A big first inning helped pave the way to victory Monday night for the Collin All-Stars.
The Collin squad scored four in that opening inning and went on to post a 7-1 win over the Orcutts in the 46th annual All-Star Game at Brown Park. The game is for Omaha-area seniors and signals the unofficial start of the American Legion summer season.
Kyle Perry of Millard South had the big blow in the first with a two-run double. The Nebraska recruit also pitched a 1-2-3 third inning and was named the Collin squad Most Valuable Player.
“It was so much fun out there,’’ Perry said. “I had a smile on my face the whole time because there was a lot of friendly banter going on.’’
Millard South’s Andrew Staebell had a sacrifice fly in the first and a fourth run scored on an infield error.
“It was nice to get those runs early,’’ Collin coach Gene Felise said. “It’s fun to sit back and take it all in because there was so much talent out on that field.’’
Felise, Omaha South’s coach, watched as his squad added two more runs in the third and one in the fourth. Omaha Westside teammates Logan Eickhoff and Brian Leiferman each had an RBI and Millard South’s Drew Gilin drove in the team’s final run with a single to center.
That proved to be more than enough offense as the six Collin pitchers — Easton Young, Perry, Ryan Petersen, Nate Sailors, Staebell and Cade Povich — held the Orcutt squad in check. The lone Orcutt run came in the eighth on an RBI triple by Omaha Creighton Prep’s Owen Richter.
“There are so many good players out there,’’ said Orcutt coach Ken Rieschl, also the coach at Omaha Benson. “It’s just a really neat experience.’’
Elkhorn South pitcher Jake Bunz was named the Orcutt squad MVP after striking out the side in his lone inning of work. Like Perry, he netted a $500 scholarship from the American Legion Post No. 1 athletic committee.
Perry said he didn’t know what to expect at the game — played in recent years on Memorial Day.
“It’s cool to play on the same team as guys you played against all spring,’’ he said. “It was great to be a part of it.’’
Bellevue East’s Alex Pavon singled and doubled for the Collin squad. He gave up his final at-bat in the eighth inning so teammate Ryan DelRosario of Bellevue West would get a chance to bat.
Young, who pitched the first two innings, was the winning pitcher. The Millard West grad allowed no runs and struck out three.
The game is played in honor of longtime coaches Cornie Collin of Omaha South and Scotty Orcutt of Omaha Benson.
Orcutt............000 000 010—1 5 2
Collin.............402 100 000—7 10 0
W: Young. L: Wesely. 2B: C, Perry, Pavon. 3B: O, Richter.