American Legion Seniors Down Chadron 5-4
July 14, 2021
Sidney's American Legion Post 17 Seniors had their last home game of the season Tuesday night, July 6, at Legion Field and came away with a victory after holding off a late Chadron rally.
Sam Hashman started the game for Sidney on the mound, and ran into trouble in the first inning when with two outs, Chadron's Eric Vahrenkamp stole third base then stole home on passed balls to give Chadron an early 1-to-0 lead. Sidney struck back in their half of the first inning by stringing together three singles and three walks to jump out to a 3-to-1 lead. Sidney added another run in the bottom of the second inning when Micah Schneider drove in Reid Fiscus on a single to right field.
Chadron got a run back in the third inning when Seth Gaswick singled to right field to drive in a run. The score remained 4-to-2 until the bottom of the sixth inning when Landon Riddle singled, then stole second base and then came around to score on a Paul Houser single to increase the Sidney lead to 5-to-2. Sidney would need the extra cushion because Chadron rallied in the seventh inning, starting with a long double to centerfield by Broc Berry. After a passed ball, Berry scored on an infield hit to trim the lead to 5-to-3. Cobie Bila then connected with a long drive to centerfield that tipped off Paul Houser's glove, scoring another run. Micah Scneider came in on relief, and the hard throwing righty struck out Dawson Dunbar for the first out. Jordan Bissonette then flew out to centerfield, with Bila then tagging up and advancing to third. Bila was able to score on a bad throw, but Sidney appealed and threw the ball back to second base, and the umpires agreed that Bila left the bag too early, and he was called out, erasing the tying run and ending the game in a 5-to-4 Sidney victory. Houser had two RBI's on one hit, and Sam Hashman went 5 and two thirds innings giving up eight hits and one earned run while striking out five batters. Schneider appeared for the first time behind the plate for the Seniors, and had some difficulty with passed balls, but his strong arm helped limit the Chadron base running in the victory.
On July 7, the Seniors traveled to Gordon to face the Sheridan County Regulators, and again took an early lead with a run in the first inning, followed by two runs in the second and another in the third. Sheridan County was finally able to figure out Sidney starter Paul Houser when Aydon MCDonald singled and stole second base, then advanced to third on a ground out. McDonald scored on a passed ball to make the score 4-to-1, and although Houser walked the next two batters, he was able to get the third out on a pop put to limit the damage. Austin Lulf singled and drove in Micah Schneider in the fourth inning to give Sidney a 5-to1 lead, but neither team was able to score after that until Sheridan County rallied in the bottom of the sixth inning, with a double by Jace Freeseman driving home a run to narrow the lead to 5-to-2. Sidney's Blaine Russell walked to start the seventh inning then was driven home by a single by Shane Lilly to give Sidney a 6-to-2 advantage.
Houser struggled to start the bottom of the seventh inning, giving up two singles and a walk, prompting Owen Gillham to come on in relief. Gillham then gave up a walk and a double, scoring four runs for the Regulators and tying the game at 6-to-6. Gillham was replaced by Ty Stettner who struck out the next batter for the first out of the inning, but then surrendered back-to-back walks before inducing an infield fly for the second out. With the bases loaded, Stettner got ahead of Lewis Wilson, but could not get the third strike and walked the batter, bringing home the go ahead run for Sheridan County and ending the game in a 7-to-6 loss for Sidney. Sidney had 16 hits in the game, but could not get the outs they needed in the seventh inning. Houser went six innings giving up 10 hits and five earned runs in the loss. Both Landon Riddle and Austin Lulf had three hits each in the defeat.
The Seniors are next scheduled for District Tournament play in Alliance, July 23-28.