SYRACUSE — Hartington got off to a great start Saturday in the Class C Senior American Legion State baseball tournament. Coach Don Whitmire’s squad earned a 7-2 win over Stromsburg-Osceola-Shelby to advance to second round action. Hartington played Small Ball to plate a pair of runners in the first frame and take control early. Lead off batter Brady Steffen beat out an infield single to get things started in the first frame. He then took away any doubleplay by stealing second. Chase Lammers’ single moved Steffen to third base. Quick thinking and fast feet allowed Steffen to steal home when Seth Wiebelhaus headed to first base after a passed ball on his third strike. Dain Whitmire’s double to left field then brought Wiebelhaus around to score, giving Hartington the early 2-0 lead. “It was really big for us to get those runs on the board right away,” Whitmire said. “It really helped us settle in and get some confidence.” Hartington’s offense wasn’t the only thing working well in the opener. Turner Korth’s pitching and the Hartington defense were also spot on. Korth pitched five-and-one-third innings, giving up just three hits and one walk, while striking out four. After the pair of runs in the first, Hartington added a couple more in the fourth. Ted Bengston slapped a single to open the frame, then Austin Arens connected on a double to push Bengston to third.
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