HASTINGS – The Americans got going in the third inning during the Cornhusker League All-Star Game.
The Americans scored six runs on four hits during the frame for an early 7-0 lead. That helped them take the all-star game 13-5 Tuesday at Duncan Field.
The first five runners reached base, including a bases-loaded walk. American assistant coach Jake Ritzdorf of Home Federal said that set the tone.
“You have a lot of great players here in mid-Nebraska playing here,” he said. “That was big to help us take control of the contest. We were able to connect on pitches that we can hit.”
But it was also the first inning that helped relax the Americans. And two Home Federal players contributed to that. Carson Cahoy got on base as he hit a double down the third base line. Next came Rans Sanders who said he had one thing on his mind.
“After seeing Carson get on base, I thought it would be awesome if I could drive him in and have two Home Federal players contribute, especially early in the contest,” he said.
Sanders did just that as he hit an RBI single for the game’s opening run.
“That was fun to see two Home Federal help us get going there,” Ritzdorf said. “Carson gets a double then Rans drives him in. To get a run early like that really helps settles them in.”
“Getting that early run helped put a little pressure on them,” he said.
Then in the third inning, North Platte’s Sam Malsbury and Lincoln (Pius) Union Bank teammates Noah Unger and Alex Angele all had singles to get the bases loaded for the Americans. Parker Swanson, another Union Bank product, walked to bring home Malsbury before Gretna’s Brandt Jeary hit a two-RBI double to score Unger and Angele for a 4-0 lead.
Swanson, Jeary and Gretna’s Blake Grimm would all score to make it 7-0 in the third inning.
“They were able to get some key hits in that inning and that how it goes sometimes,” National coach Jeff Hayden of Fremont said.
The Nationals kept battling and kept chipping away at the Americans’ lead.
But the Americans always seemed to have an answer. After the Nationals got to within 9-5 after the seventh inning, the Americans put up three runs on three hits to take control. Lincoln (North Star) Anderson Ford’s Michael Bailey hit a two-RBI single that scored Sanders and Lincoln (East) Carpet Land’s Jack Larson for an 11-5 lead. Anderson Ford’s Aiden Bishop scored the other run.
The Americans added another run in the eighth on Jeary’s RBI single to score Angele.
“They always seemed to make runs on us but we always had an answer,” Sanders said. “We were just on fire.”
Angele was 3 for 3 with an RBI and a double to lead the Americans, while Malsbury was also 3 for 3.
Home Federal’s Ryan Melvin also saw some action for Home Federal. He pitched in relief in the sixth inning. The American pitchers combined to give up seven hits with five strikeouts.
No National player had multiple hits.
Ritzdorf said it was a fun atmosphere.
“We don’t normally see a lot of the Lincoln kids so it was fun to see them play and also nice that a few of them I got to coach,” he said. “But it was fun to be a part of and great to see that the weather cooperated. There were a lot of great players that played here tonight.”
Americans 13, Nationals 5
Americans 106 001 131—13 16 1
Nationals 001 012 100—5 7 2
WP – Malsburg. LP – Vanderford. 2B – A: Angele, Cahoy, Jeary. N: Trumbley.