Prairie Heights and host Westview each won their opening tests Wednesday night in the 2A baseball sectional.
The Panthers roughed up Central Noble, 14-4 in six innings. Heights scored twice in the first on a single by Dylan Stayner and a double by Joey Barry.
Consecutive triples by Quinten Bland and Jacob Heller in the second inning upped the Panther lead to 5-0. Kyle Burkholder’s single in the third made it a 6-0 Heights edge.
Central Noble cut its deficit in half with three runs in the bottom of the third. But seven runs over their next two at bats, two coming in on a single by Jared Beechy, boosted the Panthers to a more comfortable, 13-3 margin.
Heller capped the Heights scoring when he belted a solo home run in the sixth. Both Heller and Bland wound up with three hits to lead the victors.
Bo Murphy pitched the initial five innings for the Panthers and was awarded the win. Corey Johnson worked the sixth frame, striking out two.
Westview got a scare from LaVille before taking care of the Lancers, 3-1.
After four scoreless innings, LaVille broke out to a 1-0 lead on an RBI double off the bat of Ryan Bettcher with two outs in the top of the fifth.
But in the bottom of the same frame, Warrior second baseman Jake Berkey crashed a three-run homer to put the hosts in front. Hunter Christner and Jamin Lambright, who drew walks earlier in the inning, scored on Berkey’s dinger.
Tarrin Beachy retired the Lancers in order in both the sixth and seventh innings to nail down his complete-game victory. The right-hander allowed just four hits, struckout seven and walked three.
Judah Zickafoose’s leadoff triple in the fourth inning was the only other Warrior hit off of Bettcher, who whiffed 14 and walked two in suffering the loss.
Prairie Heights (16-7) and Westview (17-8) are scheduled to clash in the first semifinal game Thursday night at 5 p.m., followed by the tilt between Fremont and Bremen. The winners of those games return to Emma Monday at 12 noon to play for the sectional title and a berth in the 2A regional at Whiting June 1.