Francis Howell Central starting pitcher Garrett Kuhlmann had to work through some tough spots.
But Kuhlmann didn’t let those situations overwhelm or his Spartans teammates.
Kuhlmann pitched around consecutive bases loaded jams early and allowed just two runs in 5 and 1-3 innings on the mound as Howell Central stopped Holt for a 3-2 win in a Class 5 sectional Tuesday afternoon at Howell Central.
Howell Central (23-8) making its first quarterfinal appearance in eight years, will visit CBC for a 4:30 p.m. game on Thursday.
Kuhlman, depsite giving up 11 hits, struck out seven and never imploded despite the prospect of multiple big innings for Holt (19-10).
The Spartans grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the first on Evan Mooney’s RBI-single. An RBI-groundout by David Beecher extended the lead to 2-0 for Central in the third.
Holt loaded the bases in the bottom of the third but came up empty. But the Indians did cut the lead to one on a run-scoring single from Kyle Vance in the home half of the fourth.
Garrett Allsman answered for the Spartans in the fifth as he singled home Eric Webb, who tripled with one out.
Once again Holt pulled close in the sixth as Connor Urevich ripped an RBI-double to make it 3-2.
With two runners on, reliever Collin Herdt retired two of three hitters he faced in the frame to get Central out of a big jam.
Herdt threw 1 and 2-3 innings of scoreless relief to get the save.
Holt starter Devin Petit pitching six innings, gave up three runs, struck out seven and walked two as he took the loss.