The Glasgow Reds are continuing their pursuit of first place in the Eastern A.
The Reds kept pace with league leader Laurel as they swept a two-game set with the Billings Cardinals by the scores of 11-0 and 6-3.
The victories put Laurel and Glasgow tied atop the league with a 19-3 record and sets the stage for an all-important doubleheader tonight at Sullivan Park when the teams square off in a series that will decide who takes first in the division.
In game one against Billings, the Reds scored two runs early, but had trouble pushing more runs across the board until late in the game where the Reds exploded for eight runs and took a mercy rule victory 11-0 in five innings.
"We weren't scoring a lot of runs [in the first game] but we had the lead," said Reds Head Coach Jack Sprague. "It seems like every time we throw Jason our offense just assumes he's going to throw a shutout, but he wasn't on tonight and battled through it."
Jason Thibault was on the mound for the Reds. Thibault, who is one of the top pitchers in Sprague's rotation, had a little trouble tonight with allowing runners to get on base.
Each inning Thibault found himself in trouble, the right-hander was able to escape with no harm done.
Thibault allowed three hits and three walks over five innings pitched.
His pitch count in those five innings of 96 is what made his outing seem a little more laborious than Reds fans are used to seeing from the pitcher who is entering his senior year in high school.
Keil Krumwiede went 2-3 with two RBI and Jake Kolstad went 3-4 at the dish with two RBIs of his own as Glasgow as a team drove nine runs across the plate in the first game.
While the Reds wrapped up a decisive game one victory, game two proved to be a little tougher to gain control of.
The Reds were up 2-1 heading into the top of the sixth when Billings scored two runs of their own to take a 3-2 lead and back Glasgow into a corner with only six outs remaining.
The Reds didn't stay in the corner for long as the bottom of the sixth kicked off with a leadoff walk from Chase Fossum that gave the Reds a base runner, something Sprague said was vital for the comeback.
"The biggest thing was the leadoff at bat in the sixth inning by Fossum," said Sprague. "Then Hunter came in with the pinch hit bunt with Hunter [Losleban] and we suddenly had runners on and got some runs across to win the game."
Glasgow sent pitcher Ryan Padden to the mound in game two of the doubleheader and Padden didn't disappoint.
Padden pitched seven innings while allowing no earned runs, six hits and two walks on the night. Padden also struck out three Cardinals batters in his appearance.
Glasgow had two errors in the second game that allowed Billings to make the game closer than it should have been, but as the Reds battled back as they have been known to do all season to secure the win.
The Reds will be back on the diamond tomorrow for a doubleheader against Laurel. Both teams are tied for first in the Eastern A and Glasgow will be throwing Johnny Koessl and Keil Krumwiede, two of the top pitchers the Reds have to offer.
"We just want to send a message," said Sprague. "We've been ranked second all year and Laurel is the defending state champions and we have a tough time beating them at their place. We want to win those games tomorrow night and put the pressure on them for a change."
After tomorrow's doubleheader against Laurel, the Reds will flip venues with Sidney this weekend.
The Reds will now host Sidney on Friday instead of Saturday where the new schedule now has them traveling to Sidney that day to finish out the regular season.