Westco teams excel in weekend tournaments
     2015-06-25      By Philip Eckerberg   
Photo by Sheila Weber/for the Citizen - Westco Express batter Braden Lofink slides into second despite the effort of Rapid City Bullets second baseman Xander Knudtson to tag him out during a June 13 home game at Oregon Trail Park. 
The Westco Zephyrs and Express did well in weekend tournaments with the Express getting 2nd place in Cheyenne and the Zephyrs going to a tiebreaker for 1st place in Alliance.

The Zephyrs started our reporting week out last Wednesday with a 10-2 road loss to Hastings. Hastings opened with 2 runs in the first. The Zs got 2 in the second but Hastings answered with 5. Hastings added on 1 in the third and 2 in fourth. Trevor Garcia took the loss for the Zephyrs, pitching 2 innings. Brad Divan and Alexis Gurrola also pitched in the game. There were only 4 hits with Robbie Cantril getting 2 followed by Eric Olsen and Andy Van Amburg getting 1 each. Runs were made by Cantril and Divan.

Last Thursday the Zephyrs travelled to Sidney and fell 9-4. Sidney opened with 1 run in the first. Westco tie at the top of the third but Sidney answered in the bottom with 2 runs to retake the lead. The Zephyrs tacked on a tying run in the fourth but Sidney made 4 more runs. Both teams got 2 runs in the sixth and nothing in the seventh.
Westco collected 5 hits with Jackson Hinze, Ty Benson, Divan, Traceton Halley, and Cooper Buchhammer each getting 1. Runs were scored by Divan with 2, Hinze and Bensen with 1. Olsen took the loss, pitching for 3.2 innings and Hinze filled in for 1.2 innings.

The Zephyrs luck changed on Friday in the Alliance Tournament. The Zs started out against the Buckley Bombers with a 12-11 win. Buckley drew first blood with a run in the first. The Zs answered in the third with 4 runs. The Zs scored 1 in the fourth with Buckley scoring 4 for the tie. Westco took the lead with 3 in the fifth and 4 in the seventh. The Bombers made a run at it with 6 runs in the seventh but fell a run short at 12-11.
Gurrola got the win on the hump and he lasted for 6.2 innings with 6 strikeouts. Halley closed the game with 1 inning of pitching. There were 16 hits with Halley getting 3 and Hinze, Benson, Divan, Olsen, Van Amburg, and Hughes getting 2 hits. Garcia had 1 hit. Olsen and Van AmBurg scored 3 runs, Hinze had 2, and Benson, Divan, Garcia, and Halley each crossed the plate once.
On Saturday the Zephyrs fell hard to Cheyenne Mustangs, losing 18-4. Cheyenne scored early and often opening the game with a 3-1 lead in the first. Cheyenne made 2 more runs in the second. Westco answered with 3 in the third but the Mustangs racked up 4 in the fourth and 9 in the sixth for the 18-4 win.

The Zs had 8 hits made by Cantril 1, Benson 2, Hughes 1, Garcia1, Halley 2, and Cooper Buchhamer 1. Runs were scored by Benson with 2, Garcia 1, and Halley 1. Buchhammer took the loss at the strip going 3.2 innings with 3 strikeouts, 11 hits, and 3 walks. Divan and Josh Sturgeon finished the game.

The Zs bounced back on Saturday with 6-4 win over Gering. The Zephyrs got 2 runs in the first and 3 in the third before Gering scored 4 in the third to make it a 1 run 5-4 game in favor of the Zephyrs. Westco tacked on 1 more in seventh for the 6-4 win.

Hughes pitched the full game with 7 strikeouts, 9 hits, 3 walks, and 4 runs. Hinze led the way at the plate with 3 hits, 2 RBIs, and 2 runs. Benson had 2 hits and Hughes, Garcia, and Halley each getting a hit. Benson had 2 runs Garcia and Halley had 1.

The Zephyrs finished the week with and 11-6 Sunday win over Ogallala. They were tied at 1 at the end of the first and the Zs took the 2-1 lead in the second with one more run. The Zephyrs put 2 more on the scoreboard in the third but Ogallala scored 5 in the third to take a 6-4 lead. The Zephyrs chipped away at it with 3 in the fourth and 4 in the fifth to end the game 11-6.

Garcia was the winning pitcher, going 4 innings with 4 strikeouts. Hinze pitched the last inning. The Zs bats made 12 total hits with Halley leading the with 4 hits, 2 RBIs and 2 runs. Hinze had 2 hits, Divan 2, Benson 1, Sturgeon 1, Garcia 1, and Buchhammer 1. Hinze scored 4 runs, Divan 2, Halley 2, Benson 1, Hughes 1, and Gurrola 1.
On Tuesday the Zephyrs got a 7-1 win over Torrington at home. The Zephyrs scored 4 in the first inning and 2 in the second before Torrington made their 1 run in the third. The Zephyrs added one more in the third themselves and that was the last scores of the game. The Zs belted out 11 hits with Halley getting 2, while 1 each was scored by Hinze, Benson, Divan, Hughes, Garcia, and Buchhammer. Runs were made by Hinze and Benson with 2, Divan, Garcia, and Halley with 1 each. Olsen was the winning pitcher lasting for 6 innings with 7 strikeouts, 4 walks, 5 hits, and 1 run. Gurrola finished the last inning.
“The games we did not win we played pretty poorly and the games we did win we played fine,” Westco Zephyrs head coach Mark Moran said. “We just need to find a bit more consistency. We were in a three way tie between Cheyenne, Gering, and Westco for first. The tie breaker was the fewest allowed runs which gave Gering first place.”
Coach Moran said that the have a challenging week ahead as they will be playing against Colorado teams.
The Zephyrs are now 14-12 and play a doubleheader in North Platte on Wednesday and will host a tournament in Scottsbluff at Cleveland Field this weekend playing Thompson Valley, Windsor, D’Evelyn, and Chadron on Tuesday.

