Offense powers Beatrice to win over Nebraska City
NEBRASKA CITY - As a stiff breeze blew in seemingly all directions throughout the game Wednesday evening at Clemmy Holmes Field, the offenses flourished for Beatrice and Nebraska City in the semifinals of the Trailblazer Conference tournament. By the third batter, it was clear what kind of game was on the horizon.
In the end, the teams combined for 20 runs on 23 hits as the Orangemen overcame a quick start by the Pioneers to win 13-7.
After a walk and double against Beatrice starter Adam Deboer, Nebraska City third basemen Sloan Pelican belted a 3-run home run to left field to start the scoring. For Pelican--who is only a sophomore--it was his third home run of the spring. The Pioneers sent eight men to the plate in the inning while forcing Deboer to throw 41 pitches, but they couldn't scrape further runs across in the first which was a theme throughout the afternoon.
In the bottom half of the first, Pioneer starter Cael Kreifel retired two of the first three hitters as he looked to make quick work of the Orangemen. After a double and walk to load the bases, Deboer stepped to the plate looking to get Beatrice on the board.
The Orangemen starting pitcher would do more than that, though. With an 0-2 count, Deboer launched an elevated fastball over the wall in right field for a grand slam home run and just like that Beatrice had the lead right back at 4-3.
Beatrice added a run in the second and two in the third to go up 7-3. At that point, the preseason No. 1 ranked Orangemen as if they were about to pull away with Deboer beginning to settle in on the mound.
But with one out in the fourth, Pioneer shortstop Zach Tesarek had other plans. The senior sent a 2-run homer to right center to bring Nebraska City back within two.
Unfortunately for Nebraska City, the fun stopped there. Beatrice brought in Parker Tegtmeier to replace Deboer with one out in the fourth, and the right-hander stymied Pioneer hitters for the final two outs in that inning and the rest of the game. Tegtmeier finished the game on the mound allowing just two runs over the final three innings.
Beatrice stayed hot at the plate as it scored in every inning of the game in the 6-run victory. Deboer didn't have his best day on the mound, but he made up for it at the plate going 3-4 with a grand slam, two doubles and 6 RBIs. Nebraska baseball commit Tucker Timmerman added two doubles and an RBI in a 3-4 effort for the Orangemen.
Nebraska City received solid offensive performances from Kreifel and Pelican. The duo combined to go 5-7 with four RBIs and reached base eight total times.
The final difference in the game came down to Beatrice taking advantage of four Nebraska City errors and hitting with runners on base, especially with two outs. The Pioneers offense stranded 15 baserunners in the game, which halted innings that would've produced more runs.
With the win, Beatrice advances to play Wahoo/Bishop Neumann/Lincoln Lutheran Thursday for the championship. The Pioneers will play Ralston for third place.
Nebraska City (6-6): 3, 0, 0, 2, 1, 1, 0...7, 10, 4
Beatrice (10-2): 4, 1, 2, 2, 2, 2...13, 13, 0