HASTINGS, Neb. — Hastings Five Points Bank had its chances Wednesday night but couldn’t cash them.
The Chiefs stranded 12 runners in a 3-2 loss to Arkansas champion Bryant at Duncan Field. Hastings (32-14) falls into a losers bracket game at 1 p.m. Thursday.
“It’s a tough loss,” Hastings coach Kevin Asher said. “But it’s a tournament and not just one game so we’re super excited about tomorrow.”
Hastings stranded five in the first two innings as it had Bryant starter Slade Renfrow on the ropes. But he struck out the final two batters both innings to escape the jams.
The Chiefs grabbed the lead with a pair of runs in the fourth. Jake Shaw brought one home on a safety squeeze and another scored on a bases-loaded walk to UNO recruit Mike Boeve.
The Black Sox, the three-time defending Arkansas champions, responded in the fifth. With the bases loaded and two out, Jake Wright belted a three-run triple deep into the left-center field alley.
“I was looking for something to hit far,” he said. “Nobody is going to hit one out of here so I just wanted to hit it hard.”
Hastings had two runners on base in the sixth but an outstanding defensive play by first baseman Peyton Dillon ended the inning. He ranged far behind the bag to make a lunging grab of a popup.
The Chiefs had two more runners in the seventh but reliever Coby Greiner struck out Gabe Conant to end the game.
Wright said his team enjoyed playing in front of the large, partisan crowd.
“It lights us up,” he said. “I think we really like playing in front of big crowds like that.”
Hastings starter Tyson Gatto went five innings and gave up five hits to take the loss.
“You’ve got to have timely hitting in the postseason,” Asher said. “They got the big hit tonight and we didn’t.”
Hastings (32-14).............000 200 0—2 3 2
Bryant (27-9).................000 030 x—3 5 1
W: Bates. L: Gatto. S: Greiner. 3B: B, Wright.
American Legion Mid-South Regional
At Hastings (Duncan Field)
Fremont First State Bank 8, Sedalia, Missouri 2
Bryant, Arkansas 3, Hastings Five Points Bank 2
Coweta, Oklahoma 2, Texarkana Bulldogs 0
Festus, Missouri 5, Emporia, Kansas 3
10 a.m.: Texarkana Bulldogs vs. Sedalia, Missouri
1 p.m.: Emporia, Kansas vs. Hastings Five Points Bank
4: Fremont First State Bank vs. Coweta, Oklahoma
7: Festus, Missouri vs. Bryant, Arkansas