18-Jul-2018 / Steve Stein
The Grand Island Home Federal American Legion Seniors open A6 Area Tournament play Friday against Fremont First State Bank. Home Federal will be seeking its 14th Area Tourney Title in 15 years.
Grand Island (26-13) is the number two seed. Fremont (20-10) is seeded third. The two teams split games during the regular season.
We'll have pre-game at 7:45 Friday Night on AM 1430 KRGI/105.5 FM.
18-Jul-2018 / Steve Stein
The NCA awards banquet is coming up Sunday. The NCA All-Star basketball games are Monday, Volleyball is set for Tuesday. All-Star Softball will be Wednesday (7/25) in Lincoln. Executive Director Darin Boysen discusses the events.
18-Jul-2018 / Steve Stein
16-Jul-2018 / Steve Stein
12-Jul-2018 / Steve Stein
12-Jul-2018 / Steve Stein
09-Jul-2018 / Steve Stein
Grand Island will settle for the number two seed at the upcoming A6 Area tourney. Gretna swept Grand Island 4-3 and 6-0 on Friday at Rider Park. Home Federal managed only four hits in the twin bill.
Listen for Home Federal baseball from the A6 tourney on AM 1430 KRGI and 105.5 FM.
HF Assistant Phoenix Stevenson
09-Jul-2018 / Steve Stein
29-Jun-2018 / Ap/Eric Olson
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Arkansas missed a chance to win the College World Series when a foul pop dropped between three infielders. Oregon State made the Razorbacks pay for it behind one of the best pitching performances in a title game.
Freshman Kevin Abel threw a two-hitter for his record fourth victory in the CWS, and Oregon State — a night after escaping on the ninth-inning, two-out foul ball fiasco, beat Arkansas 5-0 on Thursday night for its third title.
Abel was the fourth pitcher in the CWS' 71-year history to throw a shutout in a title game, and the first to do it allowing so few hits.
"Kept making pitches, kept getting outs," Abel said. "I felt better as the game went on and just rode it out. I was going to give it everything I had. I really appreciate they let me go out there. It was a lot of fun."
He retired the last 20 batters, catching Luke Bonfield looking at strike three on a 3-2 pitch to end it.
Oregon State (55-12-1) capped a two-year run in which it won 111 of 130 games.
"As soon as the last play was made, I just got goose bumps," Trevor Larnach said. "Came in and ran probably jumped the highest I've ever jumped. But that was a jump of joy. Last year left a salty taste in our mouth, and every single person on the team probably remembers that. Ever since then, we were out to finish the job. We sure did finish."
On Wednesday, Arkansas failed to catch a two-out pop foul in the ninth inning that would have secured its first national title. The Beavers, down to their last strike, rallied to force the winner-take-all Game 3.
"There was probably still that 'What if?' and disappointment. It's human nature," Razorbacks coach Dave Van Horn said about the emotional hangover. "We had a good hitters' meeting, we let them sleep in, pregame was good. Seemed like they were locked in. But we never got that hit. We never got anything going. Who's to say? I don't think we'll ever know. If Abel hadn't thrown so well, maybe it's a little different story, but he didn't give us a chance."
Oregon State, which came from behind for three of its six CWS wins, was in control all the way in the winner-take-all Game 3. Arkansas (48-21) was shut out for the first time in 100 games.
Abel (8-1) ran into trouble in the third when Arkansas loaded the bases with one out. He struck out Heston Kjerstad and got Bonfield to fly out to end the inning, and the Razorbacks had no base runners the rest of the night. Abel struck out 10 and walked two in a 129-pitch outing.
Adley Rutschman, who set a CWS record with 17 hits, went 3 for 4 and drove in two runs. He was 17 for 30 (.567) with 13 RBIs in eight games and was named the CWS Most Outstanding Player. Rutschman singled his first three times at bat and drove in a run in the first against Isaiah Campbell (5-7) and another in the third for a 3-0 lead.
Abel had been used as a starter and reliever this season, and his versatility and durability were important for the depleted pitching staff.
"My goodness, that man. Unbelievable," said Rutschman, the Beavers' catcher. "Just the progression he made. No one would have thought that he'd do that coming in. He was getting pulled from starts. He comes out and throws a complete game in the most important game of the year. Pretty special to me. He's going to do big things."
Abel pitched an inning of relief to earn the win Wednesday. That was four days after he started and allowed three hits and a run in seven innings against Mississippi State. On June 18 he pitched four innings of one-hit, one-run relief against Washington.
Abel mixed a low-90s fastball with a changeup and picked his spots with his curveball. The only hits he allowed were Grant Koch's double down the left-field line and Casey Martin's swinging bunt, both in the third inning.
"You couldn't predict what he was going to do," Carson Shaddy said. "He had command of all three pitches. He pitched lights out. He was just on."
