- CLASS B STATE BASEBALL: Bennington Stays Perfect, As LeClair's Walk Off Double Eliminates Waverly
By Jeff Motz
PAPILLION---Bennington's baseball team keeps rolling and they find ways to win.
The Badgers, in only their second Class B State Baseball Tournament in school history, as Tyler LeClair connected on a one-out RBI walk off double in the bottom of the seventh to earn a 7-6 victory over Class B No. 1 Waverly Wednesday afternoon at Werner Park.
Bennington (19-5) plays Hastings for the Class B state title Thursday at 10am, after the Tigers rallied to beat Norris 5-4 on Wednesday night.
Anthony Comfort started Bennington half of the seventh with a single. His courtesy runner, Mitchell Anderson, advanced on a sac bunt from Jackson Martin. LeClair then belted a deep fly ball to left centerfield, allowing Anderson to score.
For the Badgers, they didn't win without an valiant effort put forth by Waverly, who finished the spring season with a 21-7 record.
The Vikings capitalized in the first inning, when Treyton Kozal hit a one-out triple and scored on a ground out fro Jay Adams. Bennington responded with a two-run bottom half of the first, when Rylan Wallingford and Nick Bohn each singled and scored off a double from Cooper Prososki to take a 2-1 lead.
Thatcher Kozal then led off the top of the second with a double and scored off an RBI single from Ian Steinmeyer to allow Waverly to tied the game at 2. The Vikings added another run in the top of the third, when Rhett Jordon scored off a Jay Adams single up the middle to regain a 3-2 lead.
In the bottom of the third, Bennington countered when Bohn singled again, stole second, advanced on a throwing error and scored off a Kyler Essink base hit to tie the game at 3. Waverly jumped back up by a run in the fourth, when Steinmeyer reached on his second hit and scored off a Zane Schawang sac fly to left field.
Bennington tied it up at 4 in the bottom of the fourth, when Martin scored all the way from second, off a Waverly error. The Badgers took control at 6-4 in the bottom of the sixth, when Essink hit an RBI single to score Bohn and later scored off an RBI double from Cody Flynn.
Just when Bennington thought it had taken momentum away, Waverly bounced back in the top of the seventh, when Jordon reached on an error and scored off a single from Treyton Kozal.
After advancing on a wild pitch, Kozal later scored off Nolan Brown's single, before Bennington reliever Grant Japp struck out Thatcher Kozal to get out of the inning.