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Strong pitching takes Creighton Prep to semifinals of American Legion Metro tourney

Strong pitching takes Creighton Prep to semifinals of American Legion Metro tourney

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The American Legion Metro postseason tournament brought out the best Monday in pitcher PJ Loucks.

He allowed two hits and struck out 10 in six innings to lead Five Points Bank (Omaha Creighton Prep) to an 8-0 win over Pinnacle Bank (Papillion-La Vista) in round-robin tourney play. Loucks gave way to reliever Aidan Firmature, who pitched the final inning.

“PJ was really good today,’’ Junior Jays coach Pat Mooney said. “We had a senior arm out there, and he took care of business.’’

The victory was the first of three games Monday at Prep. Pinnacle Bank defeated the Woodhouse Storm (Elkhorn South) 5-4 in the second game, and Woodhouse beat Five Points Bank 2-1 in the nightcap.

Each of the teams finished the day with a 1-1 record, but the Junior Jays will advance to the tourney semifinals Thursday by virtue of the tiebreaker — allowing the fewest runs (two).

Loucks, who walked three, surrendered a double in the second inning and a single in the fifth. He did not allow a runner past second base.

“Everything was working for me today,’’ he said. “I mixed in my change-up, and that kind of kept them off balance.’’

It was the second shutout of the season for Five Points Bank, which improved to 15-14. The victory also avenged two previous losses this summer against the Monarchs.

The Junior Jays went ahead in the first inning on a wild pitch and made it 2-0 in the third on an RBI double by Danny Spongberg. Five Points Bank broke the game open against left-handed starter Pat Zeller with a four-run fourth, highlighted by a three-run double from Graham Lorenz.

“I’ve been hitting lefties pretty well all year,’’ he said. “I knew a fastball was coming and I was ready for it.’’

Five Points Bank tacked on single runs in the sixth and seventh. Lorenz stole home, and Kalen Piechota had a run-producing groundout.

“That Prep starter was really good,’’ Pinnacle Bank coach Nate McCabe said. “He dominated us and we just couldn’t get anything going.’’

Lorenz, who will attend Notre Dame in the fall, had a pair of doubles to lead the Junior Jays’ attack.

“Graham is hitting close to .500 this season,’’ Mooney said. “He had another nice game today.’’

Five Points (15-14) 101 401 1—8 6 0

Pinn. Bank (18-11) 000 000 0—0 2 3

W: Loucks. L: Zeller. 2B: FPB, Lorenz 2, Spongberg, Loucks; PB, Barnett.

Pinnacle Bank 5, Woodhouse Storm 4

Logan Anderson pitched 3 2⁄3 innings of strong relief to boost the Monarchs.

Anderson entered the game in the fourth inning with the bases loaded and one out. He then got out of the inning on one pitch as Pinnacle Bank turned a 5-2-3 double play.

He yielded three runs in the sixth as the Storm closed to 5-4 but pitched a 1-2-3 seventh to secure the win.

“Logan has been our most consistent pitcher,’’ Pinnacle Bank coach Nate McCabe said. “Even after giving up those three runs he wasn’t rattled.’’

The Monarchs held a 5-1 lead after 5½ innings with the help of a two-run homer from Hunter Scruggs. Nick Ripa, Jackson Ossenfort and Nick Barnett also had RBIs.

Woodhouse made it 5-4 in the sixth on an RBI single by Trevor Winterstein and run-producing groundouts from Ty Beckwith and Landon Goeser. The Storm came up empty in the seventh against Anderson.

Pinn. Bank (19-11) 003 011 0—5 8 2

Woodhouse (16-8) 000 103 0—4 5 1

W: Anderson. L: Mosser. 2B: PB, Barnett, Harris; WS. Owens. 3B: PB, Ripa. HR: PB, Scruggs.

Woodhouse 2, Five Points Bank 1

Beckwith pitched the complete-game victory for the Storm.

“Ty has been a stud for us all season,’’ Woodhouse coach Brandon Dahl said. “He wanted to go out there and finish it.’’

The Storm scored single runs in the first and second innings. The Junior Jays scored their only run in the bottom of the fourth.

Will Volenec and Ryan Bauer pitched for the Junior Jays.

“They did their jobs by keeping this a low-scoring game,’’ Five Points Bank coach Pat Mooney said. “We knew what we had to do.’’

Dahl said it was a tough way to fall out of the winners bracket.

“It was nice getting the win but tough knowing that we didn’t advance,’’ he said. “We left too many guys on base today, and it cost us.’’

Woodhouse (17-8) 110 000 0—2 6 1

Five Points (15-15) 000 100 0—1 7 3

W: Beckwith. L: Volenec.

Legion Metro tournament

Semifinals Thursday At Millard South

DC Electric (Bellevue West) vs. Five Points Bank (Omaha Creighton Prep), 5 p.m.

KB Building Services (Omaha Westside) vs. 52’s Patriots (Millard South), 8

Other results from Monday

Four Aces Eagles 13, Ralston 10: Jake Roberts and Cole Kreber each had three hits.

Four Aces Eagles 12, Millard Sox Gold 1: Alec Weedman allowed three hits to earn the win.

Auburn 1, Ashland 0: Ryne Flynn and Caleb Fossenbarger had two hits apiece.

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Mike covers high school sports, primarily volleyball in the fall, girls basketball in the winter and baseball in the spring and summer. He also reports on horse racing for The World-Herald. Follow him on Twitter @MPattersonOWH. Phone: 402-444-1350.

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