Kearney rallied for five runs in the seventh inning on Tuesday to defeat the North Platte First National Bank Seniors at Bill Wood Field."The kids played well and they gave themselves every opportunity to win the game," Seniors coach Jason Pflughaupt said. "But sometimes in baseball you get beat and that's what happened tonight."
Kearney (17-8) opened scoring in the first inning when Ben Dinkel reached on an error by second baseman Benny Brockmoller and then scored again in the second when Zane Schmidt doubled to left-center field off of pitcher Dominic Martinez.
But North Platte (15-11) answered back in the third against pitcher Trevor Payne. The first run came when Kade Wroot singled up the middle with one out. Then Austin Orr tied it with a triple to right. Orr then scored when he tagged up on a one-out sacrifice fly ball to center hit by Trev Chase to give the First Nationals the lead.
The Nationals then kept it going in the fourth. It became 4-2 when Peyton Vieyra reached on a throwing error by Schmidt, the third baseman. Then Gabe Vyzourek made it a three-run lead with a single to right that spelled the end for Payne, who was immediately relieved by Cam Moore.
"We were taking advantage of where (Payne) was pitching us," Pflughaupt said. "We didn't try to do too much. We got some big hits and they had a couple of errors and we took advantage of those things."
Kearney scored in the fifth when Ryan Koski hit a two-out bloop single to center. But Martinez kept Kearney from getting any closer and he held them scoreless in the sixth.
In the seventh, Martinez got one out before he was relieved by Vieyra. With the bases loaded, North Platte traded a run for an out when Tyler Mestl grounded to Brockmoller who got the out at second.
But with two strikes against him, Cole Staab slapped a line drive to right to tie the game at five runs all.
Kearney then took the lead when Nate Berg knocked a double to right, scoring two more. Berg then went on to score when Wroot, the catcher, made a wild throw to second trying to get Berg.
With a three-run deficit, the First Nationals did nothing against Moore in the bottom of the seventh and Kearney came away with the win.
"We were one strike away," Pflughaupt said. "One more strike and we're walking away happy. (Staab) fought off pitches and he came up with the base hit and they got another big hit later."