PIERRE – After the unusual circumstances that led to the early Expedition League Championship Series, the Pierre Trappers were ready Thursday. But so was their opponent.
Luis Pelayo had three hits, including two home runs, and drove in three runs as the Souris Valley Sabre Dogs topped the Trappers 6-2 at Hyde Stadium to take a one-game-to-none lead in the best-of-five series.
The Sabre Dogs started quickly with three two-out runs in the first on an RBI single by Jake Barlow, an error, and an RBI single by Ben Newbert.
Pelayo belted the first of his two home runs with a runner on in the second inning.
Hunter Brown put the Trappers on the board with an RBI single in the last of the third.
Pelayo hit a solo homer in the top of the seventh to give Souris Valley a 6-1 lead.
Then, in the bottom of the seventh, the Trappers’ Jacob Griffin hit an RBI double off Sabre Dogs’ starter Thomas Gutierrez, the first earned run he has allowed all season. Gutierrez had pitched 40 and two-thirds innings without allowing an earned run.
Pierre missed a great chance in the last of the eighth. The Trappers loaded the bases with two out, but Tyler Traphagen grounded out to end the threat.
Gutierrez pitched seven innings for the win.
Lewis Manning pitched a complete game for the Trappers, but Pierre has now lost all 11 meetings with Souris Valley this season.
Game two of the series will be at Hyde Stadium on Friday night. Coverage will begin at 6:20 on The Voice of the Trappers, River 92.7, and at the River 92.7 page at the DRG News app and drgnews.com.
Trappers head coach Jamy Habeger was happy with his team’s effort, especially by Manning.
Habeger further praised his starting pitcher.
Habeger gave his team a positive message after the game.
Habeger said that such a quick start by Souris Valley may have led to a rout earlier this season.