Saturday’s win was great. Tomorrow’s win will be even better.
That’s the kind of mentality that the Nebraska City Juniors have established under Coach Bladen Bales while tearing through the summer schedule on the way to what they hope will be a state championship.
Saturday baseball action saw the Nebraska City Juniors make history by winning their first ever Southeast Nebraska Baseball Conference tournament championship in a 6-2 win over Springfield (Platteview) at the Auburn Legion Field.
Three victories in the tourney pushed Nebraska City’s record to 20-1 and extended the team’s winning streak to 19 games.
Coach Bales said his players are doing a great job of grinding through games against tough foes and finding ways to win.
At the start of the season, with the knowledge that the program would be hosting state and would therefor get an automatic bid, Coach Bales spoke to the team about the importance of earning state and not just taking it for granted.
Coach Bales said the team’s first step was to win the conference. Now it’s on to districts and then to the state tournament.
“We are on a good pace,” Coach Bales said. “This win streak is great, but we can’t be satisfied with where we are at.”
Coach Bales said he tells the players that the next win will be greater than the one they just achieved, a positive message that seems to keep the guys focussed and hungry.
“They are great about that,” Coach Bales said. “These are humble kids.”
The biggest key to continued success,  Coach Bales said, comes down to aggression.
When the Juniors are playing with the lead, Coach Bales said they pitch better. And they play better defense too.

Nebraska CIty 6, Springfield 2
Nebraska City’s offense accounted for three runs in the second inning and Garrett Bassinger came up huge on the mound with 13 strikeouts to lead the Nebraska City team to a win on Saturday.
Coach Bales said having Bassinger on the mound was big and noted that the Nebraska City hurler is a bulldog on the mound who pounds the strike zone.
He also showed an ability to work out of tight spots as Platteview earned some walks in the contest, only to be shut down.
Trent Fahey came in for the final inning of work on the mound on Saturday. He pitched a single frame and kept Platteview from rallying.
Offensively, Bryce Levy had two hits. Eli Southard, Tyler Levy, Bassinger, Fahey, Max Chaney and Clay Stovall all had one hit.

Juniors 5, Auburn 2
Despite being out-hit 6-5, the Nebraska City team found a way to produce runs and win the Southern Division title.
Clay Stovall had two hits. Bryce Levy, Dylan Knoell and Trent Fahey each had a single.
Jordan Williams and Southard combined to pitch seven innings and allow two earned runs on six hits and two walks with six strikeouts.

Juniors 9, Syracuse 1
Five players had multi-hit games and Nebraska City cruised to a tourney opening win over Syracuse.
Trent Fahey and Jordan Williams had two hits each including doubles. Tyler Levy had three hits, as did Quintin Holman. Zac Albrecht had two hits. Eli Southard and Dylan Knoell had singles.
Knoell was dominant on the mound with 11 strikeouts in five innings. He allowed one earned run on two hits and two walks.

Juniors 16, Auburn 2
Pre-tourney action saw the Nebraska City team blast Auburn by 14 runs.
The Juniors posted 20 hits in the win. Trent Fahey had three hits, two doubles and a homer. Jordan Williams had three hits overall including two doubles. Eli Southard doubled and had three hits. Max Chaney had three singles while Bryce Levy and Tyler Levy had two each. Dylan Knoell, Quintin Holman, Clay Stovall and Skyler Self had singles.
Southard pitched five frames, struck out four, walked one, and allowed two earned runs on four hits.

Juniors on the Southeast Nebraska Baseball All Conference team were Jordan Williams and Bryce Levy. Eli Southard and Tyler Levy were named honorable mention.