Saturday, June 23, 2018
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Melons’ season comes to an end at Area B-6 tourney

Gothenburg entered the Area B-6 tournament at Cozad as the five seed, and two games later, the summer season was over.

The Melons opened the tournament with an agonizing 6-3 loss to fourth-seeded Minden before a lopsided 13-1 defeat to McCook.

Melons bruised by errors

In the opening game of the tournament, Gothenburg matched up with Minden who beat the Melons 4-1 late in the regular season.

Neither team scored in the first inning although Minden produced two hits.

Gothenburg opened the scoring in the top of the second. Ross Ostendorf reached on a one-out single and stole second before Levi Tripp scored him with a single.

Minden answered in their next trip to the plate. A pair of walks advanced runners into scoring position before Ross Ostendorf gave up a one-run single.

Neither side managed a base runner in the third inning, and the Minden pitcher struck out the Gothenburg side to start the fourth.

Minden created separation in the bottom of the fourth inning. Ostendorf gave up two hits and a walk before Riley Ostendorf relieved his older brother on the mound.

Riley retired the first three batters he faced, but not before Minden added three runs.

The Melons were again shut down in the fifth. Riley Ostendorf worked around a leadoff hit and kept the deficit at three headed into the sixth inning.

With the Melons badly needing a spark, Quinn Haynes opened the inning with a single before Bryce Kowalewski reached on an error that scored Haynes. Adam Speck then brought Kowalewski in to score with a single. The Melons had the chance to tie the game, but Minden’s first baseman snagged a hard hit ball off Jake Matthies’s bat to end the inning.

Now within a run, the Melons returned to the field. Gothenburg, however, committed errors on consecutive plays to open the inning. The third batter of the inning popped out to Ostergard at first. A walk followed before a third error of the inning allowed a second run to score.

The Melons trailed by three again with their final at-bat approaching. Minden brought on a relief pitcher for the final inning, and that decision paid off. All three Melons to step into the batters box struck out, and the Gothenburg seniors faced an elimination game.

McCook ends Melons run

After the three seed, McCook, lost to host Cozad, the Melons and McCook squared off for the right to face the loser of the Minden-Holdrege game.

The Melons loaded the bases in the first inning with hits by Speck and Ostergard before Ross Ostendorf was hit by a pitch, but Gothenburg failed to get a runner home.

McCook would not make the same mistake. Bryce Kowalewski struck out the leadoff batter, while the second batter reached on an error. McCook’s third batter homered and the three-seed strung walks and hits together en route to five first-inning runs.

The bottom of the Gothenburg lineup was retired in order in the second, while McCook tacked on two more runs.

Trailing 7-0 before the start of the third, the Melons were again held without a base runner.

A pair of errors allowed McCook to add an eighth run in the bottom of the third.

Riley Ostendorf reached base with two outs in the fourth on a dropped third strike, but he was stranded at first base.

The wheels fell off in the bottom of the fourth, as the Melons recorded five errors in the inning and allowed McCook to add five more runs to the lead.

The Melons needed to find some offense in the top of the fifth to continue the game.

Braeden Brundage reached on an error to start the inning and Kowalewski was later hit by a pitch. Speck then singled in Brundage, but one run was not enough to extend the game, and the Melons were eliminated from the tournament.