KEARNEY — Gretna’s Zach Wiese had it going.
Curveballs. Fastballs. Pitches the Kearney batters couldn’t hit.
Allowing one hit — and a total of three baserunners — Sunday evening, Wiese pitched Gretna to a 10-0, five-inning victory over Kearney Runza in the American Legion Seniors State Tournament National Division at Kearney.
“It was key that I had all my pitches. I was locating really well with my fastball,” Wiese said. “They have a really strong hitting lineup. They’re really good at their approach, not swinging at bad pitches, and putting a lot of things in play. I was really worried about how they make contact.”
But they didn’t.
Wiese struck out six in the game shortened by the mercy rule. Kearney batters hit only two balls out of the infield as Wiese cruised.
“They just basically dominated us,” Kearney coach Brad Archer said. “We couldn’t do much with their pitcher offensively. You’re not going to win many games only having one hit and we probably struck out five or six times. ... He just simply blew the ball by some of our kids tonight.””
Meanwhile, Gretna’s batters wore out Kearney’s pitchers.
A two-run first was followed by a three-run second. A five-run fifth ended the game.
Kearney starter Keegan Thurston, the first of four pitchers, lasted 1 1/3 innings even though all four outs he recorded were strikeouts.
“We did a great job of putting up runs early on in the game which really translated into us being confident later in the game to get those final runs,” Wiese said.
Lead-off hitter Caden Opfer went 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI. Evan Beran went 3 for 4 with three RBIs.
With the win, Gretna advances to the winners’ bracket final at 7 p.m. tonight against Lincoln Southwest. Kearney falls into the elimination bracket and will play Papillion-La Vista at 4 p.m.
“This is one of those games we have to put behind us,” Archer said. “Like I told the kids after the game, we just have to put two or three days of good baseball together. We have plenty of pitching. We have a couple kids who have been starters for us that are able to throw for us and we have another kid we’ve been using as a closer, so we have plenty of pitching.”
Millard West 11, Scottsbluff 1
Millard West Roof Tech made quick work of the Scottsbluff Westco Zephyrs in an elimination game, winning 11-1 in five innings.
Pitchers Caleb Riedel and Matt Pleiss combined to hold Scottsbluff to three hits. Riedel pitched the first three innings, striking out three and giving up one hit. Pleiss allowed two hits and struck out two.
At the plate, Millard West had 11 hits, Lead-off hitter Garrett Kennedy was 2 for 4 with three RBIs. Cohen Weaklend was 2 for 3 with a double.
Millard West advances to play Omaha South at 1 p.m. Monday
Papillion-La Vista 12, Millard North 9
Papillion-La Vista Pinnacle Bank scored seven runs in the top of the seventh for a come-from-behind, 12-9 victory over Millard North Big Fred’s in an elimination game.
The rally included a two-run double by Allan Goldsberry and a two-run homer by Nick Barnett. Conner Barnett added an RBI single. And Nick Ripa capped the rally with a two-run single.
Hunter Scruggs did the earlier damage for Papillion-La Vista with a home run a double and three RBIs.
Tommy Roland hit a solo home run for Millard North and Matt Goetzmann was 2 for 4 with a triple and four RBIs.
Gage Ingram, the second of three pitchers for Papillion-La Vista, was the winning pitcher.
Papillion-La Vista will play Kearney in an elimination game at 4 p.m. Monday.
Lincoln Southwest 12, Omaha South 8
Lincoln Southwest Pinnacle Bank built a 12-3 lead and held on as Omaha South Jordan’s Studio scored the last five runs.
Southwest advances to the winners’ bracket final at 7 p.m. Monday against Gretna. Omaha South plays Millard West in an elimination game at 1 p.m.
Southwest scored 12 runs on 12 hits and was aided by four Omaha South errors.
Southwest’s Luke Sartori was 3 for 5 with a triple, a double and two RBIs and he scored three times. Telo Arsiaga was 2 for 3 with three RBIs.
Jose Villagomez was 2 for 3 with two RBIs and Tyler Adam was 2 for 3 for Omaha South.