The North Platte First National Bank Seniors began the Kwik Stop Tournament on Friday with a 12-1 win over McCook and an 11-3 victory over Alliance at Bill Wood Field."We played pretty good," Seniors coach Jason Pflughaupt said. "We had good intensity and our pitchers threw strikes."
North Platte (10-6) breezed through McCook in the first game. They got started in the first inning when Braiden Ruffin hit a one out single into right field to score the first run. Then Austin Orr hit a double down the foul line in left to score another run before it became 3-0 on a sacrifice fly ball to center by Bryson Krull.
McCook pitcher Justin Barenberg kept the First Nationals from expanding the lead in the second inning but North Platte started in on him again in the third. With one out, Krull got another RBI with an infield single. Then another run scored on Dominic Martinez's single to left. Benny Brockmoller then finished the side off with a two-out double to left to make it 6-0.
The Nationals put the game away in the fourth by doubling their lead. In the fifth, McCook scored their only run against pitcher Trev Chase but they couldn't extend the game and it ended early via the run rule.
"That was a pretty good win for us," Pflughaupt said. "Trev threw strikes and we got on top. It was a good all-around performance."
North Platte had more of a battle against Alliance on Friday night. The First Nationals scored a run each in the first two innings and they chased Alliance's starter Trevor DuBray from the game in the second.
But Alliance struck in the third against pitcher Kade Wroot. They got on the board when Cade Pfeiffer singled up the middle. Then it was tied when Keegan Barker sacrificed himself to score a run from third base.
The Nationals answered back in the bottom half of the inning, though. With two outs, Jace Rogers hit a line drive single off of Peyton Pinedo to score two and make it 4-2.
After regaining the lead, the First Nationals had a big inning in the fourth. A triple to left by Orr scored a run and then Orr scored on an infield single by Orr. Brockmoller then got an RBI single to left and then two more runs came across when Kaden Langemeier reached on an error by shortstop Caden Dean to make it 9-2.
Dean came in to pitch in the fifth and he held North Platte scoreless in the inning. But in the sixth, the Nationals scored the two runs they needed to put the run rule into effect.
"(It was) key that we scored in every inning but one," Pflughaupt said. "We didn't score a bunch in any of the innings but we'd always get one or two. It was nice that we came back with two more runs after they tied it and got the lead back."
North Platte will resume play in the Kwik Stop tournament when they play Holdrege on Saturday night.