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Pekin downs IMS, advances to district final

Millikin throws complete game
By ALLYUS FRITZ/Ledger sports editor | Jul 18, 2014
Photo by: ALLYUS FRITZ/Ledger photo Cade Millikin delivers a pitch during the second inning of Pekin’s contest against IMS Thursday at Pekin High School.

Runs were at a premium when IMS visited Pekin High School in the Class 1A District 11 regional semifinals Tuesday.

A run that got on base because of an error and another run courtesy of an IMS balk gave Pekin the 2-1 win. The Panthers will travel to New Sharon on Saturday to play against North Mahaska in the district final.

“You have to score runs any way you can,” Pekin coach Pie Reighard said. “If we have to win on an error and a balk, we’ll do it that way.”

The Panthers (20-4) got on the board in the first inning with an RBI groundout from Keaton Winn that brought in Kolby Allsup. Allsup lead off the game with a grounder to shortstop that wasn’t handled.

In the third inning, Pekin scored after IMS pitcher Tanner Leyden balked for the second time in the game, bringing in Trevor Northup. The Panthers led 2-0, but the lead could have been larger. Petie Clubb and Allsup were both thrown out in the early innings attempting to take one base too many, which resulted in rallies being stunted.

Senior Cade Millikin didn’t need any more run support than he received, however. Millikin went the distance, allowing just four hits, two walks and one earned run over seven innings of work.

“I try to mix it up a little, and [IMS] knows I’m not the fastest pitcher,” Millikin said. “But that keeps our defense alive. I know the defense is ready behind me, so I put the ball where they can hit it, and hope for a groundball or a pop fly.”

IMS was able to tack on a run in the fourth inning with an RBI-single from left fielder Brent Brennemen. IMS loaded the bases that inning, but were held from causing further damage after Pekin right fielder Zach Sloan cut down Leyden at the plate with an exceptional throw from right field.

Winn finished the game 2-3 with an RBI. Ryan Swanson, Allsup and Northup smacked the other base hits for the Panthers.

Pekin has not played North Mahaska (19-7) yet this season. A victory in the district final would send Pekin to the substate matchup, which will be played in Oskaloosa against either Twin Cedars or Pleasantville. North Mahaska defeated Montezuma in its district semifinal.

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