Home no advantage for Express
     2015-07-23      By Philip Eckerberg   
Photo by Sheila Weber/Special to Gering Citizen - Pitcher A.J. Castillo-Powell and first baseman Gunnar Buchham close out the season at an A-7 tourney. 
As it turned out, home field wasn’t any kind of an advantage for the Westco Express junior Legion baseball team as they went 1-2 in the Class A Area 7 tournament. The Express beat Lexington 4-3 but they suffered back-to-back losses to North Platte 3-2, and Kearney 7-3.

The Express faced Lexington on Friday evening. No one scored until the fourth inning when Lexington got two across the plate. Lexington got one more in the fifth when the Express finally answered with 1 of their own in the bottom of the fifth and 3 in the sixth to take the lead and the 4-3 win.

Gunnar Buchhammer got the seventh inning win with 10 strikeouts, four walks, five hits, and three runs with one earned. On offense just five hits were made with Brady Sindt getting two and A.J. Castillo-Powell, Alex Gurrola, and Paul Panduro getting 1 hit each. Gurrola and Sindt had doubles. Runs were scored by Gurrola, Carlos Felix, Sindt, and Trent Richter.

On Sunday afternoon the Express faced North Platte in a low scoring game. The Express scored the first run in the second inning. North Platte answered with three runs in the third inning. The Express made added one more run in the fifth and no one scored for the rest of the game giving North Platte the 3-2 win.

Castillo-Powell was the losing pitcher but he had four strikeouts, with one walk, four hits, and 3three earned runs. Offense was sluggish with four hits made by Josh Schroeder, Felix, Sindt, and Panduro. The two runs were scored by Jackson Honstein and Buchhammer.

Later Sunday afternoon the Express took on Kearney in the loser’s bracket. It was do or die for the Express, but they were not able to get the job done and Kearney got the 7-3 win. The Express opened good with three runs in the bottom of the first but that was all they would score. Kearney scored five in the third and two in the fourth to get the 7-3 win.

The Express was not productive at the plate at all with just two hits made by Castillo-Powell and Sindt. The three runs were made by Braden Lofink, Max Mason, and Sindt. Taking the mound was Lofink and Richter. Lofink lasted 3.1 innings with 1 strikeout, 2 walks, 9 hits, and seven runs, six earned. Richter relieved and made five strikeouts, and allowed two walks, one hit, and no runs.

The Express was 27-18 on the season which is the best of the local teams.

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