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  • The Hartington Juniors pose with the Creighton Wooden Bat Tournament plaque after defeating O'Neill and Creighton on Saturday to win the tournament. Photo Credit Lori Bengston

Juniors claim Wooden Bat title

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Juniors claim Wooden Bat title

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CREIGHTON - Owen Heimes led the Hartington Juniors to win the Creighton Wooden Bat Tournament on Saturday, with stellar pitching and hitting. Hartington beat O’Neill 20-0 in the first game, and topped Creighton 13-8 in the second game to win the tournament.

Against O’Neill, Heimes pitched a four inning, two hit shutout. He also went 2-4 at the plate, scoring three runs, driving in two runs, stealing one base, and striking out once. In the second game, Heimes went 3-5 at the plate, scoring twice and driving in four runs.

Overall, the Hartington team played with hunger after having games be rained out on Wednesday and Friday. Against O’Neill, the team sent 22 batters to the plate and scored 16 runs. Against Creighton, five of the nine players in the lineup scored at least twice, with Brady Steffen leading the team with three runs.

Even with the offense on full display against O’Neill, Jacob Keiser hit the only extra base hit of the game with a double. Juniors coach Ryan Heimes said the team was looking to just hit for contact since they switched from aluminum bats to wooden bats.

“It’s different,” said Heimes. “It is a whole ‘nother game hitting with wood bats. You just have to go back to the basics, see the ball hit the ball and that is what will get you through the game.”

The plan worked so well that the Juniors may want to stick with the fundamentals when they go back to aluminum bats. Hartington had 13 hits in each of the two games on Saturday, and the boys were able to play with a control on the base paths that hasn’t been seen yet this year.

With the two wins, Hartington gains some momentum as the team prepares for a postseason run. Hartington traveled back to Creighton on Tuesday for a rematch against Creighton. The All-Star game then took place on Wednesday before starting the League Tournament on Thursday.

 

Hartington 4 16 0 0 x x x 20 13 0

O’Neill 0   0 0 0 x x x   0   2 4

Batting

Hartington - Brady Steffen, 1-3, 2 R, 2 RBI, 1 BB; Chase Lammers, 0-2, 3 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K, 2 SB; Jacob Keiser, 3-4, 3 R, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 2B, 1 SB; Mason Schaefer, 2-4, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K, 2 SB; Owen Heimes, 2-4, 3 R, 2 RBI, 1 K, 1 SB; Jaxson Bernecker, 1-3, 1 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 2 K, 1 SB; Luke Reifenrath, 2-2, 2 R, 2 RBI, 1 SB; Charlie Dendinger, 0-1, 1 K; Ted Bengston, 1-2, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB; Skyler Sudbeck, 1-3, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 K.

Pitching

Hartington - W - Owen Heimes, 4.0 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 H, 2 K, 2 BB

Hartington 1 7 1 0 3 1 0 13 13 1

Creighton 1 5 0 0 1 0 1   8   6 5

Batting Hartington - Brady Steffen, 1-4, 3 R, 1 BB, 2 SB, 1 2B; Chase Lammers, 1-4, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SB, 1 2B; Luke Reifenrath, 1-4, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB; Jacob Keiser, 2-2, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 1 SB; Owen Heimes, 3-5, 2 R, 4 RBI, 1 SB; Mason Schaefer, 1-5, 1 RBI, 1 K; Charlie Dendinger, 1-4, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K; Jaxson Bernecker, 3-4, 1 R, 1 BB; Ted Bengston, 0-4, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K.

Pitching Hartington - W - Mason Schaefer, 2.0 IP, 6 R, 6 ER, 2 H, 1 K, 4 BB; Brady Steffen, 4.1 IP, 2 R, 1 Er, 4 H, 4 K, 3 BB; Jacob Keiser, 0.2 IP, 0 R, 0 ER.