LAWRENCE — It wasn’t the way the team drew it up, but the Manhattan High baseball team advanced to Friday’s semifinal with a 1-0 pitcher’s-duel win against Junction City Thursday afternoon at KU’s Hoglund Ballpark.
The Indians managed just four hits against Blue Jay starter Will Ervin, but got a single run through in the bottom of the fifth inning, taking advantage of a hit-by-pitch to Mike Leeper, bunting him over to second and scoring him on Bret Fehr’s two-out single.
Manhattan (21-2) starter Jesse Steinbring wasn’t his usual self on the mound, but pitched well enough to win, going five scoreless innings with three strikeouts and four walks. Henry de Noble came on to pitch the final two innings, escaping a one-out, bases-loaded jam in the top of the seventh with a strikeout and a fielder’s choice.
The Indians will face the winner of Shawnee Mission East (17-5) and Maize (16-6) in tomorrow’s first semifinal at 1:30 p.m.