With strong defense and pitching, the 38 runs the Timberline All-Stars have scored in two games at the West River Sub-District Little League Tournament might seem like pocket change.
Giving up one run in each game will win a lot of games. Friday, Timberline rolled past Spearfish 11-1 in five innings to advance to the B Bracket title contest on Sunday.
In the A Bracket, Canyon Lake won another close contest Friday, slipping past Harney 6-3. Canyon Lake will also have a Saturday bye and play for the title on Sunday.
In the two games, the home-standing Timberline All-Stars have given up two runs on five hits. Thursday, four pitchers gave up one run on three hits. On Friday, it was all Chance Yellow, as he held Spearfish to just two hits in the five-inning complete-game effort.
"Tonight was a credit to Chance; that was an outstanding performance," Timberline manager Bryan Olmsted said. "He did awesome."
Yellow walked three and struck out 10.
"Just work hard and hit your locations," Yellow said of his and any pitcher's success, "and practice whenever you can. We just work hard everyday and we get the effort done."
The Timberline offense pounded out 12 hits, including five doubles, leading 8-0 after three innings.
Harrison Good had another big game, with three hits and two RBI, while Elijah Hoyt and Thomas Freeman added two hits and two runs batted in.
"The team came out swinging the bats; they were on right away," Olmsted said. "We had some timely plays on defense and some timely hits. And Chance was great."
Olmsted gave the team the option of practicing on Saturday or taking the day off. They opted to practice.
"They want this, and that is good when the kids want it," he said.
Olmsted said that as long as they play good defense and stick together as a team, we're going to be just fine.
"We just need to come in and do what we need to do as a team; pitch and play good defense, and just let the cards where they fall," Olmsted said.
Yellow said they will be ready.
"I think it is fantastic that we are going to play in the championship on Sunday," Yellow said. "We should be playing a good team again."
Spearfish, which had the first-round bye in the three-team bracket, plays Belle Fourche today at 2:30 p.m. Belle Fourche fell to Timberline 27-1 on Thursday.
CANYON LAKE 6, HARNEY 3: Canyon Lake is getting its money's worth after another close win in the A bracket.
Thursday night, it defeated Rushmore 4-3.
Although bigger margins of victory might take some worries away from the Canyon Lake coaching staff, manager Bill Holec said these two close wins are still good for the team.
"It was nice today as we relied on our good pitching and our bats came alive. Again, its another good team, high caliber," Holec said. "It's never over in All-Stars until it is over. They keep battling as a team, and the whole team is contributing, and it is a lot of fun as a coach."
Trailing 3-2 early, Canyon Lake took a 4-3 lead on a two-run home run by Hayden Holec, followed by a solo shot by Wilson Kieffer. Canyon Lake tacked on two runs to go up in the third inning and there was no scoring the rest of the way.
Kieffer had a big day on the mound and with his bat, with three hits and two RBI, and then holding Harney to five hits and three unearned runs in 5 2/3 innings. Grady Loos got the last out for the save.
"I just want to thank the Lord for the game and giving us the win today," Kieffer said. "We came out with heart and were ready. We hit the ball well today and our defense was on."
Kieffer walked two and struck out five.
"Wilson went deep and he was very consistent around the strike zone and very efficient on the mound. You can go a long way on 85 pitches that way," Bill Holec said.
The game did get a little too close for comfort in the bottom of the sixth, as Harney leaded the bases with two outs before Loos got the strikeout to end the contest.
"We just had to keep our minds in the game and keep our attitude towards the play, and keep our emotions together," Kieffer said. "Just go out there and play ball."
Harney manager Jeremiah McKnight liked the fight in his team despite the loss.
"They (Canyon Lake) jumped out early, but we battled back. You have to give credit to Wilson, he got a lot of ground balls for his team and his defense played fantastic," McKnight said. "Our boys never quit; they are a gritty bunch. We gave ourselves a chance and we have nothing to hang our head about. We'll come back and play (Saturday)."
Tucker Paris had a two-run triple in the first inning to pace Harney, which will face Rushmore today at noon for a chance to meet Canyon Lake in Sunday's finale.
RUSHMORE 6, STURGIS 5 (8): The Rushmore All-stars stayed alive with an exciting win over Sturgis in the consolation round on Friday at Timberline Complex.
Rushmore led 5-2 with two runs in the top of the sixth, but Sturgis came back with three runs in the bottom of the inning to tie the game at 5-5.
After a scoreless seventh inning, Rushmore got the eventual winning run in the top of the eighth on a single by Gibson Pullin and a RBI double by Brian Atkinson.
Pullin had a big game with three hits and one RBI, while Atkinson added two hits and three runs batted in. Rushmore finished with 12 hits in the game.
Tegan Zebroski led Sturgis with three hits and Beau Peters added a pair of hits and two RBI.
Rushmore will face Harney today at noon.