Zephyrs win four games to sweep Kelley Bean Classic
     2014-07-03      By Terry Gaston    sports@geringcitizen.com
Photo by Sheila Weber/Sheila Weber Photography - Zephyr Jason Amateis bunts the ball during the Kelley Bean Classic held on June 29 at Cleveland Field. The Zephyrs were 4-0 for the torunament. 
SCOTTSBLUFF — When a Friday afternoon thunderstorm struck the vicinity, it not only left standing water in some areas but forced the rescheduling of the Westco Twin Cities Zephyrs’ five-team Kelley Bean Classic senior American Legion baseball tournament at Cleveland Field.

The scheduled three-day event was thus compressed into two days, with the Zephyrs’ first game – which was stopped after Westco had taken a 3-0 lead into the third inning over Thompson Valley, Colo. – rescheduled for Sunday morning.

Combined with their scheduled second game, which was Saturday night, the Twin Cities Zephyrs thus were forced into a situation of playing their two Friday games on Sunday morning before completing tournament play Sunday afternoon – four games in about 22 hours.

While the schedule changed drastically, one remnant from before the classic did not: the Zephyrs continued their winning ways. With their four-game sweep, Westco Twin Cities extended its winning streak to 12 games and improved to 27-10 overall.

In order of games completed, the Zephyrs rode Traceten Halley’s 11-strikeout pitching effort to a 3-2 win Saturday night over Poudre Valley, Colo.

In Sunday’s first game, the finish of Friday’s postponed opener, Westco Twin Cities scored eight fourth-inning runs to roll past D’Evelyn, Colo., 13-1. After scoring a 4-0 shutout win over Thompson Valley, the Zephyrs completed the sweep with a 7-4 win over Roosevelt.

“We played well, got good pitching and put together a good tournament,” said Westco Twin cities coach Mark Moran, whose team had swept Laramie and Douglas, Wyo., in road action earlier in the week.

“The weather from Friday irritated with the schedule, but all the Colorado coaches were great to work with. They all said. ‘We just came up here to play, so we will do whatever.’ So we reworked the schedule, which made it tough on all of us, but it worked out great.”

Against Poudre Valley, Halley’s 11 strikeouts proved big after the teams traded leads four times. Westco Twin Cities took the last, game-clinching lead when Jackson Hinze drew a bases-loaded walk to score Leighton Freeze from third.

In resuming their postponed game from Friday, the Zephyrs turned a 3-0 lead over D’Evelhyn into a rout behind an eight-run rally in the fourth inning.

Westco Twin Cities had scores in the fourth on an RBI triple by Tristan Donelson, an RBI single by Ty Benson, a two-run double by Halley, an error, a two-run single by Matt Mickey and an RBI single by Caleb Geary.

Robbie Cantril went 2-for-2 at the plate, drove in one and sco-red one run. He tripled in the second inning and singled in the fourth inning.

Jason Amateis finished what he started Friday in scoring the pitching win. Amateis allowed one run over four innings, struck out three, walked one and scattered five hits.

The Zephyrs scored one run in the first inning on an RBI double by Beau Lofink and added two runs in both the second inning and the third. In the second, Freeze scored on an RBI triple by Cantril. In the third, Westco Twin Cities scored on a steal of home by Freeze, who had singled to gain base.

Against Thompson Valley, Matthew Mickey shut out the visitors over 6 2/3 innings, allowing three hits, five walks and striking out three. Eric Olson had singles in the fourth and sixth innings in leading the Zephyrs offensively.

In its classic finale, Westco Twin Cities was out-hit by Roosevelt 10-7, but the Roughriders stranded 12 base runners.

Halley had three runs batted in on two hits, with a first-inning single and a second-inning triple. The triple was part of a four-run rally that included an RBI single by Cantril and a three-run triple by Halley.

In their doubleheader sweeps earlier in the week, the Zephyrs routed Douglas 15-2 and 19-2 on Wednesday after they swept Laramie 5-1 and 11-10.

“If you look back at the scores, we got excellent pitching in every game,” Moran said. “We played well defensively, and there have been some games where we swung the bat just well enough to win and some games where we exploded offensively.

“Overall, we’ve had a great team effort in winning 12 in a row.”

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