Bennington celebrated its first-ever Class B state baseball tournament victory Saturday with a short sprint and a quick postgame huddle just as the first sprinkles began to fall at Werner Park.

The Badgers beat both Omaha Concordia and the rain to advance to Monday’s 7 p.m. winners bracket game against Eastern Midlands Conference rival Norris.

It took less than two hours for Bennington to post its 3-0 victory, but the Mustangs didn’t make it easy at the end.

Concordia loaded the bases with two outs as Bennington ace Colton Smith reached the 110-pitch limit. He left the game with two runners on, giving way to second baseman Rylan Wallingford.

While there were a couple of tense moments, Wallingford got the job done by striking out Ethan Bierman to end the game as the Badgers earned their first state tournament win in the program’s 10-year history.

“I thought our approaches at the plate were pretty good,” Bennington coach Scott Heese said. “Timely hits came through when we needed to, and Colton pitched phenomenal.”

Smith finished with 12 strikeouts against two walks and five hits in 6 1⁄3 innings of work.

“Once he started finding his curveball again, he was himself and things were good to go,” Heese said. “The team feeds off of that.”

The Badgers (16-5) opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning when Wallingford led off with a walk, stole second and scored on a two-out double to center field by Kyler Essink.

Bennington doubled its lead in the third when third baseman Nick Bohn led off the inning with a double to left field. He scored on a single by center fielder Cooper Prososki.

Back-to-back errors by the Mustangs led to Bohn and Prososki teaming up to score Bennington’s third run in the fifth inning.

With one out, Bohn dropped a dribbler on the infield grass toward third base. Concordia third baseman Braden Olson didn’t get enough on the throw and the ball went past first base and into foul territory, allowing Bohn to keep chugging to second base. Prososki then hit a grounder to second base and the ball got by Karsten Mathsen, allowing Bohn to cruise home for a 3-0 lead.

“Nick Bohn and Cooper Prososki have been very consistent at the plate all year,” Heese said.

Concordia (14-6) will play Elkhorn in Monday’s 1 p.m. elimination game at Werner Park.

Omaha Concordia (14-6).....000 000 0—0 6 2

Bennington (16-5)..............101 010 X—3 7 1

W: Colton Smith (5-2). L: Coleton Kanzmeier (7-3). 2B: B, Nick Bohn, Kyler Essink.

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