Two big hits by Harley Thompson, and two solid pitching performances by Jim Brown, sparked the Elk River Pioneers to a sweep of the Hamel Hawks at home on Saturday.
The Pioneers (7-9) prevailed 3-1 and 5-3 in two seven-inning games at Hales Field against a region opponent.
The Pioneers will play at Coon Rapids on Monday evening, 7:30 p.m.
Pioneers 3, Hamel 1
Thompson delivered a two-run double in the first inning and finished 2-for-3.
Aaron Pipenhagen pitched 4 1/3 innings to get the win, giving up two hits, four walks and a run, striking out six. Brown twirled 2 2/3 innings for the save, allowing no hits or walks, striking out two.
Cory Kaminski was 2-for-4 and Alex Hoff 2-for-2.
Hamel starter Pete Wonker took the loss.
Pioneers 5, Hamel 3
Brown, who’s in his early 40’s, followed his relief appearance in game one by throwing all seven innings in game two. He gave up six hits, including a homer, but no walks, and struck out three.
In 9 2/3 innings for the day, he had no walks.
Thompson (1-for-4) crashed a two-run homer to left-center in the fifth inning. Pipenhagen and Blake Ehley were each 2-for-4. Pipenhagen, Christian Korlath and Joe Neilson each rapped an RBI single.
Hamel’s Maris Blanchard clouted a two-run homer and Tom Druck was 2-for-3 with an RBI. Dom Fleming took the loss.