CRETE -- The Beatrice Neapco Juniors had little trouble getting past York in the B4 Area Championship game Tuesday night.
Beatrice defeated York 15-0, which wrapped up a perfect area tournament for Neapco and propelled them into this weekend's Class B State Tournament in McCook.
Beatrice coach Zack Decker said it was nice to see his team play well from start to finish since they've been making of habit of letting teams get back into games.
"I told the kids we needed to be able to perform under pressure and finish games out," Decker said. "The kids took that next step to be able to perform under pressure. Pitching was good all week and we're starting to hit the ball -- so things are coming together for us."
Tuesday's area championship was never in doubt. Beatrice scored three runs in the first inning and five runs in the second inning and never looked back. They added seven more runs in the fourth inning while Josiah Wallman's pitching kept York's offense in check the entire night. The game was over after five innings due to the run rule.
"These kids earned this championship," Decker said. "They've been up at 6 a.m. every morning working out all summer and they've really bought into what we've been teaching them. It's nice to see these guys come together."
Adam Deboer got Beatrice's offense going in the first inning with a leadoff single and he went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Devin Smith. Caleb Jobman then walked and with two outs, Connor Hamilton was hit by a pitch, which loaded the bases.
Zane Hoffman's two out, two RBI single made it 2-0 and Wallman followed that up with an RBI single to extend the lead to 3-0.
York's first two hitters got on base in the second inning, but a strike out and a double play ended the inning. It's the only time York would threaten to score in the game.
Deboer got things going again in the bottom of the second and Devin Smith reached on a fielder's choice. Jobman's single loaded the bases with nobody out.
Aidan Russell walked, which forced in a run. Hamilton then reached on an error, which allowed two more runs to score, making it 6-0.
Hoffman walked to load the bases again. With one out, Dylan Roeder's RBI single made it 7-0. Max Reis followed that up with an RBI single to make it 8-0.
Beatrice was held scoreless in the third inning, but they would put the game away in the fourth inning.
Wallman led off with a single and advanced to second on a throwing error. Back-to-back RBI singles by Wallman and Max Reis made it 10-0.
Both Deboer and Smith were hit by pitches to load the bases and Jobman walked, forcing in another run. Russell reached on an error, which scored another run and Hamilton followed that up with an RBI single to make it 13-0.
Hoffman's sacrifice fly made it 14-0. Eli Mangnall was then hit by a pitch and Caden Eggert's pinch hit RBI single made it 15-0, which would be the final score.
Wallman pitched all five innings, giving up no runs on three hits while striking out eight and walking one.
Beatrice had 12 hits in the game -- all singles. Deboer, Wallman, Reis and Roeder had two singles each while Jobman, Hamilton, Hoffman and Eggert had one single each.
The Class B State Tournament begins on Saturday in McCook. Beatrice will play in the first game of the tournament at 10 a.m. against Alliance.
Hickman also qualified for state by winning the B1 Area Tournament. They will play Roncalli at 1 p.m. on Saturday. With a win, they would play the winner of Beatrice/Alliance at 4 p.m. on Sunday.
On the other side of the Class B bracket, Broken Bow plays Waverly at 4 p.m. on Saturday while host team McCook plays Central City at 7 p.m. on Saturday.
The Class B State Tournament is double elimination and is scheduled to last through Wednesday.
Decker thinks his team can make some noise at state.
"We've got pitching and we've got kids that can hit the ball, which is what I like," Decker said. "We're also fielding the ball well right now, so we've got a couple of days to rest here and we're going to get right back at it."
Tri County set to host Class C State Tournament
DEWITT -- Tri County will be hosting the Nebraska American Legion Class C Juniors State Tournament, which also starts on Saturday.
Since Tri County is hosting, they automatically qualified for the tournament. They will play at 8 p.m. on Saturday against PWG. With the win, they would play the winner of Shelton-Gibbon and Tekamah-Herman at 8 p.m. on Sunday.
On the other side of the Class C bracket, Syracuse plays Imperial at 11 a.m. on Saturday while Pierce plays Louisville-WW at 2 p.m. on Saturday.
The Class C State Tournament is also scheduled to last through Wednesday.