The Norris pitching staff continued its stingy ways Monday night against Elkhorn South.
The Titans, ranked No. 1 in Class B, remained undefeated by shutting out the fourth-ranked Storm 5-0. Norris (12-0) entered the game, played in chilly conditions at Elkhorn South, with a team ERA of 0.64.
Senior Preston Price got the start Monday for Norris and yielded just three hits in 513 innings. Trey Hair worked the final 123 innings to get the save.
“We did a good job again on the mound,” Norris coach Jason Cullison said. “The weather has kept us from getting into too much of a groove, but we got the job done.”
The Storm’s Jay Landholm also pitched a strong game, lasting 623 innings. But the Elkhorn South defense made four errors and the Titans were able to take advantage of that generosity.
“He kept us in the game,” Storm coach Brandon Dahl said. “But we didn’t play that well behind him and we didn’t make them work hard enough defensively.”
Norris grabbed the lead in the second inning on an RBI single by Jake Peterson. The Titans made it 2-0 in the third on a sacrifice fly to right by Nebraska recruit Jakson Reetz.
The Storm put a runner on base with one out in the sixth to chase Price, but Hair came on in relief to work out of the jam. He struck out Vince Rosso, then issued a walk to Zack Reeg before retiring Tanner Thibodeau on a pop-up to first.
Norris got three insurance runs with two out in the seventh inning. Two infield errors led to two runs, and the third came home on an RBI double by Reetz.
Elkhorn South put two runners on base in the bottom of the seventh, but Hair struck out Luke Marston to end the game and secure the Titans’ sixth shutout.
“Our top four pitchers are pretty good,” Cullison said. “They keep us in games, and I thought we also did a good job on defense.”
The Norris coach also gave credit to opposing pitcher Landholm, who yielded four hits.
“He kept us off balance,” Cullison said. “He’s one of the best we’ve seen this season.”
Dahl said the Titans’ three-run seventh deflated the Storm (5-3).
“That took the wind out of our sails,” he said. “We just gave them too many opportunities.”
Elkhorn South will play Tuesday against visiting Bennington, while Norris returns to action Thursday night against second-ranked Lincoln Pius X.
Norris (12-0) ........................... 011 000 3—5 4 0
Elkhorn South (5-3) ........................... 000 000 0—0 3 4
W: Price. L: Landholm. S: Hair. 2B: N, Reetz. ES, Thibodeau.
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