Grant Schmidt hit a walk-off two-run single in the bottom of the ninth inning on Monday to give Hastings a 9-8 win over the North Platte Seniors on Monday night at Duncan Field in Hastings.First National Bank Seniors coach Jason Pflughaupt said it was a hard luck loss that was well-played by his team.
"We played good enough to win," he said. "I'm proud of the boys and how they competed. But sometimes the ball doesn't bounce your way."
North Platte (12-7) took the first lead of the game in the second inning with Trev Chase's RBI double to left-center.
But in the third inning, Hastings (17-3) went on the offensive. They tied the game when Vinny Schmidt reached on an error by shortstop Braiden Ruffin. Then they took the lead when Trey Asher sacrificed himself by hitting into a fielder's choice to get the run across.
Hastings then expanded their lead. It became 3-1 after a wild pitch by Caden Comer and then 4-1 after Josh Bohlke hit a single into left field.
North Platte got back into it in the next half inning after Vinny Schmidt relieved Grant Schmidt on the mound and the First Nationals pulled to within 4-3 after RBI singles by Peyton Vieyra and Benny Brockmoller.
Then in the fifth inning, the Nationals tied it when Kade Wroot hit one that just evaded the glove of third baseman Mike Boeve and they took the lead at 5-4 on a sacrifice fly ball to center by Austin Orr.
In the sixth, the lead went to two when Kaden Langemeier singled to center. Josh Brooks came in to pitch for Schmidt immediately afterward and then Ruffin hit a single up the middle to make it 7-4.
"We didn't give up," Pflughaupt said. "We capitalized on their errors but mostly, we just kept our intensity up."
Comer held in the bottom of the sixth but in the seventh, Hastings took advantage of his fatigue. They pulled to within 7-5 when Tyson Bonham singled into right. Then the game was tied when a throw by Brockmoller at second base got away from Chase at first trying to get a double play against Brooks.
Comer reached the mandatory pitch limit and he was relieved by Brockmoller, who got the last two outs to keep the game going.
Both teams went scoreless in the eighth inning. Hastings appeared to have the game won in the bottom half of that inning when Bonham was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. But he was denied first base when it was ruled that he leaned into Brockmoller's pitch.
In the ninth, North Platte took the lead again when Jace Rogers hit a two-out single to right and Grant Schmidt's throw to third base was off line, allowing Gabe Vyzourek to come across.
In the bottom half of the inning, Brockmoller struck out the leadoff batter, Dylan Glaser, but that was the last out the First Nationals got and Grant Schmidt won it with his base hit to center with the bases loaded.
"Hastings put the ball in play and they did what they had to do," Pflughaupt said. "I was proud for us not giving up (after they tied the game in the seventh) and that we put ourselves in a position to win in the ninth."