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Seniors sweep NorfolkTell North Platte what you think
Photo by James Parrish
North Platte's Luke Volz turns on a pitch before getting an RBI base hit in the first game against Norfolk.
Photo by James Parrish
Jayden Kruse winds up for a pitch in the second game.
Photo by James Parrish
North Platte assistant coach Zach Ostergard meets with baserunners Jace Barker, Jack Kenny and Darian Allberry during a pitching change.

After winning only two of its first seven games of the seasons, the North Platte First National Bank Seniors were looking for some positive momentum.

They got that on Monday when they swept a doubleheader against Norfolk 11-1 and 10-6 at Bill Wood Field.

"This is huge for this team," Seniors coach Rick Ostergard said. "They need all the confidence they can get."

The now 4-5 First Nationals got going early in the first game. Luke Volz led off the second inning with a single and then Drew Callaghan hit a home run to left field off of Grant Gilsdorf.

The homer by the 6-foot, 7-inch Callaghan kickstarted North Platte's offense. It became 3-0 later in the inning after a wild pitch by Gilsdorf. Then Marcus Silos hit an RBI single to right. Darian Allberry then drew a bases loaded walk from Gilsdorf on four straight pitches.

That spelled the end for the Norfolk starter and he was relieved by Daniel Roche. The First Nationals scored one more run in the inning after the pitching change with another single by Volz.

The Nationals scored three more runs in the third inning. Ty Brockmoller pitched well for North Platte and they never looked back.

"They did everything well," Ostergard said. "They ran the bases well, (Ty) pitched well. We gave our pitcher a lot of run support. It was just a good day overall."

The second game was tougher for the First Nationals. But it appeared at first to be another runaway.

North Platte scored a run in the first inning when Allberry scored from second base on a passed ball by Gilsdorf, who played catcher in the second game.

With two outs in the second inning, the Nationals added to their lead. Alec Wesslund got an RBI single and then another run scored after a wild pitch by Riggins Hopper. Then two more runs came across when Allberry reached on an error by second baseman Zach Utecht.

Norfolk show some life in the third inning. Peyton Price hit a two-run single to center. Then Hunter Blitch hit a double to deep left field off of pitcher Jayden Kruse to make it 5-3.

The First Nationals responded with two outs in the bottom half of the inning when Jace Barker hit a two-run single to center that made it a four-run game.

But Norfolk wouldn't go away. They took advantage of Kruse's fatigue in the fifth inning. Price hit a one-out double off the wall in right to score a run. Then two more runs scored on North Platte miscues. The first of the two runs scored on a throwing error by the catcher, Silos. The other run came on a wild pitch by Kruse.

Kruse was immediately relieved by Volz, who got the First Nationals out of the inning with the lead intact at 7-6. Norfolk also threatened in the top of the sixth. They had runners at second and third. But Volz struck out Utecht for the third out.

In the bottom of the sixth, North Platte made another push. Allberry brought a run home on a sacrifice fly ball to left field. Then Volz hit a two-run double to left-center to make it 10-6.

The Nationals finished Norfolk in the seventh inning and came away with the sweep.

"We stepped up," Ostergard said. "We put runs on the board and we made it a lot easier for our pitcher late."

Ostergard gave credit to Jack Kenny for his team holding on to win the second game. When Norfolk rallied back, the First Nationals were ready with a response.

"Jack took over leadership in the dugout," Ostergard said. "We talked to him about that. The guys were up on the fence and talking in there."

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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 5/26/2014
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