Imperial’s Pee Wee 1 team collected runner-up honors in the end-of-season league baseball tournament played in Imperial. Members of the team included, front from left, Michael Duvel, Mason Wallin, Sean Heermann, Malachi Christensen, Jason Nelson, Cooper Dillan, back from left, Asst. Coach Mark Christensen, Tyler O’Neil, Colin O’Neil, Jensen Olsen, Carter Leibbrandt, Easton Fries and Coach Ryan Baker. (Johnson Publications photo)
Mason Wallin got this tag down in the first inning of the championship game, tagging out the Ogallala 1 runner at the plate. (Johnson Publications photo)
Carter Leibbrandt pitched for Imperial 1 in the title game Saturday night against Ogallala 1. (Johnson Publications photo)
Imperial 1 takes runner-up honors in Pee Wee tourney
Imperial 1 headed into the Tri-County League Pee Wee tournament last week as the No. 3 seed and, after picking up wins against Hershey on Friday and Wallace on Saturday morning, punched their ticket into the championship game against Ogallala 1 Saturday night.
While Imperial suffered a 16-4 loss in the title game, Coach Ryan Baker had nothing but praise for his team who finished higher than their seed.
“I’m proud of this group of boys,” he said. “As I told them before the game, ‘No matter what, you guys won—you didn’t win a game last year and now you’re in the championship game, it’s huge,’” he said.
Ogallala 1 captured the lead early in the finals and never trailed.
For Imperial, Carter Leibbrandt pitched all three innings, delivering 71 pitches with a 64 percent strike output.
Michael Duvel, Leibbrandt, Malachi Christensen and Tyler O’Neil each recorded a hit in the game.
“Ogallala is a tough team to beat; they were undefeated this season,” Baker noted.
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