SPEARFISH — The Spearfish Sasquatch dropped a 9-0 Expedition League baseball decision to Western Nebraska, Thursday night, at Black Hills Energy Stadium in Spearfish.

“We didn’t particularly throw the ball well,” Spearfish head coach Adam Core said. “We didn’t really handle the ball that well on defense either.”

The visiting Pioneers scored single runs in the first and second innings for a 2-0 lead. A four-run third highlighted by Zack Peterson’s two-run double boosted Western Nebraska’s lead to 6-0.

Jaxon Rosencranz was hit by a pitch in the Spearfish fourth, and Joe Yorke followed with a single. 

However, both runners were stranded. Single runs in the fourth, fifth, and eighth innings gave the Pioneers their 9-0 advantage. 

Josue Rangel singled to open the Sasquatch’s half of the ninth. Zane Hunt and Jake Gray walked to load the bases with two outs, but a strikeout ended the game.Yorke collected two hits for Spearfish, which finished with only four hits. Ben Larson was tagged with the pitching loss.

Andrei Stoyanow earned the pitching win for Western Nebraska. 

Dillon Holiday earned Core’s praise for his efforts. He worked 4 2/3 innings in his first appearance as a relief pitcher.

“I thought he kept us in it: damage control, really, in that situation,” Core said of Holiday, who entered the game with the Sasquatch trailing 5-0.

Spearfish runs: none.

Spearfish singles: Joe Yorke 2, Brent Richey 1, Josue Rangel 1.

Spearfish pitching: Ben Larson 2 1/3 innings, 6 runs, 4 hits, 5 walks, 2 strikeouts; Dillon Holiday 4 2/3 innings, 2 runs, 3 hits, 2 walks, 5 strikeouts; Logan Wensley 2 innings, 1 run, 0 hits, 4 walks, 2 strikeouts.

Spearfish falls to 6-4 on the season.

The Sasquatch will now play a four-game series in Hastings, Neb., against the Sodbusters. Today’s game begins at 5:35 p.m.

“We’ve got to throw strikes on the front end,” Core said in looking ahead to the Hastings series. 

“If we can get five, six, seven (innings) out of our starters, I think our offense is strong enough that we’re going to give ourselves a chance to win,” he added. 

Four other games were played on Thursday. Fremont blanked Hub City 6-0, with Casper outlasting Hastings 11-10, Badlands edging Souris Valley 8-6, and Wheat City outscoring Pierre 8-7.

Updated standings follow.

Clark Division

Western Nebraska Pioneers 8-2

Spearfish Sasquatch 6-4, 2 games back

Casper Horseheads 5-6, 3 1/2 games back 

Fremont Moo 4-6, 4 games back

Hastings Sodbusters 4-7, 4.5 games back

Lewis Division

Badlands Big Sticks 9-3

Hub City Hotshots 6-5, 2 1/2 games back

Wheat City Whiskey Jacks 4-4, 3 games back

Pierre Trappers 4-8, 5 games back

Souris Valley Sabre Dogs 2-7, 5 1/2 games back.

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