After going through a midsummer lull, the top American Legion team from Omaha Creighton Prep appears to be back on track.
Five Points Bank Blue is 23-12 after two shutout wins over a team from Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Five Points recently went 1-4 against tough competition in a round-robin tournament.
“We’re kind of on the upswing right now,’’ coach Pat Mooney said. “Our pitching has been more consistent, and that’s definitely helped.’’
Mooney, a Minnesota native, led his Five Points squad to victory at the recent New Ulm (Minnesota) tournament. It was the third consecutive New Ulm title for the team from Prep.
The Junior Jays, who have won the past three Class A high school state titles, will return to Minnesota later this week for the 96-team Gopher Classic in Minneapolis. The event is the largest Legion tourney in the nation.
“There will be other Nebraska teams taking part in it,’’ Mooney said. “We want to have a good showing heading into area tournaments next week.’’
Five Points Blue is one of two Class A Senior Legion teams from Prep this summer. The other, Five Points Bank White, is coached by Jeff Wellwood.
Mustangs and pizza
The team from Millard North has a new sponsor this year but the Mustangs once again are enjoying a strong summer season.
Big Fred’s Pizzeria is the Legion sponsor for the Mustangs, who are 23-11. Coach Dave Cork said he is thankful that restaurant owner Phil Bruning, grandson of founder Fred Bruning, stepped up to take over sponsorship.
“That all happened pretty late for us,’’ he said. “But Phil is a Millard North grad and he wanted to help out.’’
Bruning said he was happy to oblige.
“I wasn’t blessed with a lot of baseball skill,’’ he said. “But I was super excited about getting the chance to sponsor the team.’’
Cork said his squad, which has gone 15-5 since an 8-6 start, has gotten improved pitching and defense.
“Those are probably two of the biggest things,’’ he said. “Plus our hitting has come around.’’
The Mustangs’ top hitter is second baseman Matt Goetzmann, who is batting .467 with 33 RBIs.
Tourney fields set
The fields have been set for the Class B and Class C Junior Legion state tournaments, to be held Saturday through July 18.
The first round of the Class B Junior state tourney at Pawnee Park in Columbus:
Saturday — Alliance vs. Hickman, 10 a.m.; ETC Knights vs. McCook, 1 p.m.; Ashland vs. Wayne, 4; Columbus Lakeview vs. Central City, 7.
The first round of the Class C Junior state tourney at Battle Creek:
Saturday — Imperial vs. Creighton, 10 a.m.; St. Paul vs. DCB, 1 p.m.; Pender vs. SOS, 4; Battle Creek vs. Wymore, 7.
The Class A Junior state tournament will be held July 28 through Aug. 1. Those are the same dates for all three classes of the Senior state tournaments.
Getting it done
Some recent performances from the Senior Legion ranks:
Mitch Kahre, OrthoNebraska Antlers (Elkhorn High): Had four RBIs in a win over Anderson Ford.
Noah Jones, Omaha Concordia: Tossed his fifth straight shutout in a win over the Pyramid Roofing Vikings.
Cade Povich, DJ’s Dugout West (Bellevue West): Tossed a shutout in a win over the Woodhouse Storm.
Austin Sides, Amerilawn Titans (Papillion-La Vista South): Drove in four in a win over Norris.
Nolan Speicher, Big Fred’s Mustangs (Millard North): Had three RBIs in a victory over KB Building Services.
Cade Herrmann, Gretna Post 216: Tossed a no-hitter in a win over Grand Island Home Federal.
Brenden Andersen, Four Aces Eagles (Omaha Central): Had a grand slam in a win over Fort Calhoun.
Noah Greise, 52s Patriots (Millard South): Homered and had three RBIs in a win over Lincoln Judd’s Brothers.
Colton Sudbeck, Medicine Man Pharmacy (Omaha Skutt): Drove in four in a win over Lincoln JC Brager.
Ty Chudomelka, DJs Dugout East (Bellevue East): Had five RBIs in a win over St. Peter’s, Missouri.
Noah Olson, C&H Construction Black (Omaha Burke): Drove in three in a victory over Wolf Electric.
Brennan Clausen, Fort Calhoun: Had two triples and the pitching win against West Point.