WESTCO suffers 5-1 loss

The top seeded WESTCO Zephyrs took one on the chin Friday night during the opening round of the Class A Area 7 Baseball Tournament at Cleveland Field. The hosts fell to fourth seeded Hastings 5-1.

Five Points Bank scored all the runs they needed in a three run third inning. With one out Will Reimer singled to center. Xander Schmidt followed with a walk then Matt Karloff followed with a run scoring double to left.

With runners on second and third Zephyrs starting pitcher Beau Lofink then struck out Alex Paniganiban, but the latter reached base on a wild pitch on the third strike. it also allowed Schmidt to score the second Hastings run from third.

Then with two outs Jamison Cockrell beat out an infield single that plated Karloff with the third Hastings run.

WESTCO finally broke through with a run in the seventh inning. Jacob Schmid had a one-out single to center. Dylan Busskohl then walked. Tharyn Curtis delivered a two-out single to load the bases and Ty Dunkel followed with a bases loaded walk to score Schmid. But that was all the Zephyrs could muster. They left the bases leaded in the seventh and stranded 12 base runners for the game.

"We just couldn't get the big hit we needed," said assistant coach Jason Blanco after the game. "We went through a stretch in mid season where we had the same problem. Give the Hastings pitcher credit. He made some great pitches.

The Hastings starter was Mason Spilinek, who worked the first eight innings for Five Points, surrendering the one run on just six hits. He worked around five walks and two hit batters. he struck out five.

Jonah Schulz moved from third to the mound to pitch the final inning. He gave up a two out single to Ty Dunkel, but struck out two WESTCO batters, including Eric Moreno to end the game.

Moreno will get the call today as the Zephyrs try to avoid elimination from the tourney against North Platte. They lost their opening game to Kearney Ruzna, 10-7.

Moreno pitched a five inning shutout against North Platte at Cleveland Field back on May 18. WESTC>O swept a doubleheader that day, 15-0 and 11-1. The two clubs split a doubleheader in North Platte on June 16 with the Zephyrs winning the opener 5-2 and North Platte the nitecap 9-8.

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