Kubat leads Omaha over Sioux Falls East in slugfestRuns weren’t absent in A slugfest between Omaha (Neb.) Pi Midwest and Sioux Falls (S.D.) East.
By: Royal McGregor, The Dickinson Press
Runs weren’t absent in A slugfest between Omaha (Neb.) Pi Midwest and Sioux Falls (S.D.) East.
Omaha tallied 19 hits as the Nebraska champions eliminated Sioux Falls East 16-10 during the third round of the Central Plains Regional American Legion baseball tournament on Saturday evening at Southside Municipal Ballpark.
“Everybody came to play,” Omaha centerfielder Kevin Connolly said. “We knew that we had to come in here and put up some hits, because it was do or die.
“If we are going to win this thing, our offense is going to have to do it.”
Being this late in the tournament, Omaha head coach Pat Mooney knew there could be many runs scored. The one thing that he said had to be done was damage control.
“You are getting later on in the tournament and the pitching is starting to dwindle,” Mooney said. “It’s going to be a slugfest for most games here on out.”
Omaha (38-12) kicked off the game with a three-run home run by Kyle Kubat. That was Kubat’s second home run of the tournament. Kevin Connolly added another three-run homer in the sixth, which was also Connolly’s second of the tournament. Connolly went 4-for-6 in the game including four RBI and three runs.
“We’ve got some good guys that can hit the ball out of the park,” Connolly said. “I got a pitch in the game that I took advantage of.”
Kubat went 3-for-4 with two doubles, four RBI and two runs and three walks.
Sioux Falls East head coach Brandon Hunt was expecting Omaha to put some runs.
“We’ve played enough Omaha teams to know that the team that wins the Nebraska state championship can swing the bat,” he said. “Teams from Omaha are typically aggressive and drive the ball.”
Michael Hout started for Sioux Falls East, throwing four innings, giving up eight runs and striking out three. Hout had a rough first inning, but seemed to find his groove after that.
“Michael (Hout) is a senior for us and an extremely hard worker,” Hunt said. “He demands a lot out of himself and he was disappointed in that first inning, but he was able to come back and pitch some quality innings.”
Aiden Hook started the game for Omaha, throwing 3 1/3 innings, allowing three runs and striking out one. Hook left the game early with his shoulder bothering him.
“There isn’t anything wrong with it, there just might be a little swelling,” Mooney said.
Aaron Goynes picked up the win, tossing 4 1/3 innings, allowing seven runs and striking out five. Derek Petrich pitched the final 1 1/3 innings.
“Aaron ate up four innings for us,” Mooney said.
Sioux Falls East (38-15) managed to tie the game at 5-5, but Omaha responded with a six-run fifth.
“Sometimes when you are playing from behind you have to exert so much energy to get back into the game,” Hunt said. “All of sudden the other team hits a three-run home run and then two more runs and you think to yourself ‘What the heck just happened?’”
Omaha might have committed more errors, but that’s due to the number of hits throughout of the game.
“Sioux Falls is a pretty good team on making contact,” Mooney said. “We bang out 19 hits and score 16 runs, you can throw it around a little bit.”
Omaha 410 061 2 0 2 — 16 19 6
SFE 010 411 0 3 0 — 10 12 2
Aiden Hook, Aaron Goynes (4), Derek Petrich (8) and Billy Lipari. Michael Hout, Cole Halgerson (5), Jack Gordon (8) and Brook Cross. W–Goynes. L–Hout. HR–O, Kevin Connolly, Kyle Kubat
Highlights: O, Connolly 4-for-6, HR, 2B, 4 RBI, 3 runs; Kyle Kubat 3-for-4, HR, 2B, 4 RBI, 2 runs; Petrich 2-for-6, 3 runs; Scott Bates 4-for-5, 2 RBI, 2 runs; Cale Dineen 2-for-6, 3 RBI, run. SFE, Cross 2-for-5, RBI, run; Halgerson 2-for-4, run; Austin Ridl 2-for-3, RBI, run; Jack Gordon 2-for-4, RBI, 2 runs; Jordan Risse 2-for-2, RBI, 2 runs.
Records: Omaha 38-12 Sioux Falls East 38-15
Eden Prairie 12, Mandan 2 (7 innings)
Carroll County 5, Omaha 4 (10 innings)
Mandan 5, Lino Lakes 2
Omaha 16, Sioux Falls East 10
Eden Prairie 8, Carroll County 2
Mandan vs. Carroll County, 3 p.m.
Eden Prairie vs. Omaha, 6 p.m.
Championship: Sunday’s winners, 11 a.m. (Second championship at 2 p.m. if necessary)