The Five Points Bank juniors closed the Grand Island/Hastings tournament on a high note Sunday.
Five Points finished 2-2 in the two-day event by defeating Beatrice 9-1 in five innings. That came after the team suffered a 5-3 morning loss to Millard South.
“It’s always good to go 2-2 as opposed to 1-3,” Five Points coach Josh Redman said. “I thought our guys all weekend competed. There wasn’t that one game that got out of hand like it had in the past. I think that goes back to — I don’t know if resilience is the right word, but there’s some growth there as a team.”
Five Points (18-13) went from holding a 2-1 lead over Beatrice entering the fourth inning to ending the game early via the 8-run mercy rule.
Tyler Fay had an RBI single and Jaden Jurgensmier doubled home two more runs to give Five Points a 5-1 lead in the bottom of the fourth.
Four runs aided by two errors, two hit batters and two wild pitches ended the contest early in the fifth.
“Our plate approach in that game wasn’t the best, but I thought overall we were working in that plus territory (in counts) all week,” Redman said. “That helps us out tremendously.”
Jacob Nesvara pitched the compete-game win. He allowed four hits with six strikeouts and one walk. That followed up a strong performance by Tycen Nelson, who only allowed one earned run in the loss to Millard South.
“We saw a good pitching performance from Nesvara today,” Redman said. “Nelson this morning was on against Millard South.
“Being in those close games, being able as pitchers to have confidence in (your own team’s) hitters, that does wonders. I think you saw the best of both worlds there.”
The day ended much better than it started for Five Points. Millard South took advantage of three errors to go up 3-0 in the top of the first inning.
“We have those innings,” Redman said. “Those things are going to happen. We can’t let that dictate the rest of the game, especially when it’s in the first inning.
“We didn’t. We stayed in that game the rest of the way. We didn’t have enough timely hitting. We had bases loaded and nobody out and didn’t score a run. We had bases loaded with one out and didn’t score a run.”
Sam Hartman’s 3-run home run provided Five Points with all of its runs.
“I told the guys right before that inning that we needed somebody to step up and keep us in this game,” Redman said. “It was 5-0 and you’re battling and battling to keep it at 5-0. Someone’s got to do something.
“Sam stepped up, and Sam got his pitch and hit the ball pretty well.”
The schedule lightens up for Five Poitns before the area tournament begins on July 19 in South Sioux City. The team is off until Saturday and only has a possible make-up game against Hastings next week.
“We’re going to get some much-needed practice time,” Redman said. “We’ll have four practices this week and then come back next week and fine-tune some things and hit the ground running for districts.”
Beatrice 001 00—1 4 5
Five Points (18-13) 011 34—9 6 2
WP—Nesvara. LP—Humphrey. 3B—FP, Hinken.