---- — With two outs and the game-tying run on first base for St. Anthony, South Central coach Curt Jones paid a mound visit to starter Dylan Peters.
The Bulldogs had scored two runs in the seventh to cut the lead to 5-4, and Peters seemed to be waning in his seventh inning.
Jones said he gave his ace some advice -- not your usual advice from coach to player, but a little off the beaten path.
"I told him, 'Man, I ain't got no more brown hair here (in my beard), you're turning it gray,'" Jones said. "You've got to ease up, it's going to start going (gray) up here on top. Give me a break, just go down here and strike him out.'"
Peters saved his coach the frustration and struck out Braden Puckett to end the game and clinch a big National Trail Conference win for the Cougars.
St. Anthony got to Peters early on, scoring a run after a close call. Jacob Lorenz walked and looked to be caught leaning off first on a pickoff, but he was ruled safe. With new life, he stole second and scored on an Austin Bushur RBI double to make it 1-0.
South Central got it back in the third, as Kerrigan Henken scored on a one-out bases-loaded single by Tyler Ross. St. Anthony starter Zach Gardewine got out of it from there, forcing fielder's choices at home and second on back-to-back batters to keep it tied at 1-1.
Ross came through again in the fifth, knocking a two-out triple off the right field fence to make it 2-1 and scored on a Noah Powless single.
"They came up big whenever they needed to," said St. Anthony coach Kenny Koenig. "Their four hitter hit one off the fence, and then the five hitter comes up right behind him with a hit down the line. They hit them when they needed to."
The Cougars tacked on two more in the sixth thanks to an inning-extending error an RBI groundout by Kyle Bray and a two-out RBI single by Powless.
"Hitting's such a confidence thing, and Noah started out the year well and he's kind of been in a slump," Jones said. "I could see the smile on his face after he hit a couple balls hard."
St. Anthony scored one in the fifth on a throwing error by Dylan Smith to cut it to 3-2, but gave up the two runs and trailed by three entering the seventh.
Peters got the first two batters on a strikeout and a flyout, then gave up back-to-back singles to Neil Williams and Eli Dasenbrock, the latter driving in Williams after a wild pitch.
Austin Bushur hit a hard grounder down the third-base line that was booted and allowed Dasenbrock to score. Peters shut the door from there.
Williams was 3-for-4 on the day. No other Bulldog had more than one hit on the day, thanks to some bad luck with the stick.
"We hit the ball hard, we made how many hard outs right to people," Koenig said. "If you make hard outs, you'll be in the lineup."
Ross and Powless each went 2-for-3 with two RBIs. Peters struck out seven in a complete game win.
It's a reversal of fortune for South Central, who lost to St. Anthony 7-1 in the North Clay Showcase Saturday.
"A game like this really matters because it's a conference game, and I think our guys were more ready to play than they were Saturday," Jones said.
St. Anthony (13-6, 3-2) plays a makeup game from Friday's rainout at Altamont today, and South Central (7-3, 5-1) takes on Neoga Thursday on the road.
South Central 001 022 0 5 10 2
St. Anthony 100 010 2 4 7 1
WP - Peters (7 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 7 K, 3 BB) LP - Gardewine (5.2 IP, 10 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 3 K, 4 BB)
South Central: Ratermann (2-3, BB, R); Smith (1-4); Bray (0-3, RBI, R, BB); Ross (2-3, 3B, 2 RBI, R, BB); Powless (2-3, 2 RBI, BB); Holmes (1-3, HBP); Hill (1-4, R); Henken (1-4, R)
St. Anthony: Williams (3-4, 2 R, SB); Dasenbrock (2-4, RBI, R); Bushur (1-4, RBI); Gurtner (1-3); Hoelscher (1-2, 2B, BB)