Dominating pitching and timely hitting helped Litchfield leap into a tie for first place in the Wright County West Conference by sweeping a doubleheader from previously undefeated Glencoe-Silver Lake Thursday at Optimist Park in Litchfield.
The Dragons, who improved to 8-2 in the WCWC and 9-3 overall, used an RBI single by Christian Kelsey in the bottom of the seventh to earn a 3-2 win in the first game, then got a three-hitter from Hunter Thiel to win the night cap 5-1.
Glencoe-Silver Lake entered the game undefeated at 10-0 and was ranked No. 2 in the state in Class AA.
Senior pitcher Avery Liestman got the win — and scored the winning run — in the first game for Litchfield. On the mound, he gave up just four hits and struck out four. Unfortunately, one of those hits was a two-run home run by G-SL's Beau Lepel in the sixth inning, which tied the game at 2-2.
But Liestman singled in the bottom of the seventh, then stole second before Kelsey hit a towering fly ball to center with two outs that carried over the outfielder's head, allowing Liestman to score.
Thiel, a senior left-hander, had what Coach Jeff Wollin called a "stellar" day on the mound. While allowing just three hits, he struck out six and walked three, and had a shutout through five innings.
Thiel and senior first baseman Riley Taber led the Dragons at the plate, collecting two his each as Litchfield had 10 hits total. Bennett Lecher, Liestman, Kelsey, Dylan Kotzer and Caden Besemer all had one single, while Bauer Wahl had a double.
Litchfield is scheduled to play host to Hutchinson at 4:30 p.m. today at Optimist Park.