A seven run fifth inning in the second game saved the North Platte First National Bank Seniors from being swept at home by Twin Cities on Wednesday.North Platte was able to end the night on a good note, winning 9-8, after losing the first game of the doubleheader 5-2.
Despite the win, Seniors coach Rick Ostergard was still disappointed by his team's performance on Wednesday.
"I didn't feel like we deserved to win the second game," said Ostergard. "I'll take it, but that's as far as that goes."
In the first game, Twin Cities scored the first three runs with all three coming home on errors by North Platte.
Drew Beyer scored the first run for North Platte in the bottom of the fourth inning when he drew a bases loaded walk on the payoff pitch from Dylon Busskohl with two outs.
Both teams traded runs in the fifth inning. But the First Nationals couldn't get on track against Busskohl, who threw 125 pitches in the complete game victory for the Zephyrs.
"The first game, the pitchers (Luke Volz and Dalton Pflughaupt) did what they had to do to win," Ostergard said. "But other than that, we didn't do anything good. We can't or won't win anything if we can't field the ball or score runs."
Alec Wesslund started the second game for North Platte but he ran into trouble in the second inning when Rojelio Gurrola got on with an infield single to load the bases with no one out.
Wesslund was pulled for Darian Allberry. Allberry walked Jackson Hinze and Tharyn Curtis to give Twin Cities a 2-0 lead. But that was all Allberry let come across the plate.
The First Nationals got on the board in the third inning when Jack Kenny hit a two-out single just over the glove of Hinze at second base. Then in the fourth, North Platte tied it up after a wild pitch by Andres Morales.
In the top of the fifth inning, Austin Murphy gave Twin Cities back the lead with a two-run single to right field off of Drew Callaghan, who came on for Allberry in the inning.
But in the bottom of the fifth, the First Nationals finally got going. Ben Sukraw tied the game with a one-out triple to left-center and that spelled the end for Morales.
Beau Lofink came on for Morales and he couldn't find the strike zone. Ty Brockmoller drew a bases loaded walk to give North Platte the lead at 5-4. Then Beyer was hit by a pitch to force in another run.
Callaghan then singled in another run, making it 7-4. Then Wesslund hit a two-run line-drive single to right that evaded the glove of first baseman Leighton Freeze to end the rally with a 9-4 lead.
"Lofink didn't do anything special," said Ostergard. "He just served up balls for us to hit. We should've hit the two pitchers they threw before him. We hit the ball. But it was nothing special on our part. We should have hit the ball like that all day."
But North Platte still wasn't out of the woods. In the top of the seventh inning, Jacob Schmid and Eric Moreno started the rally for Twin Cities with back to back singles. Then Callaghan walked Lofink to load the bases.
Riley Vieyra then came on for Callaghan. Murphy hit a two-run double to left-center. Then Freeze sacrificed himself for another run. Rojelio Gurrola then reached on an error by Allberry at first base to bring the Zephyrs to within 9-8.
But Vieyra got Ty Benson to fly out and then Schmid to ground out to the shortstop Luke Volz to end the game.
"It was a scary last inning," Ostergard said. "Riley hasn't thrown very much and it's tough when you haven't thrown a lot. But Riley did a good job in a tough situation to come into."