The Elk River Pioneers cruised to an 8-1 win over Nowthen in the first round of the Rum River Tournament on Saturday morning, then found themselves on the short of a lopsided game, losing to Bloomington Bandits 8-0 in the evening.
The Pioneers (7-6) will duel Quamba for third place on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. in Cambridge.
The Pioneers’ game with Nowthen marked the first time manager Ken Ott has faced a Nowthen team in the six years since he moved the Nowthen Pioneers to Elk River after a dispute with the township over use of the ballpark.
Jim Brown pitched the seven-inning win, spacing out six hits and three walks, striking out three. He has four of the team’s seven wins; the first three came in relief.
Cory Kaminsky belted a two-run homer for the Pioneers. Tucker Morrell was 3-for-4 with two runs and an RBI. Aaron Pipenhagen was 2-for-4 with an RBI. Brien Geerdes and Lance Johnson were each 2-for-3. Nowthen starter Terry Fox took the loss.
Bloomington pitcher Migoel Borens shut down the Pioneers on three hits, striking out seven. The Pioneers also had a tough time in the field with four errors leading to four unearned runs.
The Bandits got all eight runs in the fourth inning, four of them off starter Pipenhagen, and four more off Brady Givens. Porter Morrell pitched one scoreless inning.