Plattsmouth captures first ever state baseball tournament appearance
PLATTSMOUTH, Neb. - It was an almost perfect night for baseball Friday and Plattsmouth's starting pitcher Drew Iverson was nearly perfect as well as the left-hander pitched the Blue Devils to a 4-0 victory over Lincoln Christian in the C-2 district final securing the school's first trip to the state tournament in program history.
In front of full crowd at Blue Devil Park, Iverson delivered one of his best performances of the year in the programs biggest game, tossing seven scoreless innings while striking out 13 Crusaders. The senior had nearly every pitch in his arsenal working as LC hitters struggled to put the bat on the ball.
"When you've got someone like Drew, he just gives the team so much confidence," head coach Jim Olsen said. "He threw a great game. He just had the mentality he wasn't going to let anything stop us."
Iverson struck out at least two hitters in every frame except the seventh and received just enough run support in the process to earn his fifth win of the year. The Blue Devils (19-4) scored right away against Crusader starter Andrew Johnson when Iverson scored Henry Lootnjer with an RBI single up the middle with two outs.
A sacrifice fly in the third by Gabe Villamonte made it a 2-0 game and then an infield single by Eli Horner scored Gage Olsen in the fifth to push the Plattsmouth lead to three. Olsen scored from second with heads up base running as a high throw to first allowed him enough time to scamper home.
The Blue Devils would add one more run for good measure in the sixth, when a bunt single by Ethan Walker induced a throwing error that rolled all the way down the right-field line allowing Lootnjer to score from first.
Anderson got out of jams time and time again for the Crusaders (10-10), stranding runners at third base five times. The senior right-hander also went the distance striking out six while tossing 102 pitches. Coach Olsen said his team did "just enough" to scrape enough runs across for Iverson, but he was impressed with Anderson's performance on the mound.
"(Anderson) was one of the best pitchers we've seen all year," Olsen said. "He had good velocity and a curveball. He was good."
Despite leaving nine men on base, Iverson's performance on the hill was enough to carry the Blue Devils to new heights as LC only managed two base runners total with one hit. Lootnjer went 2-for-4 at the plate while scoring twice and Horner went 2-for-3 with a double and RBI.
In a historic season, Friday's win knocked down yet another barrier for the Plattsmouth program as family, friends and the community gathered on the field to celebrate a monumental moment with the players. An emotional coach Olsen tried his best to describe how big the district championship win was.
"It just means everything," Olsen said. "It's just so amazing. It's good for the players, great for the coaches and great for the community. Its just a really cool thing."
The Blue Devils will look to add the programs first ever state tournament win next week when the eight-team tournament begins in Omaha on Saturday, May 13.
Lincoln Christian (10-10): 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0 - 0, 1, 2
Plattsmouth (19-4): 1, 0, 1, 0, 1, 1 - 4, 10, 0