EDDYVILLE — It started out well for Austin Brown.
The ace of the PCM pitching staff took the mound in Eddyville and promptly struck out the first two Albia hitters he faced in the Class 2A, District 13 semifinals. It appeared as though the Mustang hurler was about to set the tone for how this postseason encounter with the Blue Demons was going to go.
The tone was set before the top of the first was done. It wasn’t Brown, however, that set it.
Brett Leshen reached on a fielding error by the Mustangs to extend the inning, giving Griffin Osing a chance to blast the first of back-to-back Albia home runs. Osing’s two-run shot, and a pair of solo homers by Bryce Leshen, helped the Blue Demons advance for the second-straight year past PCM, winning 11-7 on Tuesday in Eddyville.
“The first couple of pitches I saw were a little outside. When I finally swung, I was fortunate enough to get under it just enough,” Osing said of his fourth home run of the season, which drove in the first two of Albia’s six two-out runs. “It may have helped that the wind was blowing out a little bit, but it felt good off the bat. It’s one of those things where any kind of two-out hit right there would have been nice. When it goes out, it really amps up the team.”
Leshen followed up Osing’s two-run homer by drilling a shot of his own out toward center field, making it 3-0 Albia after one inning. The Blue Demons doubled the lead with their second-straight 3-run frame before Leshen returned to the plate in the third inning.
When he did, Leshen didn’t hold back. The sophomore cranked his sixth homer of the season, and second of the night, over the 340-feet sign in left center to put the Blue Demons up 7-0.