REMSEN, Iowa -- Senior Peyton Kuchel drilled a 3-run triple with two outs in the top of the seventh, breaking a 3-3 tie and lifting Kingsley-Pierson to a 7-3 victory over neighbor Woodbury Central in a Class 1A District 2 quarterfinal baseball game on Thelen Memorial Field at Remsen Ballpark here Thursday.
Kuchel, who had one triple on the season coming into the contest, lined a pitch to deep center, sending teammates Damon Schmid, Cam Bainbridge and Nathan Keck around to score. Kuchel scored two pitches later, racing home on a wild pitch for the Panthers' fifth run of the decisive frame.
All of K-P's runs in the seventh were unearned as the inning opened with a pair of Wildcat errors that put runners on first and second for Bainbridge, who was hit by a pitch to load the bases.
Woodbury Central eighth-grader Kaleb Bleil then calmly induced a pair of strikeouts, preserving a 3-2 advantage for his club. Keck then worked a walk on a 3-1 pitch that brought home Matthew Christophersen to tie the game, setting up Kuchel's heroics.
Neither team played well on the defensive end, as both squads committed four errors. Panther pitchers also plunked three Wildcat batters, while WC pitchers hit two K-P batters.
Woodbury Central scored one run in the third inning as senior Brandon Stender, who had been hit by a pitch, crossed home plate on an RBI sacrifice fly by Jakob Schultz. The Wildcats tacked on two unearned runs in the fourth, getting one run by Matt Carney, who scored on an infield play featuring one fielding miscue and two Panther throwing errors. Carney, too, had reached first on an error to start the inning.
Stender delivered an RBI ground out to chase home Ethan Copeland with the second run of the frame.
Schmid accounted for the first Panther run with his sacrifice fly in the first inning, a drive that scored Kyler Krieg, who led off the game against WC starter Jase Manker with a single.
Neither starting pitcher, Manker and Keck, figured in the decision, as Panther Bainbridge moved to 7-0 on the season with the victory, hurling 3.1 innings of scoreless relief for the Panthers.
Bleil was saddled with a hard-luck loss, his first of the season against three victories. The righty yielded just one hit and fanned four in two innings of work.
Senior Nick Phelps had a single and a double in his final game in a Woodbury Central uniform. Junior Garrett Arment added a pair of singles.
Kuchel was the lone Panther with a multitude of hits, as he contributed a single and the key 3-run triple.
The schools that share cross country and track programs ended up even on the baseball diamond this summer, splitting four games. Woodbury Central, which earned a share of the Western Valley Conference regular-season title and won the league tournament, bowed out with an 18-8 record.
Kingsley-Pierson, now 18-11 on the season, advances to the District 2 final to face the winner of a game featuring Remsen St. Mary's and MMC-RU. That contest took place in Remsen on Thursday evening. First pitch for the district final on Saturday is set for 7 p.m.
WEST 9-5,EAST 7-7: The Black Raiders and Wolverines split a pair of Missouri River Conference baseball games in a regular-season finale for each team in a game played at West High Wednesday.
The game will serve as a preview of a first-round Class 4A substate match-up between that two teams that will be played at 5 p.m. Friday at East High.
West (16-23) trailed 5-0 in the late innings of the opener but scored nine runs in the sixth inning to wrest the win away from the Black Raiders. Alec Nieman had three hits and a bases clearing double to highlight the game-winning rally for West.
East (23-13) returned the favor in the nightcap, scoring five timesw in the fourth inning to erase a 4-0 West lead. Noah McWilliams had three RBIs to lead the Black Raiders. Chase Antle drove in two in the second game for the Wolverines.
DENISON-SCHLESWIG 17, STORM LAKE 5: Jacob Irwin went 4-for-5 from the plate with a double and five RBIs as the Denison-Schleswig baseball team defeated Storm Lake 17-5 in a nonconference game on Wednesday in Storm Lake, Iowa.
Jaden Langenfeld went 4-for-6 with a triple and two RBIs for Denison-Schleswig (16-18). Ben Pardun went 2-for-6 with a pair of doubles and four RBIs. Jaden Petersen went 2-for-2 and drove in one run.
Storm Lake falls to 18-6.