FARGO, N.D. — The baseball team from Omaha Westside used some ninth-inning magic Sunday to stave off elimination at the American Legion Central Plains Regional.
KB Building Services (Westside) scored five runs in the bottom of the ninth to rally for an improbable 6-5 victory against Iowa champion Carroll County. The win avenged a first-round loss against Carroll County and lifted KB into a 3 p.m. game Monday against Burnsville, Minn., the lone unbeaten team in the tournament.
If coach Bob Greco's squad wins the 3 p.m. game, a second game would follow to determine the regional champion. That champion would advance to the Legion World Series that begins Friday in Shelby, N.C.
“Our goal now is to reach the World Series,” Greco said. “The kids believe we can do it.”
Carroll County pushed across a run in the third inning but KB tied it in the sixth on a pair of infield errors. The Iowa champion appeared to take command of the game in the top of the seventh, bunching six hits to take a 5-1 lead.
After a pair of double plays ended the KB innings in the seventh and eighth, Greco's squad went to work in the ninth. Drew Fitzmorris, Mark Waldron and Mike Waldron all singled with none out to load the bases.
Mitch Hagan then followed with a two-run double to right, and Will Frei added an RBI single to draw KB within a run. After Luke Biggs was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Brady Novak was hit to bring in the tying run.
That set the stage for Jake Meyers, who became the third consecutive KB player to be hit in the inning. That drove home the winning run and allowed KB to avoid elimination for the third straight day following its opening-round loss.
“That was a crazy last inning,” Greco said. “Everything went our way, which was a lot different than the rest of the game.”
Frei, who came on to pitch the ninth inning, picked up the victory for 44-12 KB. Brendan McAllister took the loss for Carroll County, which pounded out 16 hits in defeat.
Carroll County (Iowa) ..................................................... 001 000 400—5 16 3
KB Building Services (Om. Westside) ............................ 000 001 005—6 8 3
W: Frei. L: McAllister. 2B: CC, Brittain, Wessels. KB, Hagan.