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Bellevue West avoids early state tourney exit with big win

Bellevue West avoids early state tourney exit with big win

The varsity legion baseball squad for Bellevue West only suffered two losses all year, but after dropping their first-round matchup in the state tournament against Gretna on Saturday, they had to beat Omaha Westside on Sunday to keep their postseason alive.

The Thunderbirds were quickly overwhelmed in game one against the Dragons, something that Bellevue West is not accustomed to. Gretna’s massive six-run second inning gave the Dragons a 7-0 lead before Bellevue West would score their only run of the game in the top of the third.

The game ended 11-1 after five innings as Gretna advanced to the winner’s bracket and Bellevue West to the elimination bracket on Sunday. Cam Madsen, Jack Bland and Jackson Allred combined for the T-Birds four hits against Gretna.

With their backs against the wall, the DC Electric-sponsored Thunderbirds had to face the tournament-hosting Omaha Westside Warriors Sunday afternoon.

Bellevue West quickly got out of their slump from game one with a five-run second inning. Runs came in bunches as the T-Birds tacked on four more in the top of the sixth for a late 9-0 lead.

However, on their home diamond with three outs left before elimination, Westside began to string together a comeback, but fell just short as Bellevue West escaped with a 9-7 win. Dane Toman pitched the majority of the game for DC as he finished with 6.1 innings pitched and seven strikeouts alongside five earned runs, Tanner Kephart came in for the two-out save.

Bellevue West’s 14-hit frenzy against Westside was led by Carson Wright who had three hits and one RBI with a walk. Bland, Connor Schneider, Gage Allen and Tyler VanDerwerken all had two hits on the day.

With the win against Westside, the Thunderbirds advanced in the elimination bracket of the 2021 Nebraska American Legion Class A American Division Playoffs. Bellevue West’s next contest was slated for Monday. Bellevue West would need to win Monday and Tuesday to advance to the championship game on Wednesday, July 28.

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