(Written By Tim Buskirk)
The Chadron FNBO American Legion Juniors finished their season this week with a disappointing 5-3 loss to Alliance on Tuesday evening in the Nebraska Area 7 Tournament championship game. It was a back-and-forth battle with Alliance taking the a one run lead in the first and the Nationals taking it back with two runs in the second. Alliance answered with two runs of their own in the third and took the lead for good with an insurance run in the sixth. Caden Buskirk took the loss on the mound for the Nats, but pitched very well going the full seven innings, giving up just one earned run, striking out six with only one walk. The Nats outhit Alliance 5-4 with Broc Berry, Kobe Bissonette, Trey Hendrickson, Derrick Bissonette, and Brady Daniels all with one and Hendrickson leading the way with two RBIs.
Chadron started the tournament off with a dominating 9-1 win over Gering. Broc Berry pitched a masterful five innings in the run-rule shortened game, striking out eight and allowing just one run on one hit that came in the bottom of the final inning. The Nats tallied 10 hits on the day with Trey Williamson, Kobe Bissonette, Quinn Bailey, and Trey Hendrickson each collecting multiple hits. In their second game, the Nats lost a tough 3-4 battle against Alliance. Kobe Bissonette took the loss for Chadron, but also pitched well going 6 1/3 innings, striking out five and only surrendering two hits.
The loss sent the Nationals into an elimination game against Sidney Monday night. It was a back and forth, high scoring battle that saw Chadron come out on top 9-8. Trey Hendrickson got the win with Bailey and Buskirk coming on in relief on the mound. Trey Williamson led the Nats at the plate going 2-3 with two RBIs. The win set up another matchup with Alliance in the first championship game Tuesday. Broc Berry pitched another great game going 5 2/3 innings giving up just one earned run and striking out another eight Spartans. Berry also led the way at the plate, going 3-4.
The Junior Nationals finished their season with a 13-9 record. The Seniors will start their Area Tournament in Ogallala on July 22. Before that, they will face off against Sidney tonight and Valentine and O’Neil on Saturday. The Preps also have action this week with the Seniors in Sidney tonight and a doubleheader in Rapid City on Saturday.