Juniors find way to win
Melons beat Ogallala, Aurora to move to 2-13 on the season.
After 12 straight losses to start summer, the Junior Melons finally found a way to put a couple of notches in the win column.
The Juniors moved to 2-13 last week with wins over Ogallala and Aurora and will face Kearney County and Hershland on the road Friday and Saturday during the last week of the regular season.
The Area 6 American Legion Juniors Tournament begins on July 15 in Lexington.
First victory of season
Despite trailing 9-2 heading into the bottom of the fourth inning on June 29, the Junior Melons never lost hope.
In fact, they found themselves batting through the lineup and then some to score nine runs on six hits in the inning.
The Melons took the lead and never looked back for a 14-11 victory, their first of the season.
Chase Ostergard opened the fourth inning with a walk. He advanced to second on a wild pitch and took third on another.
Ostergard scored when Trey Kolbo got on base with a fielder’s choice.
A single from Kolton Barnes pushed Kolbo to third and an error in right field put Justin Larson on base to load the bags.
Brett Mayher singled to left field to score Kolbo and a fielder’s choice to Trent Good brought in Barnes as the bases remained loaded.
A long double right on the third base line earned Caleb Geiger three RBIs as Larson, Mayher and Good all scored.
Geiger flew home on a base hit by Levi Walker which was followed by another single from Ostergard that pushed Walker to third.
Walker scored the eighth run of the inning when Jeff Rodriguez reached on an error at third and a single from Kolbo brought in Ostergard.
The inning ended on a pair of strikeouts after the Melons had accumulated six hits and eight RBIs.
Leading 11-9, Gothenburg kept Ogallala from scoring until the top of the sixth when the orange and black got two runs on one hit and two errors.
Larson pitched a complete game allowing eight hits in the win.
No two in a row
Gothenburg couldn’t keep their batting momentum going two nights in a row as the Melon Juniors lost to Broken Bow 7-3 on June 30.
Broken Bow scored on a single and a double in the first inning and Gothenburg tied in the bottom of the second inning.
The Melon run came from Trey Kolbo who reached on an error at third base.
He advanced when Brett Mayher reached on another Broken Bow error, moved to third on a single from Trent Good and scored on a wild pitch.
Gothenburg didn’t threaten to score again until the sixth inning.
But in the meantime, the Melons allowed six Broken Bow runs in the top of the fourth and Gothenburg couldn’t make up ground.
Mayher gave up 10 hits on the mound with three strikeouts and three walks. He took the loss with Good in relief.
Chase Ostergard led Gothenburg at the plate with two of the team’s seven hits.
A tight finish
The Melons made it a nail-biter Friday night in Aurora but still managed to pull out their second win of the season 4-3.
The Juniors scored one run in the top of the third and another in the fourth to take a 2-0 lead.
Aurora came back in the bottom of the fifth to score a pair of runs on two hits and three errors for the 2-2 tie.
To open the sixth inning, Jeff Rodriguez walked and Kolton Barnes singled to left field.
Right fielder Ian Jefferies popped a base hit just past the Aurora shortstop to advance Rodriguez and Barnes.
Rodriguez risked a little too much and was thrown out going home on a fielder’s choice to Justin Larson.
With bases loaded, Levi Walker walked to score Barnes and Jefferies zipped home on a wild pitch to give Gothenburg a 4-2 advantage.
The inning ended on a pair of strikeouts.
The Melons allowed one run by Aurora in the bottom of the sixth but held the opponent to three up and three down in the seventh for the win.
Left-hander Barnes led the Melons at the plate with two hits and two runs in two at-bats.
Kolbo pitched a complete game allowing seven Aurora hits.