SCRIBNER — The Tekamah-Herman Post 15 juniors turned back Hooper-Scribner here Tuesday with an 11-3 win in a C-2 Area Legion finals to qualify for the state tournament.
The game was shortened to five innings as Tekamah-Herman was up by eight runs in the fifth, bringing the mercy rule into play at Spear Memorial Ballpark.
"We didn't expect to be here in the end," Tekamah-Herman coach Jason Hoover said. "We just kept battling throughout the tournament and ended up here in the finals."
Once there, Hoover had a message for his team.
"I told them tonight, ‘Why not us?’ All we need to do is win a game," Hoover said.
His team listened and then some as they jumped to an early lead by scoring a couple of runs in the first inning. In fact, the first batter, Dylan Chatt would score in the opening frame after getting aboard with a walk.
Chatt was then sacrificed to second base by pitcher, Jed Hoover. A triple by Clay Beaumont chased Chatt home and Beaumont would later score on an error by Hooper-Scribner.
Hooper/Scribner answered with a pair of runs in the top of the second.
A pair of walks to Garett Palmer and Keaton Bushlow, followed by a sacrifice bunt by Wyatt Rebbe, pushed both runners to second and third.
After a strikeout by T-H pitcher Jed Hoover, Tekamah-Herman intentionally walked a batter and Ty Miller slapped a single to score a couple of runs to even the score heading to the bottom of the second.
Tekamah-Herman responded with five runs in its half of the inning and basically put the game away, with Hoover on the mound.
Hoover pitched all five innings, allowing seven hits but only three runs.
"I knew when we started scoring some runs I was going to be just fine," he said. "My teammates backed me up all night — in the field and with runs — it made tonight very easy. We did this together."
The score could have been worse.
Brett Uhing scored for Hooper-Scribner in the fifth, then Tekamah-Herman came back on the attack as Cole Bottger got on with a single. He stole second base and then went to third on a balk. Gunnar Ray then smashed a double into left center to score Bottger.
The inning continued with a single by Hoover, which sent Ray home before Tekamah-Herman loaded the bases.
The two runs in the frame were more than enough, but Tekamah-Herman added single runs in the fourth and fifth - the one in the fifth ended the game.
"We've been up and down all season," coach Jason Hoover said. "We have beat some teams we had no business beating and then we lost to teams we should have drilled."
"We just forgot about everything today and played baseball," Jed Hoover said. "We played our game and that's what we need to do at the state tournament."
With the win, Tekamah-Herman will advance to the Class C State Junior American Legion Tournament.
Hooper-Scribner 0 2 1 0 0 — 3 7 3
Tekamah-Herman 2 5 2 2 X — 11 16 2
WP: Jed Hoover LP: Keaton Bushlow.
2B: Brett Uhing (HS); Gunnar Ray, Dylan Chatt, Brady Bromm (TH); 3B: Clay Beaumont.