Broken Bow Junior Baseball finishes runner-up at Districts.
COZAD -- After a dramatic 6-5 win over Cozad to make it to the District final, Cozad reminded everyone why they were the number one seed Tuesday night, beating Broken Bow 16-6 and 10-2 to capture the District Title and move on to the state tournament. In the end, Cozad, the team to beat for the past few years in the junior league, was just too strong. “They had a fast outfield,” Broken Bow Coach Kyle Stringham said. “They take advantage of where we hit the ball. The first game, they jumped out 7-0 on us. That doesn’t happen, it’s a whole different ballgame.” Josey Evans got the start on the mound in game one and it didn’t take Cozad’s lethal lineup to solve his puzzle and put up seven runs in the top of the first en route to a 16-6 victory. Tommy McCormick recorded two RBIs in the first game as he finished 1-3 with a single. The Indians also got RBIs from Travis Kleeb (1-3), Taylor Shea (0-2), Josh Jacobsen (2-3), Hunter Minnick (0-3) and Trevor Scott (0-1). In the second game, the Indians bats were even more quiet, recording two runs, both scored by Jacobsen, on five hits. Davis had the lone RBI with a single while the other hits came from Minnick (single, double),Chapin (single) and Jacobsen (single). Broken Bow finishes the season with a record of 15-14.Broken Bow- 6Cozad- 5 Broken Bow jumped out to a 6-1 lead against Cozad Sunday night and survived a Cozad comeback attempt to preserve a 6-5 victory. Tommy McCormick pitched all seven innings in this game as he struck out six while walking seven and gave up three earned runs on seven hits. Cozad was able to get runners on first and third with two outs in the top of the 7th before McCormick forced a ground ball out of Mitchell Fisher to Taylor Shea at first base to end the game. McCormick, who hadn’t had much pitching experience in prior seasons, admitted that was his most nervewracking moment on the mound. He also didn’t forget his helpful defense behind him. “I thank them,” McCormick said. “I probably couldn’t have done it without them.” McCormick and the Broken Bow defense helped strand 11 Cozad baserunners. Josey Evans, Trevor Scott and Scott Davis powered the Broken Bow offense as they each recorded two RBIs. Evans finished with a single in his four plate appearances while Davis finished with an RBI double and Scott drove his run in on a fielder's choice. Hunter Minnick also had a productive night at the plate, going 2-3 with two singles and scored two runs. The Indians also got hits from Travis Kleeb and Noel Chapin. Minnick and Chapin each crossed the plate twice while Davis and Josh Jacobsen each scored one run. Broken Bow coach Kyle Stringham was relieved to see his team pull out another close win. They have had a history of making games close at the end this season. “I told the team, I’m pretty fat, so they have to take it easy on me,” Stringham said of the team making his heart race with close finishes. “Especially when it gets this hot out.” Jokes and close finishes aside, Stringham walked away impressed with his starting pitchers performance in a big game. “All season long, he’s come out and pitched like a madman for us,” Stringham said. “He throws hard and he throws hard the whole game. We played some strategy to make sure, come this game, we had him on the mound.” Cozad actually had one more hit than Broken Bow, but wasn’t as opportunistic on the basepaths or at the plate as the Indians. “They jumped early on us and we didn’t come ready to play Cozad Coach Dreu Young said. “We just got in too big of a hole and couldn’t come back. That’s the way it is sometimes in baseball.”Broken Bow- 13Minden- 8 In the second game of the District Tournament, Broken Bow found the offense and came away with a 13-8 victory over Minden. Trevor Scott got the start on the mound and pitched four innings while striking out two, walking six and allowing three earned runs on five hits. Taylor Shea pitched the remaining three innings of relief and struck out one while allowing just one earned run on two hits and allowed no walks. Tommy McCormick lead the Broken Bow offense with three RBIs as part of a 2-5 performance with two singles. Josh Jacobsen recorded a two-RBI double while going 1-5 from the plate while Hunter Minnick reached on errors twice and picked up two RBIs. The Indians also got hits from Josey Evans (two singles), Noel Chapin (single), Scott Davis (single) and Trevor Scott (two singles). Evans and Travis Kleeb were the leading run-scorers with three each while Scott and Taylor Shea scored two and Davis and McCormick crossed the plate once. Broken Bow broke the game open in the top of the 4th, jumping from a 5-3 lead to a 10-3 lead to put the game away.Broken Bow- 9McCook- 6 Broken Bow opened the district tournament with a 9-6 win over McCook July 11. Josey Evans pitched all seven innings as he struck out seven while walking four and allowing four earned runs on 10 hits. McCook also gave Broken Bow plenty of assistance on defense as they committed seven errors. “Errors are the bottom line, McCook head coach Matt Smalley said. “That’s what lost the game for us. When you make seven, you don’t deserve to win a baseball game and you get beat.” Travis Kleeb went just 1-5 from the plate, but drove in a team-high three runs on one double in the game. Trevor Scott hit three singles in his four plate appearances and drove in a run while Josh Jacobsen and Scott Davis each had an RBI single. Broken Bow jumped out a 6-1 lead before McCook was able to creep back into the game in the bottom of the 6th. “With the boys being the age they are, its tough, once you get a lead, to keep the hammer down on them,” Broken Bow coach Kyle Stringham said. “We had a couple errors in the middle innings, but we were able to turn it around quicker than the Lexington game.”