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Pruneau deals shutout, Raiders topple Potosi

BONNE TERRE – The Potosi baseball team had not seen live pitching in an actual game situation for two full weeks heading into the conference opener on Thursday.

Facing an experienced ace only added to the challenge for the reigning MAAA Large-School champions, whose lineup was contained by North County left-hander Sean Pruneau.

The Raiders produced runs in four separate innings to back a complete-game shutout for Pruneau, and grabbed a pivotal 6-0 victory to bolster their own title hopes.

Cole Ziegler finished 2-for-3, and leadoff man Drew Forney scored three runs after reaching base four straight times on two hits and two errors for North County (7-3, 1-0).

Pruneau scattered five singles over his seven innings, and struck out four while issuing his lone walk to dangerous No. 3 batter Noah Jacobsen with the bases empty in the opening frame.

He was spotted a 2-0 lead in the first after throwing error put Forney aboard and Briley Smith followed with the first of his two singles in the contest.

Potosi starter Garrett Wilkinson induced a timely double play after walking Kolten Poorman, but Ziegler connected for an RBI single with two outs.

Jacobson fielded a ground ball up the middle to turn another double play in the second, just ahead of consecutive hits by Nick Parker and Forney.

Wilkinson lasted five innings and struck out four in defeat. He allowed seven hits and five walks while working quickly from the outset.

North County extended the lead in the third when Layton Mallow legged out a slow tapper for a hit with the bases loaded. Poorman made it 4-0 with a long RBI double in the fourth.

Landon Bone singled to open the Potosi fifth, but never advanced from first base as Pruneau fanned his next two opposing batters and retired the final nine in a row.

Wilkinson led off the Trojans’ fourth with a single, but was easily thrown out after being instructed to stretch for second base. Colin Govero singled to center two batters later.

The Raiders notched two insurance runs against reliever Devon Brawley in the sixth. Smith singled in Forney, who had advanced on a passed ball, and Pruneau lifted a sacrifice fly.

The top of the third ended with Mallow charging from right field and making a barehanded catch after initially bobbling the ball In his glove – all while trying to avoid a collision with the converging Smith.

Ryan Coleman and Brawley added singles for Potosi (2-3, 0-1).

Both teams are hoping to play multiple games this weekend, but snow is in the forecast.

North County right fielder Layton Mallow (7) cradles and catches a shallow fly ball while anticipating a collision with second baseman Briley Smith as center fielder Cole Ziegler converges during third inning action Thursday against Potosi.

North County right fielder Layton Mallow (7) cradles and catches a shallow fly ball while anticipating a collision with second baseman Briley Smith as center fielder Cole Ziegler converges during third inning action Thursday against Potosi.

North County senior Sean Pruneau pitches during the first inning Thursday against Potosi. The lefty scattered five singles and struck out four in a complete-game shutout as the Raiders won 6-0 at home.

North County senior Sean Pruneau pitches during the first inning Thursday against Potosi. The lefty scattered five singles and struck out four in a complete-game shutout as the Raiders won 6-0 at home.

Potosi junior Colin Govero lines a two-out single during fourth inning action on Thursday against North County.

Potosi junior Colin Govero lines a two-out single during fourth inning action on Thursday against North County.

Matt King is the sports editor for the Daily Journal. Contact him at mking@dailyjournalonine.com

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