KEARNEY — It was Fan Appreciation Night at Memorial Stadium on Wednesday evening, the fans were awarded free hot dogs, ice cream and a 10-5 win by the Kearney Runza over Hastings.
With the league district tournament around the corner, Kearney might clinch the No. 1 seed after Wednesday’s win as it holds a 14-9 record. Kearney had a strong hitting performance with 14 hits, similar to their last meeting with Hastings just more than a week ago. This time, however, it was able to beat Hastings at home.
“First, Hastings has a solid baseball team. A lot of good players are well coached,” Kearney’s coach Brad Archer said after the game, “... all and all it was a good outing. So I’m happy for our guys.”
Riley Miller set the tone with a two-run bomb in the bottom second to give Kearney a 2-1 lead.
“Riley squared up and got us going for a little bit,” Archer said. “There was a little bit of excitement in the dugout, and the kids just took it from there. We had a good offensive night tonight.”
In the next inning, Kearney had a pair of RBI doubles by both Nolan Smith and Cale Conrad and additional RBI doubles in the fifth by Dylan Welch and Karter Lee. Scout Simmons singled, which gave Kearney its 10th run of the evening.
Lucas Wegner got the start for Kearney. In five innings, he had five strikeouts and only allowed four runs and five hits. Blake Rehtus took over as the closer in the final two innings. He clinched the win with two consecutive strikeouts.
“Lucas Wegner gave a few good innings there,” Archer said. “He struggled a little bit with some hit batsmen, etc. That was the only thing that got us in trouble. Blake did a good job, relieving for us. We’re going to need Blake later in the year.”
It will be a busy weekend for Runza as it will be in Elkhorn for a tournament hosted by Mount Michael Benedictine. The team will face the Millard Sox Senior Gold first at 2:30 p.m. Friday.
It was Fan Appreciation Night at Memorial Stadium on Wednesday evening, the fans were awarded free hot dogs, ice cream and a 10-5 win by the Kearney Runza over Hastings.