Baseball continues strong showing at state tournament, aims for second consecutive title

Westside+center+fielder+senior+Devin+Stueck+preparing+to+swing+at+a+pitch+during+Westsides+state+tournament+game+against+Papillion-La+Vista+South+Monday%2C+May+19.+Stueck+bats+second+in+the+Westside+lineup.+Photo+by+Kellie+Wasikowski

Westside center fielder senior Devin Stueck preparing to swing at a pitch during Westside’s state tournament game against Papillion-La Vista South Monday, May 19. Stueck bats second in the Westside lineup. Photo by Kellie Wasikowski

Kellie Wasikowski, News Writer

The varsity boys baseball team has had a strong season, finishing 30-3, which set them up for success at the state tournament as the No. 1 seed.

After a 7-5 win over Millard North Saturday, May 17 at Sherman Field in Lincoln, the Warriors took on Papillion-La Vista South at Haymarket Park, home to the Nebraska Cornhuskers baseball team, Monday, May 19.

The Warriors, who were the home team, got off to a strong start with junior Matt Waldron pitching the entire game. In the first inning, senior Devin Stueck made it to third base on a bunt and a simultaneous overthrow at first base, and he was brought in by a sacrifice fly by senior Drew Fitzmorris for the first run.

After a short top of the second inning, the Warriors had another strong at-bat. Junior Will Patterson hit a ball to deep left field, putting him on third base, which brought in a pinch-runner, senior Luke Biggs, for the second run of the game. A sacrifice fly by Mike Waldron brought in Patterson for the run, putting the Warriors up 3-0 over Papillion-La Vista South.

In the fourth inning, Papillion-La Vista South put in a new pitcher, Jacob Buress, as the Warriors entered the top of the lineup with senior Jake Meyers up to bat and two on base. Meyers walked, and Stueck hit a ground ball to bring in Patterson for the run, putting the Warriors up 4-0 after the fourth inning.

Matt Waldron, who was 4-1 on the mound prior to Monday’s game, pitched a no-hitter all the way up until the seventh inning, when a ground ball to right field put Papillion-La Vista South’s Grant Horton on first base. They then advanced Horton home as a grounder to third was fielded to first, allowing him to get the run, putting them on the scoreboard 4-1. But this was too late, as there were already two outs in the final inning, and Mike Waldron fielded a ground ball to Meyers at first for the final out of the game.

The Warriors’ 4-1 win over Papillion La-Vista South brings them closer to their second consecutive state title. The other winner’s bracket game played Monday was between second seeded Millard West and sixth seeded Grand Island. After a slow game with runs only scored in the seventh inning, Grand Island defeated Millard West 2-1 to advance. Westside will play Grand Island Tuesday, May 20 at 7 p.m. at Haymarket Park.