PALMER – The Pender Seniors American Legion Baseball Team split their weekend games at the Class C State Tournament in Palmer, falling 3-2 to Palmer-Wolbach-Greeley Saturday night before downing Crofton 2-1 in an elimination game on Sunday in a pair of games aired on 107.9 the Bull.
In Saturday’s game, Pender got off to a fast start, going up 2-0 in the 1st inning, a lead they would hold until the top of the 7th when PWG struck for three runs.
Pender’s Lucas Vogt was dominant on the mound through 6 innings, but back-to-back hits on two consecutive pitches to open the 7th gave PWG life. Ty Nekoliczak and Trevor Cargill recorded the hits and came around to score.
Morgan Behnk reached 1st base after the ball he missed for strike 3 went to the backstop, allowing him to get on.
He eventually got to 3rd and scored the game-winning run on a suicide squeeze play.
Karsen Reimers picked up the win on the mound in relief for PWG while Vogt, who had a two-hitter through 6 innings and struck out 10, suffered the loss in a complete game effort.
Jaxon Maise went 2-4 with a Double and an RBI Single in the loss for Pender while Nathan Breitbarth also went 2-4 and scored a run.
Cargill went 2-3 with a run scored for PWG.
On Sunday, Pender scored two runs in the top of the 4th inning and hung on to beat Crofton 2-1.
The inning got started when Breitbarth reached base on a hit by pitch, which represented Pender’s 1st base runner of the game.
Vogt then walked and Zach Hegge drove in Breitbarth with an RBI Sac Fly and Maise recorded an RBI Single to put Pender in front.
Crofton threatened in the 6th as Jack Kuchta started the inning with a hit and came around to score, but Hegge, who started the game and then came back in in relief of Spencer Rabbass, pitched out of a jam as Crofton stranded Roy Knapp at 3rd base.
Hegge picked up the win on the mound for Pender, going 4 innings to start the game, and finishing it with 1 2/3 innings of relief. Hegge didn’t allow a hit or run while pitching.
Austin Tramp suffered the loss on the mound for Crofton.
Pender is now 18-9 on the season and will take on Shelby-Osceola-Stromsburg at 5:00 p.m. Monday in another elimination game that can be heard on the Bull.