Putting on one of the major tournaments of the summer baseball season hasn’t prevented coach Scott Hodges from fielding a competitive team.
Hodges has led his T. Hurt Construction Black (Omaha Burke) American Legion senior squad to 17 wins despite the fact Hodges has been very busy organizing the Battle of Omaha tournament, which had 48 high school teams and more than 200 younger teams.
“Twelve straight tournament days is a grind,” he said. “But that’s what the summer season is all about.”
Hodges’ squad reached the quarterfinals of the Battle of Omaha before falling to a team from Arkansas. It was one of four extra-inning setbacks T. Hurt Construction has suffered during the Legion season.
“Half of our losses have come in extra innings,” he said. “We’d really be putting together a solid summer if we could have finished those games off.”
Hodges’ squad has found success despite losing three players from Burke’s state tournament team in the spring. Top hitters have been Adam Caniglia (.477), Zach Pullen (.440) and Dylan Yost (.421).
Another player who stepped up during the Battle of Omaha was Jack Dresslar, who hit a home run in four consecutive victories. He had a three-run shot in the first game, a two-run homer in the second, a solo shot in the third and a grand slam in the fourth.
Dresslar, the team’s shortstop, batted .292 in the spring.
The Battle of Omaha semifinals and final were postponed Monday by rain. The only Nebraska team to reach the semifinals was Union Bank (Lincoln Pius X).
Peterson tournament lures 23 teams
The annual Mike Peterson tournament will consist of 23 teams and will run four days, from July 4 to 7.
The teams that reached the final last year — Kearney Runza and Associated Fire Protection (Papillion-La Vista South) — are among the ones entered. Kearney is the defending champion, winning last year’s final 2-1.
Among the other teams will be DiGiorgio’s (Omaha Gross), Papillion Pinnacle Bank (Papillion-La Vista), Lincoln Pinnacle Bank (Lincoln Southwest), Union Bank (Pius), the 52s Patriots (Millard South) and spring Class B champion Norris.
The tourney will be played at three Lincoln sites — Den Hartog, Densmore and Sherman. The championship is scheduled for 5 p.m. July 7 at Sherman.
Getting it done on the diamond
Some recent top performances:
Micah Schwanke, Post 1 Pride: He went 9 for 12 (.750) in four CWS/Decker tournament games against teams from North Dakota, Oklahoma, Wyoming and Colorado.
Ben Peters, DiGiorgio’s: He picked up his third save of the summer in a win over Omaha Benson Post 112.
Jake Meyers, KB Building Services: He had four RBIs and struck out nine in a win over Associated Fire Protection.
Conner Phillips, Omaha North Vikings: He struck out 11 in a win over Millard Sox Gold.
Jake Allen, PI Midwest: He had a grand slam in a win over Medicine Man Pharmacy.
Jared Novotny, Platte Valley: He struck out 12 in relief in a 4-3 victory over Louisville.
Stephen Zagurski, Omaha Bryan Bears Post 339: He struck out 13 in a win over a team from Missouri in the Battle of Omaha.
Catching up with the RCC
The River Cities all-conference baseball team was not listed in The World-Herald at the conclusion of the spring season, so here it is.
The first team includes three players from Omaha Skutt and two each from Omaha Roncalli, Omaha Gross and South Sioux City. The other first-teamers are from Ralston and Beatrice.
First team — Skutt: Austin Evans, Jacob Barton, Aaron Warneke. Roncalli: Adam Fleming, Jake Tyrakoski. Gross: Zach Knicky, Cragin Missak. South Sioux City: Scott Manley, Jacke Schmiedt. Beatrice: Colton Adams. Ralston: James Janousek.
Honorable mention — Beatrice: Zach Decker, Bryce Trisler, Travis Ahrens, Rylee Zimmerman. Gross: Ben Peters, Kevin Handzlik, Kyle Kuncl. Ralston: Spencer Lavicky, Andy Chleborad. Roncalli: Alex Bohm, Jared Sorenson, Conner Berg, Tyler Crawford. Skutt: Beau Litz, Spencer Meduna, Mickey Bassett.