KEARNEY-The North Platte First National Bank Juniors played perennial state powerhouses Lincoln Southeast and Omaha Creighton Prep on Friday at the Kearney Invite and came away with a split.North Platte scored three runs in the seventh inning to beat Southeast 5-4 before falling 11-3 against Creighton Prep.
In the first game at Memorial Field, Lincoln Southeast jumped out to a 3-0 lead. But in the third inning, the First Nationals cut it down to size when Brendan Folk hit a two-run single into left field.
North Platte pitcher Jayden Kruse only gave up one run the rest of the way and Dominic Martinez came on for him in the top of the seventh with no further damage done by the Knights.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Nationals got their first two runners on base and Southeast starter Nolan Hoffman was relieved by Travis Henninger.
Against Henninger, Braiden Ruffin got a bunt single near the third base foul line to load the bases with no one out. Henninger then struck out Martinez for the first out.
Levi Nekuda then brought in the first run on a sacrifice fly to left field. Kruse then drew a walk from Henninger to load the bases back up and then Dylan Petersen was also walked to tie the game at 4-4.
Jace Barker won the game on a ground ball to the left side by using his considerable speed to beat the play at first base.
North Platte got off to a great start against Creighton Prep. Kevin Hancock threw three scoreless innings against the Junior Jays.
In the second inning, the First Nationals took a two-run lead on a ground single by Martinez into left field.
But Creighton Prep scored four in the fourth to take the lead and three more in the fifth to pull away.