The Beavers, also the winners in 2006 and 2007, were by far the most dominant team in the nation through the 2017 regular season and brought a 54-4 record to Omaha. But after winning their first two games here, they made a stunningly meek exit with two straight losses to LSU.
They brought back almost everybody in the everyday lineup along with ace Luke Heimlich.
Oregon State was the No. 3 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament and swept its regional and super regional to return to the CWS. In Omaha, the Beavers took a circuitous route to the championship. They lost their opening game and came from behind in two of the four elimination games they had to win to reach the finals.
"Having the season we had last year was phenomenal, but to come up short, there's that missing piece at the end that you can never get back and you don't know if you're ever going to make it back to Omaha.
"To be able to come through the losers' bracket, play eight games, and having everyone step up at the right time when we needed them to, it just makes everything so much better."
28-Jun-2018 / Ap/Eric Olson
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Oregon State hadn't been able to catch a break in the College World Series finals. And then the ninth inning happened Wednesday night.
Three Arkansas fielders watched a foul ball drop between them with two outs. If one of them catches the ball, the Razorbacks would have locked up the national championship.
No one did.
Cadyn Grenier singled in the tying run, and Trevor Larnach followed with a two-run homer into the right-field bullpen to give the Beavers the lead in a 5-3 win that forced a third and deciding third game on Thursday night.
"As soon as you see the ball drop, you know you have another life," Grenier said. "I needed to refocus and make the most of that extra life we got. That's a gift."
Arkansas (48-20) turned back the Beavers (54-12-1) when they threatened in the sixth and eighth innings, and they were in position to do the same in the ninth if not for the bungled foul ball.
Zach Clayton, who pinch ran for Zak Taylor after a walk leading off the ninth, was on third when Grenier came up to bat with the entire stadium on its feet.
On a 1-1 pitch from Matt Cronin (2-2), Grenier popped the ball high behind first base and toward the stands. There was plenty of room to make the catch, and second baseman Carson Shaddy, first baseman Jared Gates and right fielder Eric Cole converged. No one took charge and the ball hit the ground.
"I was running and didn't hear anybody call it, and I overran it," Shaddy said.
While the ball was in the air, Grenier said, he hoped it would flare off into the stands.
"I knew I hit it decently deep so it wasn't going to be a routine pop foul catch," he said. "It wasn't. It landed in a spot between three guys, and it worked to our advantage."
Cronin took a moment to compose himself, wiping his brow and adjusting his hat. His next pitch was way high and, after a foul ball, Grenier sent a drive into left field to score Clayton. Grenier pumped his fist as he ran to first and punched the air twice more when he rounded the base.
Larnach's 19th homer of the season ramped up the celebration in the Beavers' dugout. Kevin Abel (7-1), who pitched the eighth, gave way to closer Jake Mulholland in the ninth. The game ended when Mulholland fielded Casey Martin's comebacker and threw to second to start a double play.
"You've got to move on," said Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn, whose team had been 44-0 when leading after eight innings. "You can't take it back. It's over. Get your head up and start getting your mind right because it's going to be tomorrow before you know it and we need to come out here and give ourselves a chance."
The Beavers have been the hottest hitting team throughout the CWS but struggled to convert chances in the finals until they caught their huge break in the ninth inning.
They had runners on first and third with none out in the sixth when Kyle Nobach popped up a bunt that pitcher Kole Ramage caught. Ramage then threw back to third to double off Grenier, and a groundout ended the inning.
Adley Rutschman, who homered in the fourth, singled leading off the Oregon State eighth and was on third after a passed ball. Cronin came on, struck out Tyler Malone and got pinch hitter Steven Kwan to fly out.
"We were looking for something good to happen, and needed something good to happen" OSU coach Pat Casey said. "Our guys never gave in. So I think that that's what created that opportunity for us to have something good happen."
Arkansas will send Isaiah Campbell to the mound for Game 3. Casey did not name his starter. The Oregon State said his pitching staff is spent and that whoever starts probably won't go more than five innings.
Campbell (5-6) was outstanding against Florida on Friday, matching his career high with eight strikeouts.
Oregon State's bullpen has worked 37 innings over seven games and allowed just seven earned runs. Relievers have combined for 38 strikeouts and 14 walks.
"They've kept us in the game," said catcher Rutschman. "We've had to use a lot of pitching. We've played a lot of games here. They are playing a huge part in our success. Hopefully we can keep that up for one more game."
Grenier finished 3 for 5 with two RBIs. Before driving in the tying run in the ninth, he gave the Beavers a 2-1 lead in the fifth when he put down a perfect suicide-squeeze bunt on the third-base line with bases loaded to score Taylor.
"Yeah, that was my call, and it felt great," Grenier said. "It worked perfectly. All I can say about that is learn to bunt, kids. It's important."
Game 3 on Thursday night.