Austin Oetter didn’t start the game Thursday night, but he had the big hit to finish it.
Oetter’s walk-off RBI single lifted Omaha Burke to a 7-6 win over Omaha Westside in a Metro Conference baseball tournament quarterfinal. The Bulldogs advance to a semifinal Friday at Papillion’s Fricke Field in quest of their first Metro tourney title since 1997.
“We’re happy to be playing tomorrow,’’ Burke coach Scott Hodges said. “This group has a special kind of resolve.’’
Burke will play at 3:30 p.m. against Millard West, following the 1 p.m. semifinal between Millard South and Omaha Creighton Prep.
The championship game — weather permitting — will be played at 6 p.m. Friday at Fricke.
Oetter, a senior catcher, entered the game in the fourth inning. He replaced Nolan Opheim, who appeared dazed after taking a foul ball directly off his mask.
The game was tied at 1-1 when Westside scored four runs in the fourth. Henry Zipay, Cam Kully and Joe Stegman had RBIs, and a fourth runner came home on an error.
The Bulldogs rallied to tie it with four runs in the fifth. Noah Olson, Jack Lortz and Hunter Waugh delivered consecutive RBI singles, and Oetter drew a bases-loaded walk.
Warriors reliever Michael Reinert came in to pitch and got Jabari Mitchell to hit into a 1-2-3 double play to end the inning.
Burke went ahead in the sixth without a hit, scoring a run on a double steal. But the Warriors tied it in the top of the seventh on Sam Parsonage’s one-out double and Brett Curran’s sacrifice fly.
The Bulldogs won it in the bottom of the inning when Waugh drew a one-out walk, stole second and scored on Oetter’s two-out single to right.
“I just tried to go with the pitch,’’ Oetter said. “I was pretty nervous but it felt great to get that hit.’’
Oetter was the subject of a World-Herald feature last year after undergoing his third open-heart surgery.
“I’m just happy to be helping the team,’’ he said. “And I really feel this is a special group of guys.’’
Lortz picked up the win in relief, pitching 32⁄3 innings. He allowed one run and struck out seven.
“We had our chances to have a couple really big innings and we let them off the hook,’’ Westside coach Bob Greco said. “But it’s good for us to be in a game like that.’’
The teams advanced to the quarterfinal after winning earlier games Thursday at Westside. The Warriors defeated Omaha South 9-3, and Burke slipped past Papillion-La Vista 6-5.
Omaha Westside (10-7).....010 400 1—6 10 1
Omaha Burke (14-1)..........001 041 1—7 7 2
W: Lortz. L: Reinert. 2B: OW, Parsonage. 3B: OW, Leiferman.
1 of 39
Week 40: Aurora's Caleb Badura blew through the Class B state tournament at Quail Run in Columbus, a par-72 course where he shot rounds of 72 and 70, after overcoming severe flareup of Crohn’s disease. He was 3-under for his final seven holes to finish 2-under for the 36 holes. Click here to read the full story.
Week 39: Omaha Roncalli's Logan McGill lined a fastball over the third baseman’s head and into the left-field corner to bring home the tying and winning runs in the Class B state championship game. Click here to read the story.
Week 38: Elkhorn South's Alex Nelson broke the record for the fastest electronically timed 200 in state history with a 21.30 at the A-1 district meet. Click here to read the story.
Week 37: In a district final against Bellevue West, Omaha Creighton Prep's Dylan Phillips threw a one-hitter, retiring the last 15 batters in a 2-0 victory. Click here to read the story.
Week 36: Papillion-La Vista's Hayden Pudenz earned wins in back-to-back golf tournaments and shot 73 both days, marking the third time he’s carded a 73 in his past four tournaments. Click here to read the story.
Week 35: Fullerton's Brent Wetovick was named the most outstanding male performer at the Nebraska Track and Field Festival, where he won the 400-meter dash in 49.34 seconds and the 800 in 1:55.40. Click here to read the story.
Week 34: Gretna's Sarah Weber scored eight goals — including a pair of hat tricks — and had five assists in three wins last week. Click here to read the story.
Week 31: Millard South's Lindsey Prokop tied a Class A record with seven goals in the Patriots' 11-0 win against Omaha North. Click here to read the story.
Week 30: Omaha Burke's Hunter Waugh fired a nine-strikeout 7-1 victory over Omaha Northwest with a five-inning no-hitter — with eight strikeouts — against Castle View (Colo.). Click here to read the story.
Week 29: York's Brady Danielson scored 69 points in three state tournament games, leading the Dukes to a Class B title. Click here to read the story.
