KEARNEY — Kearney Runza started the American Legion season with a victory.

Keegan Thurston and Chandler Welker combined to throw a seven-inning shutout in Kearney’s 2-0 victory over Columbus on Friday night at Memorial Field.

Thurston went five innings and allowed three hits and three walks while striking out six batters for the victory, while Welker claimed the save after not allowing a base runner in the final two innings.

Trey Rodriguez drove in Kearney’s first run of the game on a sacrifice fly to center field, which scored Brandt Groskreutz, in the fifth inning. One batter later, Corbin Foster doubled to left field to score Sam Engberg.

Foster collected two of Kearney’s five hits against Columbus.

Columbus starting pitcher Cole Wilcox pitched a complete game, allowing two runs on five hits and two walks. He also struck out eight batters.

Up next, Kearney faces Lexington at 11 a.m. today (Saturday) at Memorial Field.

Post 52 loses in extra innings

KEARNEY — Columbus rallied in the top of the eighth inning against Kearney Post 52 on Friday night at Memorial Field.

The first four batters of the inning reach for Columbus, who scored two extra-inning runs to defeat Kearney 3-1.

Cal Higgins eased through the first seven inning before running into trouble in the eighth.

The first two batters reached against Higgins in the eighth, prompting a pitching change. Carson Schnacker replaced Higgins but also failed to limit Columbus’ offense. He issued a walk and surrendered a two-run single to allow Columbus to score the go-ahead runs.

Higgins allowed three runs (two earned) on six hits and two walks while striking out 10 in seven-plus innings of work.

Kearney’s lone run came in the second inning when Schnacker drove in a run on an infield single.