Melons eliminated from Area 6
One rough inning plagues Seniors into post-season
MINDEN—The Gothenburg Melons had high hopes of turning their dismal summer around during the post-season.
The American Legion Class B Area 6 tournament at Minden gave all seven teams an equal chance to advance.
But that one bad inning that has tormented the Melons all season long didn’t go away at tournament time.
Gothenburg was eliminated from the Area 6 tourney in just two games, getting shut out by McCook in the first round and then falling to Minden in the losers bracket.
The two losses mean the Melons finish the 2012 campaign with a 4-21 record, the worst in at least a decade.
McCook allows one hit
Gothenburg managed only one hit in seven innings against McCook in the opening round of the Area 6 tournament Friday night.
The Melons couldn’t turn it into a run, though, as McCook gained the 14-0 shutout.
Gothenburg only got two batters to base prior to the single by Jeff Rodriguez in the fourth inning, one on an error and one on a dropped third strike.
Neither ran past second.
And even when Rodriguez finally recorded a base hit with two outs in the bottom of the fourth, he was thrown out at second on a fielder’s choice.
The game didn’t really get out of reach for Gothenburg until the top of the seventh inning when McCook turned an 8-0 lead into double digits, scoring six runs on four hits with four RBIs.
Overall, McCook had 16 hits, 14 of which came against Melon pitcher Justin Larson in the first 61/3 innings.
Larson didn’t have a bad game on the mound. He only gave up two walks against 40 batters.
The trouble came more in the form of mishandled balls in the field.
Clint Beguin was the winning pitcher for McCook National Bank. He struck out 14 Melon batters.
Gothenburg bats were on fire in the first two innings of the Melons’ game against Minden in the first round of the Area 6 consolation.
The Seniors had two hits in the first and strung together five hits and five RBIs in the second inning to take a 6-0 lead after two frames.
Levi Walker opened the second inning with a base hit to center field. He advanced to second when Ernie Galvan reached on an error and took third on another error at third base that allowed Jake Matthies to load the bases.
Ben Tiedemann then reached on another ground ball that forced Walker out at home but left the bases loaded.
Then a double to right field by Trent Good lit a fire, scoring both Galvan and Matthies.
Tiedermann came home when Justin Larson reached on an error.
Chase Ostergard added another base runner for the Melons when he knocked a base hit to right field.
Good and Larson brought home runs No. 4 and 5 when Jeff Rodriguez dropped a long single over third base.
Rodriguez turned the base hit into a pair of bags on the overthrow, pushing Ostergard to third.
The final run of the inning came when a base hit by Brandon Wlasiuk drove Ostergard home but both Rodriguez and Wlasiuk were thrown out attempting to advance to end the threat.
Gothenburg added another run in the bottom of the fifth inning and maintained the lead over Minden and until the top of the sixth when a passed ball and an error allowed the First Bank Seniors to take a 7-6 lead.
The Melons couldn’t score again and Minden took advantage of Gothenburg’s frustration, bringing in five runs on three hits in the top of the seventh to win 12-7.
Tiedemann took the loss on the mound, throwing a complete game.
Three Melons had two hits each. Good led the way with a double and a single while Rodriguez and Walker had two singles each.
Minden advanced to beat Shelton/Gibbon in the second round of the consolation bracket on Sunday before falling to McCook 7-3 on Monday.
The championship on Wednesday night will be between No. 3 seed Holdrege and the winner of the consolation final between McCook and Broken Bow.