JASONVILLE -- A.J. Boyll hit a three-run triple with two outs in the bottom of the second inning and scored on a throwing error on the same play to lead the North Central Thunderbirds to a 4-2 win over Clay City Monday in the second semifinal of the Class A Shakamak Sectional.
Clay City's Ryne Hayes and North Central's Storm Lindsay locked horns in an old-fashioned pitcher's duel. Hayes fanned 12 batters, while giving up just three hits (all int eh second inning) and walking only one.
Lindsay sat down 14 would-be Eel hitters via punchouts while giving up three hits and six walks.
"Both pitchers pitched an outstanding game (Monday)," Clay City coach Ryan Swearingen said. "It just came down to one inning and one pitch, really.
"But (Storm) Lindsay did a good job of keeping us off balance all night. This was the first time we had faced him."
The Thunderbirds defeated Clay City, 14-4, in the regular season, but Lindsay did not pitch against the Eels in the lopsided affair.
Hayes, who was selected to play in Hawaii last summer, finished the season with 114 strikeouts. His season-high for punchouts in a game was 17 -- a game in which he also belted three homers to help his cause.
"I told Ryne he has nothing to hang his head about. He pitched a heck of a game," Swearingen said. "That is the type of game that we have come to expect from him in his four seasons here."
After the triple by Boyll, Hayes buckled down and then retired 14 of the last 15 batters he faced to end the game. The only other runner that reached base came on an error.
The Eels jumped out to an early lead in the top of the first inning without the benefit of a hit. Hayes reached first by drawing a one-out walk. He then stole second base and advanced to third on a throwing error and came across the plate on a wild pitch.
D.J. Newton knocked home the second run with a double in the second inning that plated Braxton Griffith, who had reached safely with a single and was bunted into scoring position by Ben Denker.
Will Kennedy recorded the third Eels' hit of the night with a bloop double in the fifth inning.
The Eels finished the season with a record of 9-8.
"We had some injuries over the course of the season, but all the guys played hard," Swearingen said. "I would have liked to have won a few more games, but we finished over .500."
North Central will battle Shakamak, the defending Class A State Champions, for the sectional crown at 7 p.m., today.
Class A Shakamak Sectional Semifinal
Clay City 110 000 0 -- 2 3 3
North Central 040 000 x -- 4 3 4
Ryne Hayes and A.J. Evans; Storm Lindsay and Jordan Bean
WP -- Lindsay
LP -- Hayes
2B -- D.J. Newton, Will Kennedy (CC)
3B -- Boyll (NC)
Clay City finished the season at 9-8