ABERDEEN, S.D. — With another double-digit hitting performance at the plate, the Western Nebraska Pioneers steamrolled the Hub City Hotshots on Tuesday night in Aberdeen, South Dakota, winning 9-2.
In the two-game set, the Pioneers outscored Hub City 26-10 and outhit them 32-20. Western Nebraska is now 16-4, with a slim 2.5 game lead over Spearfish in the Clark Division.
Head coach Jimmy Turk was impressed with the Pioneers’ production on their longest trip to date.
“Yesterday we were on the bus for eight hours and came out and had 17 runs on 20 hits, so that’s pretty impressive,” he said. “I talked to them today about not having a let down after what we did. It can be easy for them to come get us, but we did a good job. We could’ve done better, we had a couple bases loaded, no out situations where we didn’t do much with it early on.”
The Pioneers continue their eight-game road stretch today at 5:35 p.m. against Hastings (7-14).
“This is an important road trip. We have to play eight games with that doubleheader in Fremont,” Turk said. “It’s going to be a long road streak and we’re just on the front end. We’re getting closer to the end of the first half and we have to continue to play well. This is a rough stretch for us with eight games in seven days, but hopefully we can keep it going.”
Unlike the series opener, Hub City stayed close to the red-hot Pioneers through the middle innings. Western Nebraska opened a 4-0 lead in the top of the third after a two-run double from Colin Ludwig and a RBI groundout from Chance Medina. Hub City got on the board in the bottom half with a RBI single from Rob Miedl. After the teams traded a run in the fifth, both offenses were thwarted, combining for just one hit and a few walks heading into the final inning.
But, unsatisfied with the humble three-run lead, the Pioneers batted around the order in the top of the ninth, scoring four runs to slam the door on the home team.
Andrei Stoyanow belted a three-run homer to dead center and Jordan Rathbone scored on a sacrifice fly from Carter Dobrinski to give the Pioneers the insurance runs.
Stoyanow led the Pioneers with two hits and three RBI, all off the long shot in the ninth. Ludwig added another two-hit game with two runs and two RBI. Gambill, Will Olson and Medina all finished with two-hit games as well.
On the mound, Ryan Angelo picked up his third win in as many starts. Although he allowed seven hits, Angelo minimized most of the damage and held the Hotshots to just three extra-base hits over five innings. Angelo struck out five and surrendered two earned runs.
“Angelo threw really good again,” Turk said. “He scattered some hits. He ran into an inning where they had a couple hits and scored a run, but other than that he scattered his hits and did a good job.”
Out of the pen, Joseph Solomon and Josh Robins kept the Hotshots off the board in the final four innings, combining for six strikeouts, two hits and just one walk.
Pioneers 013 010 004 — 9 12 0
Hotshots 001 010 000 — 2 9 1
WP — Roman Angelo
LP — Trevyn Wells
2B — Pioneers (Cole Gambill, Colin Ludwig). Hotshots (Parker Borg, Jake Anderson).
3B — Hotshots (Luke Glascoe).
HR — Pioneers (Will Olson, Andrei Stoyanow).