The Express also had a good week, posting a five game win streak. On Thursday the Express played Sidney on the road and came home with a 9-1 win. The Express made 3 runs in the second with the Express and Sidney each getting 1 run each in the third. The Express added 3 runs in the fifth and 1 run each in the sixth and seventh.

Buchhammer pitched 6 innings, getting the win with 3 strikeouts, 3 walks, 4 hits, and a run. Tristan Ramirez pitched 1 inning with 1 walk. The Express made 14 hits with Trent Richter leading the way with three, Braden Lofink had 2, Josh Schroeder 2, Carlos Felix 2, Brady Sindt 2, AJ Castillo-Powell 1, Max Mason 1, and Jackson Hohnstein 1. Castillo-Powell, Felix, and Richter had 2 runs each, Lofink, Schroeder, and Hohnstein had 1 run each.
On Friday The Express got an 11-3 win over Cheyenne Indians. Each team scored in the first with Express taking a 2-1 lead. The Express scored 1 in the third while Cheyenne tied it at 3 with single runs in the fourth and fifth. Express came alive with 3 in the sixth and 5 in the seventh for the 11-3 win. Lofink got the win pitching 5 innings with 4 strikeouts, 5 walks, 3 hits, and 3 runs. Sindt pitched the final 2 innings. The Express offense was effective with 9 total hits. Sindt and Buchhammer made 2 hits apiece, Lofink, Cody Snelling, Schroeder, Mason, and Hever Morales each had 1. Mason scored 3 runs, with Lofink and Sindt getting 2, Buchhammer, Felix, Richter, and Morals made 1 run apiece.

The first game on Saturday saw the Express shutting out Wheatland 10-0. The Express opened with 4 runs in the first, 1 in the second, 2 in the third, and 3 in the fourth. The winning pitcher was Castillo-Powell with a no hitter going the whole 5 innings with 7 strikeouts and 4 walks. Westco made 9 hits with contributions made by Buchhammer 2, Mason 2, Lofink 1, Ramirez 1, Felix 1, Schroeder 1, and Sindt 1. Buchhammer made 2 runs, along with Schroeder, Sindt, and Mason. Lofink and Felix added 1 run each.

Saturday’s second game saw the Express get a huge 24-5 win over Niwot. Express held a 5-3 lead after the first inning Express added 3 runs in the second and each team had 1 run in the third. Express made 5 runs in the fourth and 10 in the fifth to win the game. Morales pitched 4 innings with 8 strikeouts, 4 walks, 3 hits, and 4 runs. Josh Wilson pitched 1 inning with 1 walk, 1 hit, and 1 run.

The Express also had lots of offense with 16 total hits. Lofink made 4 hits, with Castillo-Powell and Snelling getting 3 hits each, Mason and Felix contributed 2 hits apiece, while Buchhammer and Gurrola contributed 1 hit. Runs were many Mason made 4, Lofink and Felix had 3, Buchhammer, Schroeder, and Wilson made 2 Gurrola and Jack Jones had 1 run each.

On Sunday The Express broke their win streak with a 9-6 loss to Cheyenne Post 6. Post 6 outscored the Express 3-1 in the first and 6-3 in the fifth. The Express tacked on 2 more in the sixth but it was not enough and Post 6 got the win. 8 hits were made with Buchhammer and Sindt getting 2 each for half the hits. Paul Panduro, Mason, Lofink, and Castillo-Powell made 1 hit each. Mason and Sindt had 2 runs, Gurrola and Lofink had 1. Panduro was the loser on the mound, going 4 innings while posting 3 strikeouts, 2 walks, 9 hits, and 8 runs. Felix pitched 2 innings with a strikeout, 3 hits, and a run. The Express earned a second place finish in the tournament.
The Express hosted Torrington on Tuesday and made a 10-0 win. Schroeder got the win, posting 4 strikeouts, 1 walk, and 1 hit. Offensively there were 7 hits with Buchhammer, Sindt, and Mason getting 2, and Ramirez added 1. Runs were scored by Mason with 3, Richter 2, Buchhammer 2, Panduro 1, Morales 1, and Wilson 1.
The Express boasts a record of 17-10 and will see plenty of action this week with a home doubleheader against North Platte on Wednesday. The Express travel to Chadron for a tournament on Friday and Saturday and face Chadron at home on Tuesday.

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