Seniors eliminated in Area 5 tourney, but still state bound
WEST POINT — The bad news is that the Wayne American Legion Post 43 Seniors’ hopes for an area title came up short Monday in a 12-7 loss to Wahoo at Anderson Field.
The good news is that the 14-12 Seniors’ season continues, as they will be the host team for the Nebraska American Legion Class B Seniors state tournament that starts on Saturday at Hank Overin Field.
The Wayne Seniors dug an early hole that they couldn’t quite climb out of, as Wahoo jumped out to an 8-1 lead and withstood a Wayne comeback to advance to Tuesday’s final against Waterloo-Valley.
Wayne trailed 8-0 in the third inning when they loaded the bases and scored their first run of the game when Mason Lee came home on a balk.
Wahoo scored again to lead 9-1, but Wayne started to make a game of it in the fourth with three runs, thanks to RBI singles by Lee and Adam Bentjen and an RBI groundout by Jacob Kneifl made it 9-4.
The two teams traded runs from then on out. Wahoo scored two in the top of the sixth, but Wayne answered with an RBI double by Lee and a groundout by Tucker Nichols that brought another run home.
In the seventh, Reid Korth took a pitch over the wall in left, but Wayne was unable to get closer as they were eliminated from the double-elimination tournament with the loss.
Lee had three hits and drove in two runs to lead Wayne’s nine-hit attack. Justin Dean and Tyler Lutt both had two hits and Adam Bentjen scored two runs. Payten Gamble pitched 5 2/3 innings and took the loss.
Wayne will open state tournament play Saturday with a matchup against the Area 4 champion at 4 p.m. at Hank Overin Field. The tournament runs through Wednesday, Aug. 1.