Week 28: Quinn Weidemann led Omaha Westside to the Class A state title, averaging 22 points per game in the Warriors' three wins. Click here to read the story.
Week 27: Cooper Prososki scored a career-high 37 points to lead Bennington past Elkhorn South as the Badgers reached the Class B tournament for the third straight year. Click here to read the story.
Week 26: Papillion-La Vista South's Jared Mattley scored 36 points, including nine 3s, in a 70-58 victory over Omaha Northwest. Click here to read the story.
Week 25: Millard North's Nicole Avila-Ambrosi made 12 of 14 shots en route to a career-high 29 points in a win over Lincoln Northeast. She also pulled down seven boards and dished three assists. Click here to read the story.
Week 24: Millard South's Tyrell Carroll had two different double-doubles in a week. He had 23 points and 10 rebounds against Omaha Benson, and three days later posted 18 points and a career-high 13 assists, along with six steals, in a victory over Fremont. Click here to read the story.
Week 23: Millard North's Nick Ferrarini scored a school-record 36 points — on 14 shots — and pulled down nine rebounds in the Mustangs’ 73-66 victory over Omaha Bryan. Click here to read the story.
Week 22: Jaylin Hunter's 30-point performance helped erase an early double-digit deficit against Omaha Central en route to an 80-65 win for Omaha Creighton Prep. Click here to read the story.
Week 21: Isaac Trumble of Millard South tripled Omaha Burke's James Burks' career loss total by beating the two-time state champion twice in a 24-hour span. Click here to read the story.
Week 20: Omaha Brownell Talbot's Josie Petrulis recorded consecutive games of 30-plus points in wins over East Butler and Boys Town. Click here to read the story.
Week 19: Conestoga's Sierra Kile scored 32 points and made all 12 of her free throws in a 59-54 overtime win over Weeping Water. Click here to read the story.
Week 17: Akili Felici scored 41 points, including 11 3-pointers — both school records — in Bellevue West's 67-21 win over Omaha Bryan. Click here to read the story.
Week 16: Blair's Jackson Nielsen swept through the 113-pound division in the Boys Town Invitational, earning MVP honors and helping the Bears to the team title. Click here to read the story.
Week 15: Omaha Burke's Shereef Mitchell capped a career-high 37-point night with a buzzer-beating, game-winning 3-pointer against Omaha Central. Click here to read the story.
Week 14: Colton Feist helped Yutan claim the Class C-2 title by recording 10 tackles, including two for loss, a forced fumble and a tipped pass that resulted in an interception during a 27-6 win over Centennial. Click here to read the story.
Week 13: Emily Bressman, who led state champ Omaha Marian in digs, recorded 29 kills in a four-set victory over Millard North in the Class A title match. Click here to read the story.
Week 12: Jake Archer recorded a school-record 23 tackles and a 35-yard pick-six for Omaha Skutt in a 10-9 Class B semifinal victory over then-undefeated Gretna. Click here to read the story.
Week 11: James Burks helped Omaha Burke rally from a 20-point halftime deficit to a 43-37 win over Millard West in the Class A quarterfinals, totaling 305 yards and five touchdowns on the ground. Click here to read the story.
Week 10: Gio Mainor ran 11 times for 141 yards and two touchdowns, helping Omaha Burke advance in the Class A playoffs. Click here to read the story.
Week 9: Jake Ralston became Papillion-La Vista South's first-ever state cross country champion, helping the Titans to their first team title. Click here to read the story.
Week 8: Dylan Plautz guided Omaha Westside's offense to 73 points as it outlasted Bellevue West. He finished with 454 yards and four touchdowns. Click here to read the story.
Week 7: York's Simon Otte ran for 217 yards and two touchdowns in the third quarter of a 51-20 victory over Aurora. He finished with 327 yards and three scores. Click here to read the story.
Week 6: Jerome Barnes ran for seven first-half touchdowns and 305 yards in Papillion-La Vista's 49-26 over Omaha Benson. Click here to read the story.
Week 4: Gretna's Tanner Tierney ran for 280 yards and five touchdowns in the Dragons' 59-14 win over Omaha Roncalli. Click here to read the story.
Week 3: Millard North quarterback Cade Elwood ran for 229 yards and had a Class A record-tying seven touchdowns in a 62-35 win over Papillion-La Vista. Click here to read the story.
Week 2: Wayne's Mason Lee opened a 34-30 win over Boone Central with an 86-yard kickoff return for a TD and caught three TD passes. Click here to read the story.
Week 1: Halle Meister helped get Omaha Roncalli get to the Class B state tournament in volleyball for the first time since 1983. Click here to read the story.