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Senior Nationals win thriller over Alliance

Senior Nationals win thriller over Alliance

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Shown during his windup, Dawson Dunbar gave up just five hits, struck out seven and walked only one during the Senior Nationals’ 3-2 victory over Alliance on July 7. He also had two hits and both the first and the last runs for the winners.  

Chadron’s First National Bank-Omaha Seniors may have lost a nail-biter at Sidney on Tuesday night last week, but they won another over Alliance at home the following night.

Sidney held off the Nationals 5-4 in the first game. The Cheyenne County team scored three runs in the first inning and led all the way, but Chadron scored two runs in the top of the seventh to pull within one run before the game ended on an unusual call.

The game with Alliance turned out much better for the Nationals. They won 3-2 by scoring a run in the last of the seventh.

The star of the game was Dawson Dunbar. He scored both the game’s first and last runs, had two hits and also was the winning pitcher, going the route on the mound. His hitting, pitching and base running made the difference, preventing Alliance from winning its 30th game of the season. The loss was just the Spartans’ seventh.

Dunbar led off the game with a single, went to second on Garrett Reece’s sacrifice bunt and scored on an error. Seth Gaswick gave the hosts a 2-0 lead a bit later when he was hit by a pitch, moved to second on the error, stole third and came home on Cody Hall’s single to left.

Alliance got a run in the bottom of the second when Mario Garza singled to right and went all the way to third on a throwing error following the hit, then scored on an infield out.

With two out in the bottom of the second, Alliance’s Brantz Halouska tripled to center field. Moments later he tried to go home on a pitch that got past Reece, the catcher. However, Reece retrieved the ball soon enough to throw to Dunbar at home for the out.

The score remained 2-1 and Alliance never got another baserunner to second base until the top of the seventh, when Vic Hinojosa walked, was sacrificed to second and scored on Garza’s base hit to right center.

Alliance’s half of the inning ended when a runner, who had reached base on a fielder’s choice and stole second, was also trying the swipe third and Reece nailed him with a throw to Hall.

Dunbar singled while leading off the bottom of the seventh and stole second. He remained aggressive on the bases and scored the winning run when consecutive pitches got past the Alliance catcher.

Both Dunbar and Hall finished with two hits. Dan Wellnitz also singled. Dunbar struck out seven, including the first three batters he faced, and walked just one.

Alliance also had five hits, two of them by Garza. Like Dunbar, the Spartans’ Caeson Clarke pitched all seven innings. He struck out five and walked four.

Chadron scored once in the top of the first at Sidney, but the hosts scored three times while benefiting from an error, drawing two walks and getting a key single from Austin Wolfe. Micah Schneider also drove in a run for Sidney in the second.

The Nationals scored once in the third while Sidney posted its fifth run in the sixth. Chadron scored twice in the top of the seventh. With just one out, the visitors also had a runner on second. He raced to third following a catch in the outfield. Sidney protested that the runner had left second too early, and the umpire agreed, ending the game.

Chadron finished with 11 hits, including two apiece by Seth Gaswick, Cobie Bila, Broc Berry and Hall. Gaswick drove in two runs. Sidney had seven hits, including two by Schneider.

The Seniors will wrap up their regular season schedule by hosting Gordon at 7 p.m. Thursday night.

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