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Hastings Five Points claims Area 7 Championship, edges North Platte 3-2 in extras

Published: Jul. 20, 2021 at 10:39 PM CDT
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KEARNEY, Neb. (KSNB) - After battling it out for 10 innings in their first meeting during the Area 7 legion baseball tournament, both Hastings and North Platte agreed that seven innings wouldn’t be enough for them in their rematch for the district title.

North Platte survived Kearney Runza Monday night, but would have needed to beat Hastings twice to earn the championship. Hastings, on the other hand, cruised through much of the bracket with the exception of that 10-inning thriller with North Platte, so they only needed to upend their foes from out west one more time to earn the title.

The game stayed scoreless until the 5th inning when Hastings plated two runs in the midst of their first offensive barrage of the game, but North Platte responded in the bottom half of the inning with a solo home run and a hustle-fueled infield single that tied things up at 2.

That’s where things stayed until the top of the 9th inning, when Hastings loaded the bases with only one out. After working into a full count, North Platte’s Cody Wright threw a high and wide ball four to bring in what would turn out to be the game-winning run.

Hastings’ Luke Brooks took the ball in the bottom of the 9th, and after a hard-hit out for the first out of the inning, he sat down the next two batters with strikeouts to claim the Area 7 championship in dramatic fashion.

Blake Marquardt, Hastings Five Points Head Coach

“North Platte has been a battle all year for us, and those guys know how to play baseball and they know how to play it right,” Hastings Five Points coach Blake Marquardt said. “To win a game like this in this moment, it feels really good for the guys.”

Creighton Jacobitz did the heavy lifting early on the mound early on to keep things scoreless, and he says an emotional win like this can mean only good things for the upcoming state tournament.

“I think it’s a big momentum into next weekend’s state,” Jacobitz said. “It’s just big momentum for us. It’ll be super fun, going crazy.”

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