Make that three consecutive Class A American Legion state titles for the team from Omaha Creighton Prep.
And because this one came against longtime rival Omaha Westside, it might be the sweetest of all.
PI Midwest (Prep) rode another strong pitching effort from left-hander Jeff Albrecht to an 8-2 win against visiting KB Building Services (Westside). Both teams already advanced to the Central Plains Regional that begins Thursday in Fargo, N.D.
“We caught them at the right time,” PI Midwest coach Pat Mooney said. “And we played a pretty solid game tonight.”
PI Midwest captured the National Division title Wednesday night while KB, competing in the rain-delayed American Division tourney in Lincoln, didn't earn its title until Friday night.
“We had to work to get through that other tournament,” KB coach Bob Greco said. “But you can't make excuses. They just beat us.”
Albrecht, a Creighton recruit, struck out nine in six innings. He hadn't pitched since last Sunday, when he fanned 18 in a division tournament victory over Roof-Tech (Millard West).
“To win this tournament again is huge,” Albrecht said. “We'll be going into the regional with a lot of steam.”
After Albrecht retired the side in order in the top of the first, PI Midwest struck in the bottom of the inning against KB starter Brock Nemecek. The team from Prep sent nine to the plate and scored three, highlighted by a two-run double from Jason Allbery.
The lead grew to 6-0 in the third on a bases-loaded walk by Jake Allen, a bunt single by Alex Hechtner and a sacrifice fly by Alex Allbery. Luke Biggs took over on the mound for Nemecek with one out in the inning and went the rest of the way.
Albrecht ran into a little trouble in the fourth, walking the first two batters. But he battled back to strike out the side, protecting the six-run lead.
PI Midwest scored one in the bottom of the inning on an RBI single by Mike Huelskamp and another in the seventh after doubles by Alex Allbery and Zach Garrett.
KB scored its only runs in the eighth on a two-run homer to right by catcher Will Frei. But it wasn't enough, and PI Midwest finished off the win in the ninth when reliever Adam Wilson worked around a pair of two-out singles to get Drew Fitzmorris to ground out to third.
That triggered a dogpile on the mound and fireworks behind the left-field scoreboard at Prep. It also raised PI Midwest's record to 48-10 and dropped KB to 41-11.
It was the first time in the past three years that the team from Prep was able to celebrate the state title on its home diamond. PI Midwest won at Grand Island in 2011 and at Papillion's Fricke Field in 2012.
The three-year string is the longest in Class A since Nebraska Sports (Omaha Northwest) won four in a row from 1991 to 1994.
“To win three straight titles means we've had some very good players,” Mooney said. “I've been blessed with a lot of talent, and the guys have worked so darn hard.”
KB Building Services (41-11) ............................ 000 000 020—2 6 1
PI Midwest (48-10) ............................................ 303 100 10x—8 14 0
W: Albrecht. L: Nemecek. 2B: KB, Biggs. PI, J. Allbery, A. Allbery, Garrett. HR: KB, Frei.