Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

2017 Legion season comes to a happy end


Judy Walker for the Western Nebraska Observer

Kimball player Austin Lulf slides into home plate during the game against Bridgeport.

After a hot and humid couple days in Alma, Neb., the Kimball Junior Legion Baseball came to a close this season with the boys playing in the Class C Area Tournament.

The ball players started off the tournament Friday, July 7, with a game against Bridgeport at 5 p.m. Kimball lost the high scoring game 16-21. Your hometown team led for part of the game but Bridgeport came back and took the lead.

"You would think scoring 16 runs would get you the game, but it wasn't quite enough." said parent Bernie Walker.

During this tournament you can only pitch 2 whole games, so both teams were forced to use a large variety of different pitchers throughout the game, also the umpires in this first game had a very small strike zone so it took a lot of adjusting for both Kimball and Bridgeport.

Brendan Walker threw for four innings and had one strike out, Brady Kilgore pitched for one inning, Austin Lulf put his arm to use for one and a half innings, Ethan Bemis and Javon Coyle both made appearances and Justus Golding closed for the last out of the game.

Coyle led scoring in hits with one single, one double and a triple as well as two steals, Kilgore added one single and two steals, Nate Mars added two singles and one steal, Bemis recorded two singles, Walker had one single as well as two stolen bases, Colton Mielke had two singles and two stolen bases, Cole Hinton put one single in the books, and Golding added one single and two stolen bases. The ball players stuck out this game for all 7 innings.

Kimball's second game of the tournament played out in their favor, the boys played their second game against Carl Heath a combination team from Curtis and Maywood, and won 11-7. According to Bernie Walker, Kimball's pitchers did just what they were supposed to do in this game by having one pitcher throw for the majority of the game.

Lulf pitched six and two thirds innings with six strike outs, and Golding added his arm for one-third of an inning for the last strike out.

Again batting for the Kimball boys was good in this game as well, Kilgore had one single, one double, and four steals, Mielke had one single as well as one steal, Mars added two singles, Walker had one single and four steals, Coyle and Hinton added their quick feet for five steals each, Grant Hickman recorded one double and one steal, and Lulf added four steals to the books.

Kimball led throughout the whole game but could never pull way.

"They played very consistently but went back and forth," Walker said.

After the win against Carl Heath the boys were headed into Sunday with another tournament game, against the home team, Alma. Kimball lost that hard fought game 12-9.

"We had the lead, then Alma came back with some good bats and took the lead, and played catchup. They just had enough to pull away," said Walker.

Again Kimball's pitchers did a great job getting to a good swing and pitching for the majority of the game. Kilgore pitched for six and two thirds innings with two strikeouts and Hickman closed the game and was able to get the last out.

The bats were on point again in this game with Walker in lead with with two singles, and one double. Kilgore recorded one single and three steals, Bemis had two singles, Mielke had one singles, Mars with one single and one stolen base, Lulf added one single and one double, Golding had one steal and Hickman added one double.

This loss ended the 2017 season for the Kimball Junior Legion, but all the players were very excited and felt good about themselves and how far they have come this season.

"This was such a fun tournament for everyone who went and Alma is a great community, with a big lake nearby and the ball fields were terrific," added Walker.

Here is to another season full of learning, laughter, and the love for the game. Congratulations Kimball Junior Legion, you guys have done great this year.


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