The North Platte Plainsmen finished the season by splitting their series against the Gem City Bison.

In the first of two games in Laramie, Wyo., the Plainsmen fell to Gem City, 15-8, on Friday. But on Saturday, they won, 11-8.

In their inaugural season, the Plainsmen finish with a record of 31-21.

In the opening game of the series, North Platte jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning. But the Bison scored a run each in the first and second innings.

In the third, the Plainsmen scored another run to go up 4-2. But in the bottom of the third, Gem City took the lead by scoring four runs.

From there, North Platte could not stop the Bison, who scored in all nine innings.

The start of the second game was nearly identical. The Plainsmen scored two runs in the first inning and Gem City scored a run each in the first and second.

North Platte scored two in the third to go up again. But the Bison answered with two in the fourth to tie the game before scoring a run in the fifth to take the lead.

The Plainsmen scored four runs in the sixth to go up 8-5, only to have Gem City score three in the bottom of the sixth to tie it up once again.

But North Platte regained the lead with a run in the eighth inning and they added a couple more in the ninth for insurance.

Karson Shepard then threw his second straight scoreless inning in the bottom of the ninth to get the save for the Plainsmen.

In the win, North Platte High graduate Jaylan Ruffin had three hits and batted in two runs. A.J. Lausten had two runs batted in on two hits and Braden Hendrix drove in two on one hit.

The Plainsmen finished third place in the Nebraska division for the second half of the season behind the Fremont Moo and the Western Nebraska Pioneers of Gering. In the first half, they finished second to the Pioneers.

The Moo and the Plainsmen will battle in the playoffs in a three-game series starting Sunday. Whoever comes out on top in that will play the winner of the Spearfish Sasquatch and the Badlands Big Sticks of the Great Plains division for the Independence Baseball League championship in another best-of-three series from Aug. 4-7.

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