By Jan Schultz
The Imperial Republican
Imperial’s Pee Wee Orange baseball team took the consolation championship game and third place in last week’s Tri-County League Tournament in Wallace.
Orange went 3-1 last week, their only loss in the tournament going to the eventual runner-up Ogallala Black.
Entering the tourney with a 7-2-1 record, they finished at 10-3-1.
Coach Tyler Oxford’s team was seeded fourth in the tournament and upended No. 3 Sutherland, 7-2, in the consolation game Saturday afternoon.
Jack Bauerle went the distance on the mound, striking out eight batters and walked just two in the six-inning game.
Kadin Vrbas had a good day at the plate, going 3-5 with two doubles and a single. Bauerle also was 3-5, including an in-the-park homerun, a double and single.
When the two teams met earlier this season, they tied. Both teams ended the regular season with a 7-2-1 record, and a flip of the coin gave Sutherland the No. 3 seed and Orange No. 4 for the tournament.
Imperial Orange advanced to the consolation game after wins over Paxton II and Wauneta, then a loss to Ogallala Black.
Imperial won their opener 18-0 against Paxton II in a shortened four-inning game.
Pitcher Braden Space controlled the game, working all four innings and collecting nine strikeouts and giving up four walks.
Space also went 3-4 at the plate with a triple and pair of singles. Vrbas was 4-4 including two doubles, while Evan Fisher went 2-4 and had five RBIs via a double and single.
Last Thursday, Orange squeaked by Wauneta, 11-10.
Leading the offense for Orange were Bauerle, 4-4 with three doubles and a single; Landis Beverly, 3-5, three singles; and Scott Wheeler, 1-3 including a triple and sacrifice bunt.
Fisher and Beverly split the six innings of pitching. Fisher went four, while Beverly finished the game.
In their only tourney loss, Orange dropped a 7-2 game to Ogallala Black in the semi-finals.
Imperial’s two runs came on a sacrifice fly by Space that scored Beverly. Wheeler scored after a walk then stole around the bases.
Beverly led the hitting with a single and double (2-4). Austin Laird started on the mound, going three innings with seven strikeouts. Beverly finished the last three and struck out six.
Thirteen teams competed in the single-elimination tournament July 15-19. Paxton reigned as this year’s tournament champion, defeating Ogallala Black in the finals.