A cool night for a hot game
     2015-07-09      By Philip Eckerberg   
The thermometer read 67º in my old car as I looked for a place to park at the Oregon Trail diamond. I finally had to settle for street parking. It was a good crowd for a Tuesday. Here’s hoping that several someones took my advice from last week about supporting our team. Cloudy and unusually cool for early July, it was a great night to watch baseball.

This was to be Gering Platte Valley Companies Senior Legion baseball team’s final home game this season. It was a double header against Buckley, the Chappell team. Gering finished the first game with a 2-1 loss, and the seniors capped the double-header with a 11-3.
The Zephyrs lost their first game against Rapid City 13-7 in a doubleheader vs Rapid City at the historic and newly rebuilt Modisett ball field in Rushville. I hope to cover a game there sometime in the future.

Gering worked out the kinks for the second game. Trace Fulk had the honor of pitching was able to finish the game. Buckley started with a 3-2 lead in the first inning but Gering made a run in the second for the tie. The third inning was three up and three down for both teams. Gering got in the grove during the fourth when Nic Bibb and Dalton Scott made it home.

Gering came alive in the sixth making 6 runs for the win. Austin Reynolds made the last hit of the season in Oregon Trail Park, batting in Brenden Brester as the final score at home. I’m glad I made the effort to come here and see Esai Hernandez play his last game in Oregon Trail Park before he embarks on a college baseball career at WNCC. I watched hits by Brester, Brent Barge, Bibb, Austin Reynolds, and Austin Abbot. I got to hear the fans cheer for their sons, brothers, and friends.

Kinaman beamed with pride as he spoke of his team, “Both games we did well,” he said. “We didn’t strikeout a lot, we didn’t get too much extra, (and) we made most all plays,” he said. “We made a couple of errors both games, (but) we put the bat on the ball and just kept getting better until the last inning.”

Gering is now 20-19 on the season and will have played Torrington on Wednesday by the time you read this. They will play their last regular season games in a doubleheader at Chappell next Thursday.
Checking in on the Zephyrs on the road, they lost their second game to Rapid City 5-2 bringing the Z’s to 22-17 on the year. The Zephyrs will host Wheatland on Wednesday for their last home game.

I packed my camera bag and left the park realizing that I will miss it. Baseball is alive and well in this small Nebraska town. Win or lose we are proud of our boys.

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