Billings downs Purdy in Class 2 baseball sectional
The Purdy Eagles baseball team dropped a close Class 2 sectional playoff game to Billings 2-0 on Monday, May 20.
Dawson Meyer dominated Purdy from the mound, throwing a three-hit shutout for Billings. He struck out seven Eagles, including the final two batters of the game when Purdy had the tying runs in scoring position.
Sawyer Hawkins had the game-winning hit for the Wildcats, crushing a solo home run over the 325-foot sign in dead center field in the top of the second inning.
Purdy's Cameron Terry pitched a gem also, holding the powerful Billings offense to just two runs on four hits while striking out six Wildcats.
Billings was the visiting team on the scoreboard, despite hosting the sectional contest.
Wind gusts and ominous dark skies cast a pall over the Billings City Park as reports of the Moore, Okla., tornado came in. The stadium lights were on well before game time, creating an eerie glow in mid-afternoon.
Despite the threatening weather, both teams had large contingents of fans on hand for support.
Leading 1-0 after the Hawkins tape-measure blast, Billings threatened to blow the game wide open in the top of the third inning.
Lane Truman struck out to start the frame but gained first base safely on a passed ball. Then Meyer smoked a single to left field. The Wildcats loaded the bases with no outs when Austin Essick walked.
Terry then dug in and struck out Nathan Smith and Hawkins in order and then coaxed an inning-ending groundball from Gage Harter to douse the threat.
Brent Cornman singled to left in the bottom of the third inning and represented the tying run for Purdy. Cornman was thrown out trying to steal second, and the Eagles saw an opportunity wasted.
With two outs in the top of the fifth inning, Essick walked for the third time in the contest. Smith laced an RBI to right field, and Essick's trip home gave the Wildcats a 2-0 advantage.
Meyer retired the Eagles in order in both the fifth and sixth innings. Terry returned the favor, setting the Wildcats down in order in the sixth and seventh frames.
Terry popped out in the infield to open the bottom of the seventh and final inning. Alex Mareth was hit by a pitch and accepted first base as a gift. Robert Moody, representing the tying run, stroked a single to give the Eagles a first-and-third opportunity with just one out.
Meyer struck out Heath Burnside with a 1-2 fastball after Moody stole second. With the tying run at second base, Meyer challenged Keevin Walker with a 2-2 slider and fanned the Purdy shortstop to end the game.
The Purdy Eagles finished the season with a 12-11 record. Billings improved to 13-8 and will face either Belle or Hartville on Wednesday, May 22.