Kearney scored five runs in the fourth inning to break open a close game on Tuesday as they defeated the North Platte First National Bank Seniors 9-1.

“I thought we played well aside from that inning,” Seniors coach Ty Brockmoller said. “They just hit the ball better.”

Kearney (9-5) scored the first run in the second inning on a wild pitch by Jacob Tobey. They also scored again in the third on an RBI single by Layne Shiers.

Then they began the fourth with a two-run double by Corbin Rich that made it 4-0.

Tobey’s first out of the inning proved to be costly as Gus Kreber dropped a third strike against Seth Stroh. Kreber recovered the ball and threw Stroh out at first base but that allowed Rich to score from third.

Tobey was relieved by Tyler Ferguson. The lead became 7-0 when Trey Rodriguez doubled to left, scoring two more for Kearney.

Kearney continued to swing in the fifth as Tyler Schirmer hit an RBI triple to center. Schirmer then scored on the play as North Platte (3-9) threw it away in an attempt to get the ball into the infield.

Kearney pitcher Keegan Thurston had not given up a hit to that point and he was three outs from doing so as he entered the bottom of the fifth.

But his bid was snuffed out when Dolan Branch led off with a bunt. Thurston came up to field the ball but he slipped and Branch was on base.

Branch came home when Andrew Lindemeier singled with two outs. But the First Nationals couldn’t bring Lindemeier home to extend the game and it ended with the mercy rule.