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Perseverance helps Val win Area 4 Tournament Title

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HEADED TO STATE- The Valparaiso Senior legion baseball team picked up the Class B Area 4 Tournament Title on July 27. In order to win the title they had to beat the York Cornerstone Bank Seniors twice, which they did by a final of 3-0 and then 5-3.

YORK- The Valparaiso seniors showed their perseverance and determination to get to state with three wins in the span of two days to win the Class B Area 4 Tournament at York on July 25-27. They first defeated Central City 8-1 on Monday and then got revenge on York from a loss earlier in the tournament, 3-0 on Tuesday and 5-3 on Wednesday in the championship series.

Leading Valparaiso to a shutout in an elimination game against York was Collin Bouc. He pitched all seven innings in the win, gave up no earned runs, and registered five strikeouts.

The only inning that any runs were put up was the bottom of the second when Valparaiso struck for three runs.

After a flyout and a line out to start the inning, Josh Masek singled to the shortstop and Rylan Stover was walked to give the seniors two baserunners. A single to center by Mike Potter drove in the first run and then two more came across on a single by Conner Kreikemeier to right field.

In the bottom of the seventh, York was able to get one base runner on, but a strikeout and two pop outs didn’t allow him to get home.

Finishing with one hit and two RBIs in the win was Conner Kreikemeier. Potter had two hits and one run batted in.

In the winner take all championship series finale, Valparaiso was able to grab an early lead and never let it go in a two run victory.

The scoring started off with a bang for the seniors with Masek clobbering a two run homer to left field. Another two runs were tacked on in the third when Kyle Peterson doubled to right field scoring Travis Nelson and then he scored on an error to make it a 4-0 game.

After putting up multiple runs in back-to-back innings, Valparaiso got back on the board in the top of the sixth with their final run.

The inning started with Masek getting hit by a pitch, Stover singling to shortstop, and then a walk to load the bases. A hit into a fielder’s choice at third from Nelson scored Masek and extended the senior’s edge out to five.

York didn’t go down easy in the game putting up three runs with two outs in the bottom half of the sixth. With two runners on, Sahling hit a three run shot to left field cutting Valparaiso’s lead down to two runs.

In the seventh inning, York was threatening to score again with two runners on with two outs. The next batter was Dirks who ended up grounding out to Potter at second base ending the game.

Coming up with one hit and two RBIs was Masek, while Peterson and Nelson both had one run batted in and at least one hit.

Nelson pitched five innings as the starter and gave up one earned run. Peterson didn’t register an out in relief but gave up two earned runs and Stover pitched 1.1 innings, gave up no earned runs, and had no strikeouts.

In order to get to the title series against York, Valparaiso had to beat Central City on Monday. Despite getting outhit by the Bison nine to five, the seniors were able to win by seven runs.

After three scoreless innings of play, Valparaiso finally got on the board with three runs in the bottom of the fourth. With the bases juiced, Bouc singled to left field knocking in Nelson and Peterson came in on a hit by a pitch during Trevin Brecka’a at-bat.

Later on with two outs, another free base issued by Central City this time a walk, brought in Potter and made it a 3-0 game.

With the momentum in their favor, Valparaiso was able to come up with a double to center by Nelson, a single by Peterson to the shortstop, and then a hit by pitch of Colby DenHartog that loaded the bases once again. The seniors took advantage with Bouc hitting into a double play scoring Nelson and then Peterson stole home pushing the lead out to 5-0.

A double from Peterson to left in the sixth pushed across two more runs and then he came across to score the final run of the game for Valparaiso later on in the inning.

Peterson finished with two hits and two RBIs in the win. All ending up with one run batted in were Bouc, Brecka, and Potter.

Going all seven innings on the mound was DenHartog who gave up one earned run and had five strikeouts.

With Area Tournament Title, Valparaiso is moving on to the Class B State Tournament this weekend. They played Ogallala in the first round of the tournament on July 30.


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