The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

By Stephen McKay
Sports Writer 

Sidney seniors drop battle with Hershland

Sidney juniors post 7-1 victory

 

Stephen McKay

Sidney Legion team's Jake Heeren tags out a Hershland baserunner at third base during Wednesday night's game at Legion Park.

The Sidney American Legion baseball teams finally held their home opener at Legion Park Wednesday night after twice being postponed by rain last weekend.

The juniors (2-0) opened the doubleheader with a 7-1 win over Hershland while the seniors (1-1) lost a tight contest 6-5.

Jake Heeren, who pitched the final three innings in relief of starter Keaton Wakefield in the nightcap, was the hard-luck loser for the seniors. Heeren struck out the first five batters he faced and fanned six overall. Hershey, however, scratched out a run in the visitors' seventh to earn the victory.

"(Heeren) was on tonight and they had a hard time catching up to him," said seniors' skipper Tim Herrera. "When they did catch up to him, they had a couple of bleeder singles and that was it.

"We had a few plays we should have made, but that happens especially this early in the season and with such a young team," Herrera added.

Hershey took a 4-0 lead after the first inning and added another in the second off Wakefield to take a 5-0 lead. Wakefield, a southpaw, surrendered five hits over the first two innings, but did not allow a hit over his final two. Catcher Arik Doty helped the Sidney cause by gunning down a pair of would-be base stealers in the contest.

"We had the same problem last night (Tuesday), too," Herrera said. "The kids are over anxious right now. When they are, they tend to overthrow. After the first inning, they slow down and relax a little, their motion is better and they just pitch better."

Down 5-0 as it entered the bottom of the third inning, Sidney began a comeback. Mitch Rolls led off the frame with a walk, Doty then reached on an error in center field and Lane Harvey reached after being struck in the head by a pitch to load the bases. Heeren drove home the first two runs with a sharply struck single. He ended up on second base after the throw.

"It's just the second game of the year and I haven't played much baseball the past two months," said Heeren, who last week was part of the Sidney Red Raiders' state championship track team. "I thought I would be a little rusty after devoting a lot of my time lately to track, but I was definitely impressed with how I did with so much time away."

Later in the third, Wakefield singled, while Kyle Burton and Brett Jaggers both drew walks. Sidney scored two runs on wild pitches and had two runners thrown out attempting to steal. Sidney also threatened in the fourth, but the inning ended when Harvey's hard line drive to right was snared with runners in scoring position.

"It's really early in the season right now so there's plenty of time to fix a lot of the little things," Harvey said. "This is a young team and I think we'll be pretty strong before too long."

Harvey will play his last game for Sidney on Friday afternoon. He will pitch in the Gering Seniors Tournament against Alliance before heading to Colorado where he will play until the first part of July. He will be back in a Post 17 uniform by "Senior Night" on July 7, and play through the postseason.

Sidney picked up the tying run in the sixth inning. Rolls again opened up with a walk after which Heeren and Burton also received free passes. Harvey added a single in the inning. Rolls eventually scored on a wild pitch.

In the juniors' game, Sidney jumped out to a 2-0 lead after the first inning and never looked back. Logan Sircy led off the home first with a single and Connor Langrell reached on an error. Sircy and Langrell scored on a double by Zack Means.

Wakefield and Means scored another pair in the fourth after each singled to open the inning. The juniors scored single runs in each of the final three innings. Sircy started the game on the hill and picked up the win after surrendering just one run over four innings. Jackson Witt pitched an inning of scoreless relief and Rolls hurled the final two innings. Rolls did not give up a hit or a run.

The juniors are back in action this Saturday when they host Ogallala in a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. at Legion Field.

The Sidney seniors will open the Gering tournament against Alliance at 1 p.m. on Friday. They will follow with a game against Buckley (Chappell) at 4 p.m. The tournament will continue on Sunday.

BOXSCORES

Juniors

Sidney 7, Hershland 1

Hershland 000 100 0 – 1 3 0

Sidney 200 211 1 – 7 6 1

Stephen McKay

Sidney second baseman Zach Holtz prepares for a throw during a steal attempt Wednesday.

Brady Roberts, Jeremy Battreal (5) and Floyd Bennett. Logan Sircy, Jackson Witt (5), Mitch Rolls (6) and Garrett Langrell.

2B – Zack Means (S).

Seniors

Hershland 6, Sidney 5

Hershland 410 000 1 – 6 8 3

Sidney 004 001 0 – 5 5 1

Justin Weir, Landon Massen (3) and Landon Massen and Justin Weir (3). Keaton Wakefield, Jake Heeren (5) and Arik Doty.

No extra-base hits.

 

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