- CLASS B STATE BASEBALL: Vikings Stay Alive, Edge Antlers
By Jeff Motz
PAPILLION---It seemed like the Waverly baseball team couldn't shake off Elkhorn for much of their Class B state baseball tournament elimination game Tuesday night, until the sixth inning.
The Vikings scored four runs and added another in the seventh to earn an 11-6 victory over the Antlers at Fricke Field.
Waverly (21-6), the top-seed in the tournament, now plays Bennington 4pm Wednesday at Werner Park in hopes of keeping their season alive. The Badgers have already qualified for Thursday's championship round, after downing Hastings 4-1 Tuesday night.
With the game tied at 6 entering the sixth inning, Waverly took advantage of Elkhorn's fatigued pitching staff. Zane Schawang's fly out to centerfield then resulted in the Vikings capitalizing by back to back walks drawn by Rhett Jordon and Treyton Kozal. Jay Adams followed that up with a single to load the bases and Nolan Brown drew a walk to score Jordon.
Thatcher Kozal's sac fly to right field scored his younger brother, Treyton. Ben Carter drew a walk, which brought in Adams and Ian Steinmeyer reached on an Elkhorn error that scored Brown to give the Vikings a 10-6 advantage.
Brown, brought in relief in the fifth inning for starting pitcher Maverick Wylder, struck out five of the six final Elkhorn batters to seal the win. Waverly's final run scored in the top of the seventh, when Treyton Kozal reached on an error and later scored off a walk.
Waverly and Elkhorn were tied at two entering the fourth inning. The Vikings rallied for four runs, highlighted by a two-run double from Easton Hovelsrud and an RBI triple from Jordon.
The Antlers (13-12) countered with four runs of their own in the bottom of the fourth. Mitch Kahre, Kyler Beekman and Drew Christo each connected on RBI singles, while Trenton Smith led off the inning with a walk and later scored. Kyler Randazzo singled and scored in the inning.