BATTLE CREEK, Neb. – A Champion has been crowned as Shelby-Osceola-Stromsburg (SOS) beat Pender 6-2 to become State Champs. Thursday nights Class C State Junior Legion game was a rematch of Saturdays game, a game in which SOS won 10-9. Another win but, a much different game this time around.
Saturdays game was close, down to the end, Thursday’s game was not as it was dominated by SOS.
To reach the Championship game, Pender had to travel through the losers bracket, while SOS cruised through the winners bracket all the while racking up 35 runs in the tournament in not losing a single game, coming into Thursday’s game. There was again, no shortage of offense for SOS.
SOS starter Bailey Belt got roughed up in the first hitting the first batter, with the very first pitch of the game. He later came around to score in the inning. Belt’s struggles didn’t stop there giving up two hits, hitting two batters, walked one, and surrendered two runs before finally getting out of the inning.
Belt found his stride in the second and cruised from there, pitching all seven innings and earning the win. He went on to allow two runs on six hits, hit three batters, walked one, and fanned eight.
There is two sides to every story. Pender came out firing on all cylinders in the first, and then had engine problems after that, as they didn’t score the rest of the game.
Pinder starter Lucas Vogt was pulled in the 3rd inning after giving up two runs, on five hits, with four walks, and striking out three. It wasn’t all his fault. His defense came unraveled and had five errors in the 3rd inning, and that opened the flood gate for SOS who scored five runs that inning. It was all they needed to cruise to the win the title of State Champions.
Zach Hegge came in relief of Vogt and pitched four strong innings allowing no runs and striking out three.
SOS started their offensive output in the third after having eight batters reach base, four on hits, one walked, and three reached on errors. SOS had 11 batters come to the plate that inning.
Austin Coffin went 3-4 in the game with a triple, a single, and two runs scored to help power SOS’s offense.
Turns out that is all the offense they needed for the “W”.
Pender’s Jaxon Maise went 2-3 with two singles, and an RBI.
Pender had their lead off hitter on three times in the game and only once did he score.