Juniors drop Legion baseball twin-bill to Broken Bow
Give the McCook Juniors American Legion baseball team credit -- the Juniors did not go down without a fight Wednesday night.
The Juniors saw several rallies fall short in the second game of the Wednesday, June 2 double-header against Broken Bow at the Jaycees Sports Complex. The visitors held on for an 18-15 victory in the nightcap. In Wednesday's opening contest, Broken Bow scored three runs in the top of the seventh to claim the 11-8 victory.
The McCook Juniors are comprised of players ages 15 and 16 years old. Coach Austin Larson has an inexperienced squad, but the Juniors perhaps found out Wednesday that they are never too far behind to rally.
With Broken Bow designated the home team on the scoreboard in the second game, McCook trailed 15-2 after two innings. The Juniors came back with seven runs in the top of the third. Lucas Post had an RBI single, and Clayton Korus delivered a bases-loaded single to drive in two more runs.
In the bottom of the third, Broken Bow stretched the gap to 18-10, thanks in part to a two-run double that soared over the McCook outfield.
McCook added a pair of runs in the fourth inning, with an RBI single by Cash Bortner. The Juniors held Broken Bow scoreless in the bottom of the fourth.
After a discussion by the umpires and both coaches, the game continued with the determination that the time limit had not yet expired. McCook had one last chance to rally again, and the local made it interesting.
Jake Ruppert drove home a run with a single to cut the gap to 18-12. McCook loaded the bases, and Ruppert scored on a passed ball. Korus singled to drive home another run, and the Juniors were within four runs.
McCook loaded the bases again, and Bortner drove home another run with a sacrifice fly. Korus was thrown out at third base for the final out as he tried to advance on the throw home.
Broken Bow had just seven hits in the second game, but walks, wild pitches and errors by McCook helped the visitors roll up the big run total.
Chris Hoffman, Tristan Thomas and James Kain pitched for McCook in the second game.
Opening game results
Wednesday's first game was close throughout. McCook trailed 6-5 before Tristan Thomas and Clayton Korus each scored runs in the bottom of the fourth to give the Juniors a one-run lead.
Broken Bow came back with two runs in the top of the sixth to lead 8-7. The visitors helped ice the win with three runs in the seventh. McCook tried to rally in its final at-bat. Lucas Post beat out an infield grounder, then James Kain walked. With one out, Post stole third base and scored when the Broken Bow pick-off throw sailed into the outfield.
Broken Bow struck out the next two McCook batters to end the game.
Clayton Korus had three hits and scored four runs in Wednesday's two games to lead the Juniors. Jake Ruppert also scored four runs for the locals.
McCook is scheduled to compete in tournament action at Kearney Friday, Saturday and Sunday, June 4-6. The Juniors return home Wednesday, June 9, to face Gothenburg.