Baseball: Champlin Park tips Pioneers 2-1 in pitchers duel

A strong pitching effort by Tucker Morrell went for naught as the Elk River Pioneers fell to Champlin Park 2-1 there Wednesday evening.

Champlin Park’s 6-foot-4, 245-pound right-hander Adam Evans struck out 10 Pioneers in seven innings and reliever Ryan Bruns fanned four more in the final two frames to protect a 2-1 lead that stood since the first inning.

Morrell gave up six hits and three walks, with one strikeout, in seven innings. Jim Brown pitched the eighth.

Two runs scored off Morrell in the first (one unearned) when Champlin’s Jim Hever hit a sac fly with runners at second and third, and the second runner scored on Sam Krick’s overthrow from the outfield.

The Pioneers also scored on a throwing error in the first. Kam Crandall and Harley Thompson singled off Evans, and Crandall was on third when the Champlin catcher tried to pick him off and overthrew.

The Pioneers had two men on base with none out in the third, and bases loaded with none out in the fourth, but couldn’t score. Evans, who gave up two hits and four walks those two innings, shut the door when he had to.

Thompson was 2-for-4 for the Pioneers (6-5).

The Pioneers will  play in the Rum River Tournament at Cambridge this weekend, starting with Nowthen on Saturday at 10:45 a.m.