The O'Neill Pinnacle Bank Irish Juniors won two on Friday night and Saturday morning to improve to 23-1 on the season.
These games were the quarterfinals and semifinals of the Elkhorn Valley League Tournament. The Irish will now battle Creighton in the championship game at Crofton on Tuesday night at 7 pm.
On Friday night, the Irish downed Hartington 17-5. Hartington played well early plating two runs against the Irish in the 1st and 3rd innings but the Irish offense wouldn't be stopped as they answered with six runs in the 2nd and 11 runs in the 4th to finish off Hartington. Eddie Rodriguez threw four solid innings and Cole Gaughenbaugh came in and threw a really nice last inning of relief. Rodriguez gave up just three hits on the night.
The offense was paced by Shayne Campbell with a 3-4 effort and Alex Thamer went 2-3. Wyatt Liewer and Justin Appleby each had a hit and scored two runs at the top of the order, Pete Blumenstock and Cole Gaughenbaugh each had hits in the middle of the lineup and Grady Semin and Jacob Wiese each had a hit in the 8 and 9 hole.
"The Irish have great balance threw their entire lineup 1-14, and I would also be remiss if I did not mention that we have not had our great All-Star catcher Nick Haburchak in the lineup all season due to a serious leg injury he suffered in a Seniors game," coach Greg Appleby said. "Nick would have been the best catcher in our league and a big threat for our team offensively and defensively all season long. We wish Nick well as he heals up."
On Saturday morning, the Irish downed Bloomfield/Wausa 10-2 in surprising cold wet conditions for July 2nd. Esteban DeLaO overcame a tough first inning to hold Bloomfield to 2 runs on 6 hits while striking out 5. The Irish offense was led by two hits each from Justin Appleby, Pete Blumenstock, and Francisco Perez. Other hits came from Alex Thramer, Cole Gaughenbaugh, Grady Semin, Blake Krysl, and Tye Hilker. Thramer hit a big double to the fence and Semin had a shot to right field fence to end the game.