ELKHORN—The First State Bank Post 20 Reserve squad never quite found their offensive groove in the American Legion Reserves state tournament championship game Wednesday, falling 8-1 to Bellevue West.
“(Bellevue West) came out swinging and they had a really good guy on the mound,” First State Bank Reserves coach Dylan Kucera said. “We were swinging it well, but just couldn’t find any holes. That’s baseball.”
Bellevue West staked out a 5-0 lead within the first three innings of action.
First State Bank starter Charlie Richmond limited the damage to two runs in the first after Bellevue West loaded the bases.
Two errors by Post 20 in the second inning allowed a single up the middle to cash in two more runs followed by another Bellevue West run in the top of the third.
Richmond, who went six innings for FSB, put up his lone zero on the day in the fourth.
“He may be short and little, but that kid has so much fight in him,” Kucera said.
First State Bank tallied their lone run of the game in the home half of the inning.
Nate Jones got the rally started with a double, then came in to score on a hard ground ball up the middle by Landon Lamson, which ate up the Bellevue West defense.
Bellevue West got the run back in the fifth then finished their scoring off in the sixth with two more runs.
Liam Schmidt kept Bellevue West off the board in the top of the seventh, but First State Bank was unable to chip away any of the deficit.
The FSB Reserves finish the year 21-5.
“It was a great season, super proud of these guys,” Kucera said. “They battled through everything, came to play every single practice, they were there to get better and learn and they did pretty much everything we asked of them. As coaches, you can’t ask for much more than that.”
To reach the state championship game, First State Bank rolled through the West Division of the Reserve state tournament.
Post 20, which entered the tournament as the top seed in the West, started the tournament with an 8-3 win over Omaha Central.
Fremont broke a 3-3 tie in the fifth inning with five runs to secure the win. Logan Eggen provided three RBI while Aiden Wesemann went 2-for-3 with two RBI.
Schmidt went all seven innings, scattering 11 hits while striking out three.
First State Bank then beat Lincoln East on back-to-back nights to secure the West division crown.
In the first game of the series, Post 20 put up nine runs in the first two innings on their way to a 10-4 win.
Lamson anchored the offensive performance with a 3-for-4 night, driving in three runs and scoring twice himself.
All three of his hits went for extra bases with two doubles and a triple.
Jones picked up the win, going five innings while allowing five hits, walking six and striking out four.
Richmond covered the final two frames with two strikeouts.
Offense was limited in the rematch Tuesday night with First State Bank holding off Lincoln East 3-2.
All three Fremont runs came in the bottom of the second, erasing an early 1-0 lead for Lincoln East.
Tyler Hawley brought in the first run with a bases loaded sacrifice fly.
Aggressive base running cashed in the next two runs with M Hartung and Wesemann both scoring on wild pitches.
Lincoln East got a run back in the top of the sixth, but Eggen shut the door in the seventh, finishing off a complete game effort.
Eggen scattered 10 hits while only allowing two runs and striking out four.