Chadron’s First National Bank of Omaha Seniors baseball team won three of its four games last weekend while hosting the annual Wood Bat Tournament at Maurice Horse Field.
Coached by Bruce Parish, the Nationals defeated Gordon 16-8 and Martin 13-1 on Saturday, then lost to the Platte Valley Companies of Gering 6-3 Sunday morning before edging Valentine 3-2 in the finale that evening.
The Nats ended the weekend with a 5-6 record. This week, they were to play at Sidney on Tuesday night and at home versus Gering on Wednesday night.
Parish said his team competed well in the tourney and seems to be gaining a championship mentality that should continue the rest of the season.
The coach said pitching is the team’s strength, noting that Cobie Bila, Cody Hall, Jordan Bissonette and Dawson Dunbar all had superb outings during the tourney. He added that Noah Brown and Broc Berry also contributed by, “eating up innings and creating bridges” to the closers. The latter are generally starters with an inning or two of availability remaining.
Offensively, Parish said the Nationals had a good day at the plate Saturday. Hits were harder to come by Sunday against strong pitching. He added that after hitting with wood bats during the tourney, the players should have better success when they swing the aluminum bats.
Parish also said he likes the players’ aggressive base running. He acknowledged they may “run into some outs,” but that’s something he can live with.
The Nationals outhit Gordon 8-4 while also doubling the score (16-8) against the Regulators. Hall had two hits for the winners while six others had one. Bila was credited with an inside-the-park homer, when he never stopped running while the visitors had a problem with throwing and catching the ball. He also pitched the first four innings to earn the win.
Collin Brennan swiped three bases and scored three times.
Martin managed just one hit and one run Saturday evening when Hall and Bissonette shared the pitching duties. Hall and Berry each had two hits for the hosts, who finished with nine. Chadron also stole nine bases.
Platte Valley’s ace, Brady Radzymski, gave up four hits and walked two, but also struck out 12 Nationals. Dunbar got two of Chadron’s hits. The score was knotted at 3-3 until the top of the seventh, when the Gering team tallied three runs.
Both Jack Franklin and Adreick Conn had two hits for the tournament winners.
The Chadron-Valentine game was a tight one. Complete stats were unavailable at deadline, but both teams had some hard hit shots caught by the opposing defenders. Cameron Jordan threw all six innings for Valentine.
Dunbar, Brown and Bissonette shared the Nationals’ pitching duties. Valentine put the potential tying run on base in the top of the seventh, but a bang-bang double play from shortstop Dawson Dunbar to second baseman Berry and on to Hall at first ended the threat.
Wood Bat Tournament Scores
Saturday, June 5
Chadron 16, Gordon 8
Gering 12, Gordon 4
Gering 9, Valentine 0
Valentine 13, Martin 1
Chadron 13, Martin 1
Sunday, June 6
Gering 6, Chadron 3
Gering 16, Martin 1
Gordon 12, Martin 4
Gordon 13, Valentine 6
Chadron 3, Valentine 2