Gering, Westco juniors fall in tournament play
     2013-07-25      By Jerry Purvis    news@geringcitizen.com
The Gering B&C Steel junior legion baseball team was on the other end of the state in Elkhorn last weekend to compete in the Nebraska Class B State Baseball Tournament. That’s where they ended their season.

The Gering juniors earned a trip to state earlier last week with a close 3-2 win over Sidney to win the Class B Area 7 district championship in Ogallala. But they went 0-2 over the weekend to end their season with a19-14 record.

Gering’s first opponent was Seward on Saturday. The first two innings were scoreless, but with two outs in the third, Seward’s Brady Fitzke blasted a solo home run to give the Jays a 1-0 lead. They were able to bring in two more runs to go up 3-0 in the third.

Although Gering’s Esai Hernandez and Logan Conn posted runs, the game ended in Seward’s favor, 6-2.

Gering faced Albion Cornerstone on Sunday in the elimination game. Shaking off the first game jitters, they turned in a better performance and went up 4-2 over Albion through the first four innings.

By the fifth inning, Albion started to get back into the game with one run in the fifth and two in the sixth to take a 6-4 lead.

The game went down to the wire as Gering’s Hernandez cut the deficit to 6-5 in the top of the seventh. Austin Hoffman came in to tie the score while Albion was chasing down Brenden Brester, who was attempting a second base steal.

Albion was able to bring in the winning run in the bottom of the seventh for a final score of 7-6 over Gering.

Both teams were error-prone for the game. Albion committed five and Gering had four. But Albion outhit Gering 12-3.

The Westco Express junior legion baseball squad also went 0-2 in the Class A, Area 7 Tournament in Kearney.

With a 27-7 record under their belts, the Express’ first opponent was North Platte on Saturday. Entering the tournament as the No. 1 seed, the Express was plagued by eight errors as North Platte went up 6-0 through three innings. The Express narrowed the gap to 6-4 in the fourth, but North Platte came back with seven more runs in the fifth for a 13-4 advantage.

Although the Express came back with eight runs in the fifth, the final score was advantage North Platte, 14-12.

Sunday’s elimination game had the Express playing Hastings and that game was much closer. Hastings scored the first two runs in the first inning, but the Express responded with four in the second and one in the third to take a 5-2 lead.

Hastings added another run in the fourth and three more in the sixth to take a 6-5 lead, which held for the rest of the game. The Express closes their season with a 27-9 record.

As for the Class B Senior State Tournament, that’s coming up this weekend in Gering. The Host Committee has arranged special tournament activities and extra-curricular opportunities to entertain players as well as their families and friends.

Hosting the tournament is Gering American Legion Post 36. Opening ceremonies on Saturday, July 27 start at 7 p.m. Local talent will sing the National Anthem and a five-member skydiving group from Colorado will drop in, weather permitting, at Diamond 1 in Gering’s Oregon Trail Park. Immediately following is the first game of the tournament.

The Gering Merchants Association has been asked to help give a big Gering welcome to our visitors. The Legion baseball boys have been a great help to us whenever we’ve asked them to help set up for our Sugar Valley Rally lunches, Arts Festivals, and other events, so we’re happy to return the favor,” said president RaNae Garton.

This volunteer opportunity is open to all Gering merchants. If you could help welcome folks from across Nebraska to our area, please email the Gering Merchants at geringmerchants@yahoo.com.

Help is needed for the following activities: Friday, July 26, there will be a Kick-Off Dinner from 7 – 9 p.m. at Five Rocks Amphitheater. Volunteers are asked to be there between 5-5:30 p.m.
On Sunday, July 28, is the American Legion Pancake Feed from 7 – 10a.m. Volunteers are asked to be there at 5:30 a.m.

On Sunday, July 28, there will be a Classic Lanes Bowling Night from 7 p.m. to midnight. Volunteers are asked to be there a little before 7 p.m.

Thanks in advance for helping the Gering Merchants to support the Legion coaches and baseball players in their community service, and for helping to welcome tournament attendees.


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