Juniors snap skid, rally against Lutheran

Kirt Manion
Nebraska City News-Press

Excellent efforts, both at bat and in the field, helped the Nebraska City Juniors American Legion baseball team to snap a five-game skid and get into the win column during action against Lincoln Lutheran on Thursday night at Lincoln’s Densmore Field.

Nebraska City found itself down 3-1 entering the game’s final inning.

Brexton Roberts and Cameron Elshire led off the inning with back-to-back singles before the first out was recorded.

The two players stood on second and third base when Colton Snyder came through with a two-RBI hit to tie the game at 3-3.

Colby Hoback, the next batter, put the ball in play and reached base on an error. Hoback and Snyder would both end up scoring on balls that got past the Lutheran catcher and Nebraska City finished the frame with a 5-3 lead.

Lutheran made the game interesting in the bottom of the seventh by getting the first and second runners on with a single and a walk. A fly out and a ground out, which moved the runners to second and third, left Nebraska City fans feeling uneasy. But Hayden Coyle, who pitched a complete game for Nebraska City, induced a ground ball out that sealed the win.

Aside from a one-run fourth inning, the Nebraska City team struggled on offense through six innings.

Coach Drew Southard said the team seems to struggle at times with being aggressive at the plate. When sparked though, Southard said, Nebraska City responds. And the players got the spark in time on Thursday.

“The kids pretty much rallied themselves. They knew what they needed to do as they did it,” Coach Southard said.

Southard said he was happy to see Snyder get a big hit in the top of the seventh, saying the Nebraska City hitter has been struggling with a head pull at the plate that takes his eyes off the ball and limits his success.

On Thursday, his head was on the ball.

Defensively, Coach Southard said his team has had issues with errors. When the chips were down in the seventh, that error issue wasn’t a concern as the defense made plays for all three outs.

Coach Southard gave credit to Coyle for pitching an excellent game and said that, win or lose, he is just hopeful that Nebraska City will continue to play solid baseball.

Offensive leaders for the Nebraska City team were Cameron Elshire, two hits and a run scored; Colton Snyder, two hits, two runs scored and two RBI; Brexton Roberts, single, double and run scored; Colby Hoback, single; Zach Bassinger, single and RBI; and Miles Draus, single.

Coyle pitched seven frames, struck out seven, walked two and allowed three earned runs on 10 hits.

Lutheran 14, Seniors 7

Nebraska City got off to a hot start, but was unable to maintain its lead on the way to a seven-run loss.

Nebraska City got two runs on two hits in the first frame and three runs on three hits in the second frame to lead  in the game, 5-0. Cameron Elshire’s diving stab in left field, one of two highlight reel plays on the night for Elshire in left, kept Lutheran off the board in the first and preserved a 5-0 lead after two complete.

Lutheran posted three runs in the third inning, two in the fourth, which tied the game, six in the fifth and three more in the sixth to finish with 14 runs on 14 hits.

Nebraska City had seven runs on seven hits.

Offensive leaders for Nebraska City were Jordan Williams, 3-for-4 with two runs scored; Zack Tesarek, double and a run scored; Quintin Holman, single and a run scored; Clay Stovall, single and two RBI; and Max Chaney, single and two RBI.

Tesarek started on the mound and worked 4.2 frames. he struck out two, walked none and allowed 10 runs, eight earned, on 10 hits. Chaney pitched 1.1 innings. He struck out three, walked three and allowed four runs, three earned, on four hits.