First Round: Wilber 8 Albion 3
It had been over a month, since June 15 to be exact since the last time Wilber Post 101 Seniors’ Dillon Rieschick saw a ball go over the outfield fence with a swing of his bat.
That quickly changed on Saturday during Wilber’s first round matchup at the Class C Senior Legion State Tournament against host, Albion. In the top of the first inning, Tanner Sand slapped a leadoff single to left field and Cooper Bates ensued with a walk.
That set up Rieschick’s three-run home run with a 1-2 count to give Wilber a commanding 3-0 lead to start the contest. Timely hitting was the theme the rest of the contest as Wilber drove in four of their five remaining runs via two sac fly’s and two singles.
Rieschick ended the game with a team best four RBis and the 2017 Wilber-Clatonia graduate ended the game with a 2-for-4 day at the plate. Sand tied him for a team-best two hits in the contest.
Josh Kalkwarf had an efficient start on the mound for the Wilber and the soon-to-be kicker on the University of Nebraska at Kearney football team struck out four while allowing four hits, one run, and no walks in three innings before his day was done.
Sand took over pitching duties to start the fourth frame and finished the contest nearly flawless, striking out five alongside throwing 75 percent of his pitches as strikes. He had no earned runs on his stat sheet to end the game and allowed only two hits in 60 pitches.
Albion closed the gap to 3-1 in the bottom of the second frame on a Carter Henry single.
Wilber responded in the top of the third with one run and added three more in the fourth frame. The Post 101 Seniors scored their final run in the top of the seventh.
Cooper Bates, Grant Boysen, and Tad Moldenhauer each had one hit in the game for Wilber.
Second Round: Pender 7 Wilber 6
All looked well for Wilber heading into the bottom of the seventh and final inning with a 6-3 lead. The Post 101 Seniors never surrender a lead to Pender in the contest despite being outhit 13-5.
Then with two outs in the bottom of the seventh Pender began their implausible comeback with a fielders choice that put Pender’s leadoff hitter Aaron Ras on first base. Hunter Ferguson followed with a single and Wilber pitcher Preston Lee walked Brady Oliver to load the bases.
Pender scored their first two runs of the inning on an error to bring the tally to 6-5. William Gatzemeyer ended the game in walk-off fashion with a double to centerfield that drove in two runs.
Preston Lee recorded two outs on the mound for Wilber before getting pulled in the final inning. Tyler Hooper faced the final two batters in the bottom of the seventh inning. He 11 pitches and recorded no outs.
Cooper Bates threw 2 2/3 innings to start the game for Wilber, allowing six hits, two walks, and striking out two. E.J. Filipi took over pitching duties in the third inning with two outs and threw 43 pitches in 2 1/3 innings before his day was over after the fifth inning. His final stat line was two hits, two walks, one run, and two strikeouts.
Tad Moldenhauer led Wilber with two hits. Tanner Sand, Dillon Rieschick, and Coltin Rezabek each had one hit apiece.
Pender’s Jacob Zuhlke scratched out a game-high three hits and was one of four players to get multiple hits for his team.