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

By Mike Motz
Sidney Sun-Telegraph 

Sidney Falls From District Tourney


Sidney’s American Legion Post 17 Senior team travelled to Ogallala Friday for the Class B Area 7 Senior Legion Baseball Tournament, and after losing a heartbreaker to the Chadron First Nationals in their first game, the Seniors were shut out by Ogallala and given an early exit from the double-elimination tournament.

Sidney drew Chadron as its first opponent in Friday’s game, and after losing two straight to the First Nationals when they grabbed a first inning lead, the Seniors put up three runs in the first inning hoping to finally beat the First Nationals.

With one out, Sidney’s Kyler Lenzen doubled to center that started a rally for the Seniors, eventually loading the bases and scoring three runs off of passed balls, errors and a fielder’s choice. Sidney starting pitcher Sam Hashman cruised through the bottom of the inning by retiring the Chadron side in order to keep the score at 3-to-0 at the end of the first inning. Sidney’s bats remained hot, starting the second inning with back-to-back singles by Zach Holtz and Lenzen.

Holtz scored on a sacrifice bunt by Dante Peterson. Lenzen was able to score when he took third on an errant pick off throw, then scored on a bad throw by the centerfielder to give Sidney a 5-to-0 lead. Hashman then allowed a harmless single in the bottom of the second, but kept the Chadron squad off of the board and protected Sidney’s five run advantage.

But the next two innings were mirror images of the first two, at least in the results on the score board. After Sidney went down harmlessly in the top of the third, Chadron started off their half of the inning with back-to-back singles, and then two runs scored on a passed ball and a fly out.

The third Chadron run scored on an error on a ground ball by Lenzen, and the First Nationals had narrowed the Sidney lead to 5-to-3. Again in the fourth inning, the Seniors went down harmlessly while Chadron was able to load the bases during the bottom of the frame.

A two out single drove in two runs for the First Nationals, and at the end of four the game was tied 5-to-5.

Lenzen was able to score on a fielder’s choice in the fifth to get the lead back for Sidney, and the Seniors were able to keep Chadron off the board in the bottom of the fifth. Sidney added another run in the sixth when Dante Peterson scored on an error to give Sidney a 7-to-5 lead going into the bottom of the sixth.

But the inning started off badly when the Chadron lead off hitter reached first base on a dropped third strike, followed by a single to give Chadron runners on first and third with no outs.

The next batter tripled to score two runs, and again tie the game at 7-to-7. After hitting the next batter, Lenzen was replaced on the mound with Dante Peterson. Peterson got the first out on a fly to centerfield, but the drive was deep enough to score the runner on third and gave Chadron its first lead of the game.

With the bases loaded and two outs, Peterson hit a batter to force home another run and gave Chadron a 9-to-7 lead at the end of sixth. Sidney’s first two batters in the seventh inning were retired, but Zach Holtz was able to reach first on a dropped third strike to keep the inning alive. Lenzen then singled to centerfield to give Sidney runners on first and third with two outs.

After getting ahead in the count 2-0, Dante Peterson stuck out swinging to end the game with Sidney on the losing end of the score, 9-to-7. Kyler Lenzen went 3-for-5 with two runs scored and an RBI to lead the Sidney offense.

On Saturday, the Seniors had a tough task to tackle if they were to avoid elimination, facing the Ogallala Post 135 Seniors that had dominated Sidney in their four previous meetings this season. On Wednesday July 10, the Sidney team stayed close against Ogallala but a five run fifth inning put the game out of reach for the Sidney Seniors.

This time, Sidney again stayed close through the early innings, trailing only 1-to-0 after the top of the fourth. Dante Peterson started the game for Sidney, and was able to keep Ogallala off of the board through the first three innings, allowing baserunners but escaping serious damage. But after getting the first out to start the bottom of the fourth inning, Peterson hit a batter, walked another, and an error at second base by Grant Campbell loaded the bases with one out. Ogallala’s Jordan Callihan then drove a double that cleared the bases, and Ogallala was up 4-to-0.

Ogallala’s Brennan Halligan started the game on the mound, and was dominant all day scattering three hits in the contest. After scoring another run in the fourth inning, and then adding on three more runs in the fifth inning, the game ended in an 8-to-0 run-rule shortened victory for Ogallala, and Sidney was eliminated from the tournament.

After the tournament, Sidney’s overall record for the season was 14-24-1. Dante Petersen led the pitchers with 23.2 innings pitched, while Jackson Witt lead the team with a .304 batting average in 22 games for Sidney.


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