Zephyrs flame out in Area 7 Tourney
     2015-07-23      By Philip Eckerberg   
Gering Citizen file photo - Westco Zephyrs batters came up short as the team’s season ended at the Area 7 tourney. 
To say the Westco Zephyrs did not go as deep into the Area 7 tournament as they wanted would be an understatement. They lost to North Platte 10-8, beat Lexington 11-4, and lost to Hastings 16-5. The double-elimination tourney completes the season for the Zephyrs.
“We were hoping to do enough to get in the state tournament next week but it just didn’t quite happen,” said Head Coach Mark Moran. “We finished good against Lexington. We got off to a bad start against North Platte and just couldn’t overcome the deficit. Against Hastings, we just had a bad game.”

The Zephyrs traveled to Kearney for the A7 tournament. On Friday evening, they took on North Platte in the first game. North Platte took a 5-0 lead in the bottom of the first. A jolted Zephyrs team never recovered.

The Z’s managed one run in the second inning, and tacked on another in the fourth inning. The Zephyrs came close in the top of the sixth inning with a two-run burst, but North Platte responded with another run, to maintain a 6-4 lead.
North Platte knocked in four runs in the seventh inning, and Westco answered with three runs in the eighth, but it wasn’t enough as North Platte notched the win.
In highlights versus North Platte, Jackson Hinze pitched through 5.1 innings with three strikeouts, five walks, eight hits and six runs, five earned. Traceten Halley pitched 2.2 innings striking out three, while giving up two walks, five hits and four earned runs. Zephyr’s batters came through for seven hits, including Robbie Cantril’s double and three singles. Evan Hughes, Traceten Halley, and Cooper Buchhammer each contributed one hit. Cantril crossed the plate three times, while Ty Benson, Brad Divan, Andy Van Amburg, Evan Hughes, and Halley each had one run.

Things looked up for the Westco on Saturday afternoon as they defeated Lexington. The Zephyrs scored one run in the first inning, three in the second, three in the fourth, and one in the fifth before Lexington scored one in the sixth, one in the seventh, and two in the eighth. Westco scored three in the eighth inning, and held Lexington scoreless in the top of the ninth for the 11-4 win.

Alexis Gurrola worked nine innings on the mound with six strikeouts, while giving up three walks, allowing 10 hits, and four runs with two earned. At the plate, the Z’s tallied nine hits with three by Halley, two singles and a double. Benson had a triple and a single. Cantril, Hinze, Divan, and Trevor Garcia each had a single.

By Sunday afternoon, the Zephyrs lost a 16-5 to Hastings, which opened two runs in the first inning, and one run in the third. The Zephyrs scored all five of their runs in the bottom of the third to take a 5-3 lead. Hastings shot back with three runs in the fourth for a 6-5 lead. Four insurance runs in the eighth and six in the ninth sealed the win for Hastings.
Three pitchers faced Hastings with Garcia going five innings, Evan Hughes working through 3.1 innings, and closer Hinze just .2 innings. Hinze finished with no strikeouts, one walk, two hits, and two earned runs. Hughes had two strikeouts, four walks, eight hits, and six earned runs. Garcia had three strikeouts, six walks, nine hits, eight runs, and six earned. The Zephyrs managed seven total hits with Garcia and Halley getting two, and Gurrola, Hughes, and Cantril each getting one.

Westco finished the season with a respectable 28-19 record.



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