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Pony team is shooting for top tourney seed

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HARTINGTON — The Hartington Pony team has not faced too many setbacks this season.

The local team put together an eightgame win streak, defeating Randolph, 22- 0, and O’Neill, 5-1, before tasting defeat Saturday in a 3-2 setback to Pender.

The Ponies and head coach Don Whitmire now stand at 14-3 overall.

“We had a major win against O’Neill to move to first in our league,” Whitmire said. “The team is playing very well headed into our last league game on Monday vs Neligh/ Elgin.”

That result, if a win, would give the Ponies the No. 1 seed in their league tournament.

“We just need to continue playing the game like we are, and we should have a good chance to win the league,” Whitmire said before that contest. “Right now, we are playing really good baseball, everything is clicking. From top to bottom each kid in our lineup can come up with the big hit and it does not take too many runs as our pitching and defense is very strong.”

Against Randolph, the Ponies belted 21 hits and scored 18 times in the second inning to register the easy win.

Cole Rosener had four RBI while Keaton Arens, Maverick Heine, Brady Hochstein, Ayden Rosener and Jared Rutar all recorded two RBI in the onslaught that featured only one extra-base hit.

Jaymison Cattau earned the win starting and throwing the first two innings, striking out four Randolph batters.

In the O’Neill win, a three-run second inning was enough to hold up for the Ponies who got two hits apiece from Hochstein, Cole Rosener and Heine.

Breiton Whitmire went the full six innings and pitched a two-hitter to earn the 89-pitch win.

Despite Hochstein and Cole Rosener holding the Pender bats in check through four innings, they ultimately succumbed when their rivals scored three times in the top of the fifth to slip away.

Cole Bensen and Quinn Hochstein each drove in a run apiece.

Now it’s time to get ready for the Quad County league tournament that will take place the week of July 5 with the championship game set for July 13 in Neligh.

“We are just working on the small things, like rounding bases on base hits, looking for the extra base after we slide in,” Whitmire said. “One run/base can be the difference between a win and a loss.”

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