KEARNEY — The Kearney Little League Majors and Minors teams won state championships in Blair.
The tournaments were scheduled to take place in Kearney but were moved due to the flood’s effect on hotel accommodations.
The Majors (age 11-12) defeated Omaha Memorial 13-5 in the championship game Monday night.
It was Kearney Little League’s fourth straight state championship and the 10th in the last 12 years. The team was undefeated during the state tournament, beating Grand Island Northwest, Hastings twice and Omaha Memorial LL twice.
The players representing Kearney LL are: Bryce Andersen, Owen Axmann, Tysen Cabela, Logan Clark, Bubba Day, Charles Loofe, Derrick Nonhof, Griffin Novacek, Dominic Nowak, Lliam Paschall, Tate Redinger, Kole Throckmorton and Keaton Wemhoff. The team is managed by Brent Andersen. Coaches are Ryan Redinger and Russ Wemhoff.
The team now advances to the Little League Midwest Regional in Westfield, Ind., where they will battle the state champions from Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota and South Dakota for the Midwest Region’s spot in the Little League World Series. Nebraska will face Minnesota in its first game at the regional. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+ at noon Aug. 3.
Kearney’s Minors team (10-year-olds) beat Omaha Memorial in the championship 4-3. Kearney overcame a 3-2 deficit in the bottom of the sixth.
The game-winning run was scored when Aiden Banda drove in Connor Thiel. Kolden Kohler and Peyton Meier combined to pitch for Kearney in the championship game. Kearney was undefeated during the state tournament, beating Grand Island Northwest, Hastings twice and Omaha Memorial twice.
Kearney players were: Dane Arens, Tyson Baird, Aiden Banda, Landyn Howell, Kolden Kohler, Spencer Krueger, Owen Launer, Peyton Meier, Harrison Morris, Brooks Rethorst, Kayl Thatcher, Connor Thiel and Cooper Willis. The team was managed by Terry Kohler. Coaches were Justin Rethorst and Colin Pfeiffer.