It was a big Sunday night for the WESTCO Zephyrs as they stayed alive in the A-7 Area Tournament with a 7-5 win over North Platte and in the process locked in a top 3 finish and a trip to one of the two state tournaments this weekend.
After 3.4 inches of rain fell from late Saturday night into Sunday morning in North Platte the game was delayed by six hours and finally got started at 6 pm MT.
The play was sloppy throughout on both sides with a total of 12 errors by both teams. North Platte committed 8 and also had numerous base running mistakes costing themselves scoring opportunities.
North Platte scored first with a pair of runs in the first but the Z’s rallied to tie quickly in the bottom half.
WESTCO took their first lead of the night in the third inning on a perfectly placed bunt by Creighton Dike scoring Paul Panduro.
The Zephyrs then got single runs in the fourth and fifth innings; a key two out opposite field RBI single by Panduro and then Tate Carson in the fifth drive in his team leading 41st run with a sacrifice fly to center field to make a 5-3 lead
Much needed insurance came in the sixth inning with Jack Jones roping an RBI double to the right center gap and then a second run scored on a fielding error by North Platte.
North Platte made it interesting with two runs in the seventh but eventually Panduro shut the door for the save as the Zephyrs stayed alive with the 7-5 win.
Panduro picked up Player of the Game honors with 3 hits, 2 runs, and one RBI at the plate and a three inning save with four strikeouts on the mound.
Creighton Dike got the ‘W’ with four innings pitches and all three runs he allowed were unearned.
WESTCO, now guaranteed a top 3 finish in this area tourney, has qualified for one of the two state tournaments starting this weekend in either Kearney or at Omaha Creighton Prep.
Tonight another elimination game in this A-7 bracket against either Kearney or Hastings. Those two play at 3 MT with the loser playing the Zephyrs at 6 MT.
Coverage can be heard on 101.7 The Trail and kneb.com starting at 5:45.
Class B-Area 7 Tournament
There were two games in Ogallala for Class B area teams on Sunday
In the opener it was Alliance knocking off Gering Platte Valley Companies 8-0.
Trevor Dubray pitched a five inning complete game shutout to star for the top seeded Spartans.
Riley Schanaman took the loss for Gering, he allowed 8 runs but only five were earned as Gering made four errors behind him
At the plate for Gering just the three hits coming from Quinton Janecek, Schanaman, and Anthony Walker.
In the night game Ogallala beat Chadron 8-0.
Those results yesterday set up an elimination game tonight and we’ll have Gering PVC vs Ogallala on KNEB AM 960, 100.3 FM, and kneb.com starting at 5:45, first pitch at 6 pm.
The winner advances to play Alliance on championship Tuesday.