PALMYRA — The South Callaway Bulldogs returned the favor when it mattered more.
Senior pitcher Peyton Leeper threw a one-hitter and No. 6 South Callaway manufactured just enough offense to blank No. 1 Palmyra 1-0 in the Class 3 sectionals Monday night.
The Bulldogs (24-8) — who finished with only two hits themselves — were able to avenge an 8-3 home loss to Palmyra on April 6.
"It was a dandy," South Callaway head coach Heath Lepper said of Monday night's victory. "The first one was just a regular-season ball game. We talk about three things as the year goes on — get better every day, win more than we lose and peak at the right time.
"We talked about coming up here and just battling. That's what good ball clubs do, they just keep grinding. I'm extremely proud of the boys."
The Bulldogs — who have won eight straight — will go back on the road for a closer trip to neighboring Montgomery County (16-8) for a Class 3 quarterfinal clash Wednesday. The Wildcats breezed to a 13-1 sectional win at Whitfield on Monday night.
Leeper was spectacular in putting the squeeze on Palmyra (22-5), allowing just a two-out single to the Panthers in the top of the fifth inning. He threw 103 pitches, striking out nine and walking two in staying unbeaten at 10-0.
"Peyton had a great outing," Lepper said. "When he missed the plate, he slid (his pitch) over a little and if he didn't get the call, he didn't get flustered.
"He kept his composure and kept whittling away on the corners."
Leeper was also responsible for scoring the game's only run. He reached on an error to lead off the bottom of the third, went to second on senior shortstop Drake Davidson's groundout and raced home on junior first baseman Jared Mistler's two-out single to left.
Leeper supplied South Callaway's only other hit on a one-out single in the sixth.