SPRINGFIELD - Nebraska City got off to a solid start in the opening round of the Trailblazer Conference Tournament Monday and received a masterful pitching performance on the mound from its sophomore right-hander Keston Holman.

Both offenses were stymied by the pitching through three scoreless innings of play before the Pioneer bats produced a crooked number in the fourth to start the scoring at Buffalo Park.

Bayler Poston delivered a one-out RBI single with the bases loaded to put Nebraska City up 1-0. After a fielder's choice scored another run, second basemen Cael Kreifel unloaded on a fastball, driving it to deep left-center field for a 2-run double.

The Pioneers added two more runs in the fifth, chasing Trojans starter Austin Krenzer and holding the offense down for the rest of the night in the 6-0 victory. 

Platteview loaded the bases on two separate occasions against Holman, but it was unable to come away with the big hit necessary to breakthrough.

The Nebraska City starter struck out eight, and struck out the final batter of the inning twice with Platteview threatening. 

Pioneer head coach Kyle Ferguson said Holman threw "one hell of a game" on the mound.

Ferguson: "He's put in the work all off-season so I wasn't worried about his pitch count. He's a competitor. He wanted it. He wanted that complete game and I think the kids wanted it for him, too."

Holman featured a fastball with good velocity and added in a breaking ball that gave Trojan hitters fits all game long. Ferguson said it looked like Holman was getting stronger as the game went on.

Ferguson: "Keston threw really, really well for us. That's what he is capable of. He's got some good stuff."

The Trojans managed only five hits and stranded 11 runners on base. 

Nebraska City will travel to play one-seeded Beatrice at 5 p.m. on Tuesday in the semifinals.

Ferguson: "I've been telling the boys all year long that if we can figure out that little piece on the defensive side then we're going to be doing some good things. It was just a matter of time today before we broke through."