Elk River was one out from beating Centennial before the Cougars pushed across three runs in the top of the seventh and tripped the Elks 4-2 on Monday.
Centennial righthander Steven Piette, who was hit hard in a 9-2 Elk win earlier this season, pitched the distance for the victory this time, a six-hitter with one walk and four strikeouts.
After Elk starter Brandon Meyer pitched six strong innings, spacing out six hits and one walk, the Elks led 2-1 going into the final inning.
Brady Givens, who has closed out four wins for the Elks, couldn’t get it done this time, giving up four hits and a walk. With bases loaded he got a called third strike on a 3-2 pitch for the second out, but he walked Piette to force home the tying run, then wild-pitched a run home and gave up an RBI single to Brandon Wozkak.
“Brandon Meyer had his second real good start in row,” said coach Ryan Holmgren, “and I’m disappointed we could not get him the win.”
He added, “Brady has been very good in that spot, and the next time we’re in that situation, he will get the ball again.”
Givens was involved in both Elk runs, as he tripled in the fourth and scored on Sam Wirtz’s single, and knocked in the go-ahead run with a ground out in the sixth, after singles by Meyer and Sam Krick put runners at first and third.
Both teams played errorless ball in the field. Meyer struck out just two batters, leaving it up to his defense with 10 ground ball outs and five flies.
The Elks are 8-7 in the NWSC and 8-8 overall, while Centennial is 9-7, all in conference games.
The Elks will host Blaine on Wednesday.