The Papillion-La Vista baseball team’s previous four games came in two doubleheaders. The Monarchs took on Omaha Gross and Lincoln Southwest at Fricke Field on June 30.
If you recall, the Monarchs swept Grand Island for two wins on June 25 and then got swept by Hastings on the 26th — both doubleheaders. The June 30 matchup against the Gross Catholic Cougars was originally slated for Tuesday, June 29, but had to be rescheduled due to rain and thus Papillion had another doubleheader.
Game one against the Cougars was off to a rough start as Gross was able to jump out in front early, scoring one run in each of the first and second inning for a 2-0 lead. The Monarchs wouldn’t get things rolling until the top of the fourth, but patience is a virtue as they poured in five runs to take a 5-2 lead.
Gross did have an answer, with one run in each of the bottom of the fifth and sixth, but it wasn’t enough as Papillon added on one more in the top of the seventh and held Gross scoreless in the bottom to steal a 6-4 win at home. Patrick Zeller was the starter on the mound for the Monarchs and finished with five innings and three earned runs on seven hits alongside seven strikeouts.
Game two of the evening featured a matchup with a high-powered Lincoln Southwest squad, but that would play right into Papio’s hands as they are capable of out-slugging anyone in the state. The SilverHawks were on the board first but after two complete innings the score was 2-2. A three-run third inning for Lincoln Southwest granted them a lead that would last until the bottom of the sixth, when Papio knotted the game up at 5-5.
The SilverHawks then exploded in the top of the seventh inning for four runs to take a commanding 9-5 lead entering the bottom of the last inning, but the Monarchs’ true grit prevailed.
A couple timely hits and a few free-bags from the pitcher via walk or hit-batter helped Papillion-La Vista pulled off the improbable — Isaiah O’Brien scored from third on a wild-pitch for the 10-9 walk-off comeback victory.
Following an adrenaline-pumping and momentum building doubleheader, the Papillion-La Vista Monarchs have finished their summer Metro league play with a 7-2 record and are now 18-13 on the summer legion season. Head coach Nate McCabe and company will look to keep their hot-streak alive amidst a relaxing holiday weekend.