The Ralston Rams’ varsity baseball team snapped a 10-year drought by clinching their first trip to the state tournament since 2011 with a 6-1 win over Nebraska City in the B-5 district championship on Saturday, May 8.
Ralston was fortunate enough to host the entire B-5 district tournament after an exceptional regular season. The Rams’ first-round district contest was against the Arlington Eagles on Friday, May 7, at home. Junior Garrett White earned the start on the rubber for the Rams as he pitched a complete five-inning game behind the overpowering Rams’ offense.
Led by senior Jake Chronic, the Rams poured in 14 runs over just four innings and hit an eye-opening .480 as a team with 13 RBIs on 12 hits. Ralston allowed only five total hits to the Eagles en route to a 14-2 victory.
Head coach Tom Cooper handed the ball over to his ace, Josh Kilzer, for Saturday’s B-5 championship against Nebraska City. Kilzer got off to a hot start striking out two in the top of the first and his domination would continue as the Rams went up 2-0 in the bottom of the second. The Pioneers got on the board in the top of the fifth with one run.
Ralston bounced back immediately, hungry for a state tournament berth, as Kody Serefko hit a sacrifice grounder to score Nolan Sailors in the bottom of the fifth. The Rams shut out Nebraska City in the sixth inning, pouring in three more runs in the bottom, and then finished the Pioneers in the top of the seventh for a 6-1 B-5 district championship victory.
The win on Saturday clinched the Rams first berth in the Class B state tournament since 2011. They now await the bracket release before traveling to Lincoln in hopes of their first state title since a Class A win in 1996.
Ralston’s last trip to Lincoln, in 2011, resulted in a one-run loss to Skutt Catholic.