A tough week got even tougher Wednesday night for Elkhorn South, which saw victory slip away late against its crosstown rival.
Elkhorn scored the tying run in the seventh and tacked on two more in the eighth for a 4-2 road win. It was the third loss in as many days for the 2-3 Storm, ranked second in Class A.
The Antlers, ranked No. 1 in Class B, moved to 2-1.
“That’s a good win for us,” Elkhorn coach Kyle McCright said. “We just kept grinding away.”
The Antlers trailed 2-1 in the top of the seventh when Malakai Vetock drew a one-out walk. The Storm then nearly turned a game-ending double play, but the out call at second was reversed by the umpires, giving Elkhorn life.
With two outs, Trenton Smith grounded to second baseman Max Mosser. But the base umpire ruled the first baseman was off the bag when he took Mosser’s throw and the tying run scored from second.
The Antlers took advantage of their good fortune in the top of the eighth.
Kyler Beekman delivered a go-ahead RBI single, and Joe Hart followed with a run-scoring squeeze bunt.
Hart then nailed down his first varsity win for Elkhorn, pitching around a leadoff walk in the eighth to retire the next three batters.
“There were a few tough calls out there,” McCright said. “Fortunately, tonight things went our way.”
It was a rough loss for the Storm, who fell to Class A No. 7 Omaha Westside on Monday and Class A No. 6 Omaha Creighton Prep on Tuesday. Wednesday’s game was their home opener.
“There were some big calls,” Elkhorn South coach Brandon Dahl said. “But we only got two hits, so that’s on us.”
Credit the three Elkhorn pitchers — starter Vetock and relievers Mitch Kahre and Hart — for limiting that offense. The Storm were held hitless after the third inning, which spoiled a strong pitching effort from Jax Brockett.
The sophomore went six innings, allowing four hits and one run. But the Storm couldn’t hold that lead as the Antlers scored three in the final two innings.
“Jax put us in a position to win the game,” Dahl said. “But we didn’t make adjustments at the plate against their guys.”
Elkhorn South scored twice in the third on an RBI single by Drew Reetz and a sacrifice fly by Gage Juhlin.
The Antlers got one run back in the fifth on an RBI single by Parker Lange. The score remained 2-1 until the seventh, when Elkhorn scored its unusual run to tie it.
Trey Frahm led off the eighth with a single, which set the stage for the Antlers’ two-run outburst in extra innings.
McCright singled out Hart, who was making his first varsity appearance.
“His family moved in here from Tennessee,” the coach said. “For his first varsity outing, I thought he did a really nice job.”
Dahl said his squad will put the three recent losses behind it and look ahead.
“We need to move on,” he said. “We’ve been in every game this week, so we need to find a way to get over the hump.”
Elkhorn (2-1)........................000 010 12—4 7 0
At Elkhorn South (2-3)...........002 000 00—2 2 2
W: Hart. L: Gish. 2B: E, Frahm. ES, Reetz.
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