Hull, Iowa — Okoboji topped Sheldon to advance to the Class 2A District 2 championship game with a win over the Orabs 6-4 Tuesday night.
The Orabs would strike first in the top of the 1st inning when Colby Kleinhesselink doubled to down the left field line. He would come into score after Travis Buyert lifted one to left field.
Okoboji would respond with a run of their own in the bottom of the inning after Noah Bouse scored on a sacrifice fly to center by Holt Hunziker. Okoboji would add 2 more runs the bottom of the 2nd when Braxton Malchow got on base with a shot to left, 2 batters later Joel Ruiter would put one in right field and Malchow would come into score. The very next batter, Peter Eckard would put one in play, batting in Ruiter for the 3-1 lead after 2 innings of play. The Pioneers would add 3 more in the third inning to extend their lead 6-1.
Sheldon would come into striking distance, responding with 3 runs of their own in the fifth inning. Matt Buenger singled to put things in motion. Ross Van Kley reached on a fielders choice and Travis Buyert walked to load the bases with two out. Travis Sterler hit a hard ground ball to short that Houston Hawkins made a great stop on and then fired to first for a bang-bang play. The trow pulled the first basemen off the bag and the Orabs kept running and cleared the bases on the play with Sterler ending up at second base. Okoboji would get the final out of the inning and hold on to win 6-4 in Hull.
Eckard would grab the win, going all 7 innings, giving up 4 earned runs on 5 hits. He struck out 10 and walked 4.
Kleinhesselink would get the loss in 6 innings of work. He gave up 10 hits, 3 earned runs, struck out 3 and walked one.
Okoboji improves to 19-9 on the year and will play the West Lyon Wildcats Saturday night in Hull.
Sheldon ends their season at 8-17.