Posted 8 months ago
By John Axtell
The Alliance Spartans almost pulled off the upset at the Class B, Area 7 Senior Baseball Tournament in Ogallala last night, shutting out top-seeded Sidney 6-0 to force a 2nd championship game for the title, but came up just short…losing 1-0 in a game delayed nearly an hour in the top of the 3rd by lightning.
Alliance forced the if-necessary title game with a 5-hit, 3-strikeout complete game from Jeff Heckman in the opener. The Spartans broke a scoreless tie in the top of the 5th on a bases-loaded 2 RBI single from Jayden Holman, then added 2 more runs in each of the final 2 innings.
That set up a spectacular pitchers’ duel to decide the champion. Sidney’s Tyson Herrera…who struck out 11 in a 3-0 win in the championship semifinals Sunday…came back in the 2nd game with the 5 innings he had left under the maximum innings rule of Legion ball.
Herrera struck out 8 and gave the only hit Alliance would get, a game-opening double by Grant Freeze. Lane Harvey came in after Herrera and threw 2 perfect innings of relief to end the Spartans’ season.
Alliance had a sparkling pitching performan of its own as Holman yielded just 4 hits while striking out 5. Sidney got the only run of the game in the bottom of the 3rd when a rundown between 1st and 2nd allowed Sidney’s lead runner to score.
The win advances Sidney to the Class B senior state tournament, which gets underway on Saturday at Gering’s Oregon Trail Park. Sidney will open against either Seward or Lincoln Lutheran at 4:30 that day while Gering, which qualified as the host, will take on Aurora at 7:30.