very good game. They made a lot of good plays in the field, and we hit a few balls pretty hard right at them. "Anything can happen during the tournament, and I'm happy with how we stayed confident in the box and got the job done later in the game. We talk a lot about how the 5th, 6th, and 7th innings are our innings, and we definitely won those innings tonight.
"Zane was great on the mound tonight. He didn't give any free passes and only allowed three hits. Zane really wanted the ball tonight and I knew after the first inning that he was going to be locked in all game.
"We swung the bat well all game tonight. Early in the game, everything was right at them. Later in the game, we started finding some holes and we were able to move some guys around on the bases. Cole Ebel lead the way for us tonight and he is the spark plug to our offense. Bret Puhrmann is also peaking at the plate at the right time and he added three hits as well. When Bret is able to get on at the bottom of the order, it allows Cole to be more of an RBI guy instead of a leadoff hitter. I really like our line-up right now.
"I'm very excited about how we are playing right now and I'm excited to play a very well coached HLP team on Thursday night."
South O'Brien (17-9) will meet Harris-Lake Park, a 4-3 winner over Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn, in a Thursday night semi-final game at Hartley.