The DC Electric Thunderbirds narrowly fell to Carpetland Lincoln East in the opening round of the 2022 Nebraska American Legion Class A American Division State Tournament on Saturday, dropping into the loser’s bracket with a 4-3 loss.
Head coach Jason Shockey said he thought the Thunderbirds came out swinging well, but couldn’t find the holes in the defense.
“I thought Riggs was really good for us on the mound as well,” Shockey added. “Just a couple breaks didn't go our way.”
The Thunderbirds jumped ahead early, as starting pitcher Nick Riggs helped himself out with a solo home run to right field. However, a sacrifice fly by Lincoln East knotted the score back at one in the bottom half of the first inning.
Riggs then stuck out five batters over the next two innings, but ran into trouble in the bottom of the fourth. After a one-out double, the Spartans took the lead on an RBI single and added two more on RBI singles in the fifth.
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DC Electric responded with an RBI double off the wall by Riggs, who was brought in to score on an RBI single by second baseman Jackson Steele.
“(Riggs) was good all the way around,” Shockey said.
Down 4-3, the Thunderbirds loaded the bases with two outs, but third baseman Nick Glantz struck out to end the top of the sixth.
The Thunderbirds couldn’t threaten in the seventh, and fell by one run to drop into the loser’s bracket, where they will face Grand Island at 10 a.m. on Sunday.
“Now we'll be ready to go tomorrow,” Shockey said. “There's a lot of fight in this group.”
He added he hopes the Thunderbirds will be able recreate what they did in the Area 2 Tournament, when they reached the championship series against Millard West.