Stepping up to the challenge of extending their season, the Gothenburg Seniors engaged in diamond thrillers while competing in the Nebraska B6 District Baseball Tournament this weekend in Cozad at Muni Park.
It was a defensive showdown between the Melons and Kearney County in the opening round for the Gothenburg Nine. The First Bank Seniors were able to benefit from a scoring surge in the fourth inning to escape with the 6-3 victory against the pesky Melons.
In the top of the second inning, Gothenburg got on the board when Ross Ostendorf helped out his own cause with a single into left field. Ostendorf then stole second and third bases to get into scoring position. Levi Tripp answered the call with an RBI-single down the right field line to give the Melons a 1-0 lead.
In the bottom half of the second inning the Kearney County offense knotted the score at 1-1 when Dillon Hackett walked and then scored on a single off the bat of Jordan Miller.
The score remained 1-1 until the bottom of the fourth inning when Kearney County caught a break. Hackett led off with a single and was then joined on the basepaths by Elijah Lovin via a walk. Both Hackett and Lovin scored on Jonas Lovin’s RBI-single into centerfield to make the score 3-1. Jonas Lovin then would score from third on a sacrifice bunt off the bat of Quin Rutt to give Kearney County a 4-1 lead with just three innings remaining in regulation.
The Gothenburg Nine knew that there scoring opportunities were limited and went on the offensive in the top of the sixth inning. Quin Haynes and Bryce Kowalewski got on base as a result of errors and then were able to score on Adam Speck’s RBI-single into the power alley of right field to cut the deficit to 4-3 at the midway point of the sixth inning.
Kearney County regained their cushion on the scoreboard with a pair of runs scored of their own in the bottom of the sixth inning. The First Bank Nine benefitted when Jonas Lovin singled and then scored on Jordan Miller’s hard hit ball that slipped into left field. Miller would then score on Jacob Choquette’s hit to push their lead back to three-runs, 6-3 heading into the final stanza.
The Gothenburg offense wasn’t able to find their groove in the seventh inning and Kearney County escaped with the 6-3 victory.
Ross and Riley Ostendorf did a stellar job of keeping the Kearney County batters off balance for the Melons. In relief, Riley allowed just two runs on two hits. Ross Ostendorf had five strikeouts in the first three innings of play.
Adam Speck and Levi Tripp led the Gothenburg offense with singles and RBIs to their credit.
Score By Innings
Gothenburg 0100 020- 3
Kearney County 0103 02x- 6
In the first round of consolation contests, the Gothenburg Melons battled with McCook for the chance to fend off elimination on Saturday.
McCook took to the diamond with a sense of urgency and were able to cash in on scoring opportunities to net a 13-1 victory over the Gothenburg Seniors.
In the top of the first inning, the Gothenburg offense got started off on the right foot with back-to-back singles to centerfield off the bats of Adam Speck and Chase Ostergard. Add in a Ross Ostendorf hit by pitch and the Melons were in business, until the McCook defense recorded the third out of the inning and extinguished the scoring threat.
The McCook offense was able to catch fire in the opening inning by pushing across five runs, with a two-run homerun by Kaden Sitzman leading the charge for the McCook Nationals to gain a 5-0 edge at the end of the first inning.
After retiring the side in order, the McCook offense was able to manufacture a pair of runs with Cash Bortner and Kaden Sitzman scoring after singling with a double off the bat of Justin Kefelas doing the damage to make the score 7-0.
As we reached the third inning of play, the Gothenburg offense was gaining confidence, but wasn’t able to string together enough hits to dent the deficit that had now reached 8-0 entering the fourth inning.
McCook continued to swing a hot bat in the fourth inning, as they were able to push across five more runs to create a cushion on the scoreboard to tune of 13-0, with Cash Bortner and Travis Wallen connected on RBI-hits in the stanza to lead the Nationals.
Facing elimination, the Gothenburg offense stood strong and were able to score in the top of the fifth inning when Braeden Brundage got on base on a hard hit ball that was mishandled by the McCook defense. Brundage would use his speed to score on Adam Speck’s RBI-single that also pushed Bryce Kowalewski into scoring position. Soon thereafter, the McCook defense shored up their efforts and were able to record the last outs to etch the 13-1 victory.
Bryce Kowalewski scattered eight hits over three innings for the Melons Seniors.
Third baseman Adam Speck was 2-3 at the dish with an RBI to pace the Gothenburg offensive efforts.
Score By Innings
Gothenburg 000 01- 1
McCook 521 5x- 13