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BASEBALL

BASEBALL: Gretna eliminated by 'really good' pitching from Lincoln East

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Dragons baseball huddle.JPG

The Dragons huddle before their lone win of the tournament against Bellevue East on Sunday, July 24.

Facing elimination, defending champions Gretna Post 216 seniors saw their season come to an end with a 7-2 loss to Carpet Land Lincoln East in the American Division of the American Legion State Tournament at Roddy Field in Bellevue on Monday, July 25.

Dragons head coach Bryan O’Flynn attributed the pitching of Spartan Ryan Clementi, who finished with nine strikeouts, to limiting the Dragons.

“Took us a while to get to him,” O’Flynn said. “He makes pitches well, kept us off balance, just tip your cap to him, he’s a really good pitcher.”

O’Flynn continued by saying he didn’t know exactly why the Dragons struggled for much of the game, but said he wishes the Dragons put more balls in play.

A well-placed bunt in the second inning created trouble for third baseman Skyler Graham, and an error on the throw scored a Spartan who reached third on the initial bunt.

Trailing 1-0, the Dragons had a runner reach third in the top of the fourth but couldn’t score.

In the bottom half of the inning, a two-run single and two-run double chased starting pitcher Jeff Miller from the game and put the Dragons in a 5-0 deficit.

The Dragons finally got on the board in the fifth when pinch hitter Griffin Goldman scored on a wild pitch.

Graham cut into the deficit with a solo home run to left in the top of the sixth, but went down with three straight strikeouts to close the inning down 5-2.

The Spartans added two insurance runs in the bottom half of the inning, and the Dragons loaded the bases but couldn’t muster enough of a comeback in the seventh.

With a 7-2 loss, Gretna’s season came to an end in the state tournament with a final record of 29-15.

O’Flynn said Gretna had a “good team” and that “our boys worked hard.” He said he’s proud of how they played all season.

They gave us the opportunity to win state,” O’Flynn said. “We were put in good positions, but the boys worked their butts off, and I wish we could have played longer, but really happy for our guys.”

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