ZEARING – Sparked by strong pitching from eighth-grader Tyler Shafer and a productive stretch at the plate over the final three innings, Nevada was able to knock off a gutsy Colo-Nesco team by a 4-1 score Thursday.
The Cubs (19-11) will battle Saydel for second place in the Raccoon River Conference tomorrow at Saydel. They were given a good warm-up test by Colo-Nesco (12-17) as the Royals shut them out over the first four innings and had the tying run at the plate in the bottom of the seventh before Nevada relief pitcher Colynn Black sealed the deal.
"Any game is a big game and we’re trying to get to 20 wins," Nevada sophomore Alex Good said. "This being my former school and all, it really felt good."
Good, who played for Colo-Nesco as an eighth-grader, had recently missed several games due to an injury to his pitching arm. This was his first week back and he showed he could still be a valuable competitor by driving Nevada’s first run.
With the game still scoreless in the top of the fifth inning, the Cubs had a runner on third with two outs when Good stepped to the plate and laced a single up the middle to score Colynn Black.
"I’m nursing my arm right now, but I’ll do what I can for the team to win," Good said. "They threw a fastball and I just put good wood on it."
That broke the ice for the Cubs at the plate as they came back with two more runs in the sixth and another in the seventh.
In the Cub half of the sixth, Zach Anderson reached on an infield hit, Tanner Hanson sacrificed him to second and Patrick Stephenson drove him in with a single. Chase Stout then doubled to center field, scoring Stephenson.
In the seventh inning Good singled with one out, stole second and scored on a double by John Jamison.
That proved plenty of support for Shafer. In only his third start after being inserted into the lineup when Good went down, Shafer gave up just three hits and he tallied four strikeouts and two walks in 6 1/3 innings to earn his second career win.
"I just knew to throw strikes and the defense will help you out," Shafer said. "My fastballs were working and I kept it low. I let my teammates do the rest."
Shafer ran into a little trouble in the seventh when Payton Larson singled and Brandon Niemeyer followed with a walk to put runners on first and second with just one out. But Black came in and struck out Grant Tiarks, then caught Taylor Hill looking to end the game.
"I thought we played one of our best games of the year," Colo-Nesco head coach Brandon Kelley said. "You’ve got to give Nevada a lot of credit; they took advantage of a couple of mistakes we made. We put ourselves in position to be able to take advantage of a couple of their mistakes, but we just couldn’t get that timely hit tonight."
Niemeyer was the losing pitcher despite a strong showing in his final home game. Niemeyer went the distance and allowed seven hits with five strikeouts and five walks.
Niemeyer also drove in the lone Royal run with a two-out double to the gap in left-center field, scoring Adam Lytle from first after Lytle reached on an error. Lytle also reached on an infield hit in the fourth inning to account for the other Royal hit.
Good and Stout both finished with two hits and Jamison, Stephenson and Anderson each added one for Nevada. The Cubs’ game with Saydel will take place at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow at Saydel.
Colo-Nesco begins Class 1A district play on Tuesday, July 16, against Belle Plaine in Brooklyn.
Nevada 4, Colo-Nesco 1
N 000 012 1 – 4 7 2
C-N 000 001 0 – 1 3 0
N: Tyler Shafer, Colynn Black (7) and Chase Stout
C-N: Brandyn Niemeyer and Taylor Hill
2B: N – Stout, John Jamison; C-N – Niemeyer