HARTLEY - The South O'Brien boys scored nine runs in the 2nd and 3rd innings in their Class 1A District Baseball semi-final game against Harris-Lake Park here on Thursday, then had another big inning with six in the 5th inning, bringing the game to an abrupt halt with a 15-5 five inning victory. Michael Callahan had three RBI for the Wolverines while Cole Ebel, Tanner Matthews and Sam Weber each drove in a pair of runs, whose 11 team hits included four doubles and a triple by Ebel.
Brent Puhrmann got the win on the mound, pitching five innings and allowing five runs (two earned) on five hits, while walking three and striking out seven.
South O'Brien coach Heath Reichle was ecstatic with his team's performance.
"We are peaking at the right time of year, " said Reichle. "We are a pretty good team and we are getting contributions from all three areas of the game right now. I'm very happy with the way we have swung the bats since District play started and we have had two very good outings from our two starting pitchers so far."
Reichle felt the biggest play of the game may have been in the bottom of the 2nd inning, when the Wolverines' Sam Weber picked up a ball along the leftfield fence and hit his cutoff man, Adam Paulsen, who then threw out the would-be tying run at the plate. Instead of it being 4-4 at that juncture, the outastanding defensive play enabled the Wolverines to hold on to a 4-3 lead.
The Wolverine offense then seized that opportunity and carried the momenum into the top of the 3rd, when and they went out and scored five runs to put the game out of reach.
"This team is a coach's dream to coach," said Reichle, "and I'm not ready for the season to end. We have to take one game at a time and continue to be relentless and aggressive."
The Wolverines, now 18-9, met Storm Lake St. Mary's (18-8) in Storm Lake Saturday night.