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

By Mike Motz
Sidney Sun-Telegraph 

Sidney 12U Wins State


Mike Motz

Sidney's 12 and Under baseball team won the 2018 Cal Ripken State Tournament hosted in Gordon, NE this past weekend. They move on the the Regionals tournament in North Platte July 18-22 where they will be representing Nebraska and competing with teams from Colorado, North Dakota, Minnesota, Missouri, Kansas, and Iowa. Back Row L-R:  Jay Doty (coach), McGuire Rolls, Luke Holly, Isak Doty, Brayden Kasten, Tanner Gartner, Justin Ernest, Boone Hicks & Scott Heater (coach); Front Row L-R:  Clay Keane (coach), Kolten Wiegand, Chance Houser, Braxton Heater, Jakob Meyer, Alek Doty, Lance Holly & Shae Gartner (coach).

Gordon was the host site for this year's Cal Ripken State Baseball Tournament over the weekend, and the Sidney team took top honors in the 12 and Under division.

The action started Friday when the Sidney team faced the Sandhills team, and exploded for nine runs in the first inning when the Sandhills pitcher walked the bases loaded to start the game.

Sidney's Justin Ernest pitched two innings of shutout baseball, striking out five and walking two in two innings.

Braxton Heater finished up with one inning of relief as the Sidney team overwhelmed the Sandhills team in a mercy-rule shortened contest that ended with a final score of 23-to-0.

Sidney faced Alliance on Saturday, and starting pitcher Alek Doty kept the Sidney team close until the offense was able to figure Alliance's pitcher. Down 3-to-1 in the top of the fourth, Sidney was able to break out of their slump in the bottom of the inning, plating three runs to take a 4-to-1 advantage.

After shutting down Alliance in the top of the fifth, Sidney's bats broke out again and scored eight runs in the bottom of the fifth, opening up a 12-to-3 score that would hold up as the final tally. Sidney's aggressive base running was the key to the victory, constantly putting pressure on the Alliance defense and forcing mistakes that turned into runs for the 12U boys.

On Sunday, Sidney again faced Alliance, but this time it was in the championship game. Justin Ernest was again called on to start for Sidney, and pitched three shutout innings recording 5 strikeouts, while the offense jumped on Alliance early, plating 5 runs in the first inning.

Alek Doty finished the game with 3 solid innings, and the offense kept up the pressure, outscoring Alliance every time they were able to score against Sidney. At the end of play, Sidney won the championship with a final score of 11-to-3.

The Sidney 12U team has been outstanding offensively all year, with solid timely hitting and speed on the base paths combining for big innings and the ability to score quickly.

After the hard work put in by the team this season, they move on to the Regional tournament in North Platte July 18-22 where they will face teams from Colorado, North Dakota, Minnesota, Missouri, Kansas, and Iowa.


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