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North Platte 10-year-olds claim state titleTell North Platte what you think
Photo by Rebecca Lorenz
Jack Heiss scores for North Platte during a rally against Chadron.
Photo by Rebecca Lorenz
North Platte All-Stars with gold medals and state champion plaque. Front row, from left: Cole Tilford, Treyce Barker, Carsen Johnson, Turner Nicholson, Conner Hasenauer and Kayden Stubbs. Standing: Jack Heiss, Coach Steve Heiss, Dylan Roeder, Cole Wright, Manager-Coach Randy Barker, Ty Hilderbrand, Derrick Kuhlmann and Coach Ty Barker. Not pictured: Joe Stone.

The North Platte 10-year-old All-Star baseball team won the Cal Ripken League State Tournament Monday at Centennial Park in North Platte.

North Platte opened the tournament Friday afternoon with a 10-3 win over Grand Island, followed by a 12-0 romp over Alliance that evening.

On Saturday morning North Platte lost a semi-final battle against the Chadron All-Stars 8-6 in extra innings, sending North Platte to the losers’ bracket of the double elimination tourney.

North Platte rebounded Sunday morning with a 9-3 win over Grand Island. Then in the finals, they more than got even with Chadron in a 5-0 shutout.

Since it was the Chadron All-Stars first loss, the two teams faced off again Monday morning. This time, North Platte defeated Chadron 10-1 behind a dominant pitching performance by Cole Wright, to claim the championship.  

North Platte was served well by a stable of good pitchers and strong defensive play.

Coach Randy Barker kept opponents off balance with a scrappy offense, utilizing more bunting than usual at this age level. Every player on the team bunted at least once, and when allowed to swing away the young all-stars rose to the occasion.

As the state champion, North Platte will represent Nebraska in the "Mid Plains" regional July 24-29 in Chadron. As tournament host, runner-up rival Chadron will also compete against 10-year-old all-stars from Colorado, Kansas, North Dakota, Minnesota, Missouri and Canada. 

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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 7/14/2014
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