State baseball bid ends early
Seniors eliminated at Area 6 tourney.
After such a promising start to the baseball season, the Senior Melons had their sights set on making a trip to Schuyler next week.
Three straight wins to start the summer and a string of five victories in June had Melon fans making travel plans.
Itineraries changed, though, when Gothenburg was prematurely eliminated from the American Legion Senior Class B Area 6 Tournament at Holdrege on Saturday.
After beating Cozad 15-9 in the first round on Thursday, the Melons fell to Broken Bow 3-0 Friday afternoon and were knocked out of the tournament with an 11-5 loss to Lexington on Saturday.
Gothenburg finished the season with an 11-10 record.
11-run second inning
Strong batting and solid base running, especially in the second inning, led the Senior Melons to a 15-9 victory over the Cozad Reds in the opening game of the Area 6 tournament on Thursday.
With the game tied 1-1 heading into the bottom of the second, Gothenburg used seven hits and five Cozad errors to boost the score to 12-1.
The Melons put second inning lead-off batter Brady Preitauer on first with a fielding error in left field and Preitauer advanced to second on the existing error.
Brett Mayher was then safe at first on a throwing error that pushed Preitauer to third.
Mayher stole second before Tanner Schwanz hit a triple deep into left-center field to score both Preitauer and Mayher.
Schwanz scored on an RBI single by Cody Ostergard.
Pitcher Tre Ostergard reached on a throwing error at second. Cody ran through second to third on the same error.
Both Ostergard boys scored when catcher Korey Ahlenstorf hit a single to put the Melons up 6-1 with one out.
With Ahlenstorf on first, Ben Mayher reached on a error and Aaron Lauer singled to load the bases.
The Melons were back to the top of the lineup for the inning and Preitauer got a base hit to score both Ahlenstorf and Mayher. A double by Schwanz brought in two more runs.
Cody Ostergard got safely to first on a throwing error by Cozad pitcher Mason Fisher. The error allowed Schwanz to score.
With two outs and Cody Ostergard on second, an RBI single by Tre Ostergard scored one more run before the inning ended with an infield fly by Landen Haake.
The 12-1 lead didn’t last long as Cozad mounted a comeback effort in the third with five runs on three hits and one error.
Cozad continued to fight back with two more runs in the fifth inning and one in the seventh but the Reds couldn’t make up enough ground.
Schwanz had a triple and a double to lead the long hits for Gothenburg. Ahlenstorf and Lauer also recorded doubles.
Tre Ostergard notched the most hits with three singles in five at-bats.
He pitched a complete game for the win allowing nine Cozad hits with seven strikeouts.
Cozad beat McCook 14-4 in the first round of the consolation bracket before being eliminated with a 7-6 loss to Lexington.
Hits become scarce
After managing 14 hits against Cozad in the opening game, the Melons struggled in the batting box with Broken Bow’s Derek Gaston on the mound on Friday afternoon.
Gaston allowed only three hits while striking out 13 Gothenburg batters as Broken Bow advanced to the championship semi-finals with a 3-0 victory.
The Melons threatened to score in the top of the second inning when Korey Ahlenstorf opened with a walk and then ran through second to third on a fielding error that sent Ben Mayher to second.
Both base runners were stranded, though, as Gaston struck out three straight.
Gothenburg came close again in the top of the fifth inning when Aaron Lauer singled and advanced to second on a passed ball.
With one out, Lauer got to third on a sacrifice fly by Brett Mayher but was left on base by another strikeout.
Broken Bow’s runs came on a two-run homerun in the bottom of the second inning by Shane McCormick and a fielder’s choice in the bottom of the sixth.
Landen Haake took the loss on the mound pitching the complete game.
Broken Bow went on to defeat Holdrege 4-2 for a spot in the Area 6 championship.
Holdrege won its consolation game against Cozad 13-1 and met Broken Bow again Tuesday night in the title game.
Lex momentum intact
Lexington jumped to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning of Saturday’s consolation game and never let up, never looked back as the Pinnacle Bank team eliminated the Gothenburg Melons from the Area 6 tournament with an 11-6 victory.
Lexington’s two runs in the first inning and another pair of runs on a two-run homer by Andrew Rios in the second gave Pinnacle Bank a boost of momentum that even a steady comeback effort by the Melons could not break.
Gothenburg did not get on the board until the bottom of the third inning.
With one out, Tanner Schwanz singled and then stole second. Cody Ostergard walked and a passed ball pitched to Tre Ostergard pushed both runners ahead.
When Tre was hit by a pitch, the bases were loaded for Landen Haake.
A wild pitch by Lexington’s Aaron Luther allowed Schwanz to score.
When Lex catcher Stuart Long dropped the third strike, Haake took first and reloaded the bases setting up another run when Korey Ahlenstorf walked to bring in Cody Ostergard.
Bases were still loaded with Gothenburg’s go-ahead runners but the inning ended with a pair of infield fly outs.
Down 4-2, it was as close as Gothenburg would get.
The Melons scored four more runs in the bottom of the fourth inning, the bottom of the fifth inning and seventh combined on three hits but left too many runners stranded.
Six different Melon batters recorded singles to account for Gothenburg’s hits.
Cody Ostergard, Ahlenstorf, Schwanz and Taylor Walker shared time on the mound.
Lexington went on to face Cozad in the consolation semi-finals falling 7-6 for elimination.