Boys’ baseball State bound after 3-1 victory over North Platte

Before the opening pitch, Teammates Tyler Cox (11), Curran Boswell (11), Nolan Green (11), Nolan Iverson (10), and Colton Nicholson (10) share fist bumps while lining up for the National Anthem.
Before the opening pitch, Teammates Tyler Cox (11), Curran Boswell (11), Nolan Green (11), Nolan Iverson (10), and Colton Nicholson (10) share fist bumps while lining up for the National Anthem.
Autumn Green

On the back of Trevor Cox’s 10-strikeout performance, the Griffin baseball team won the Class B-3 District, 5-2, beating the Ralston Rams on Thursday and the North Platte Bulldogs 3-1 on Friday. They will compete at the State Championship this Saturday, May 11 at Tal Anderson Field at 11 a.m. Tickets can be purchased here. This achievement comes after a 15-7 regular season record with all but one loss coming against a top-10 opponent. 

The first and second innings of the District final were a baseball fan’s dream.  North Platte started off the game hot with a single, but Griffin pitcher Trevor Cox shut them down with two strikeouts and left one runner on base. 

“We need to have a handle business type attitude,” Cox said.  “I need to throw strikes and we [the team] need to cover the bunt.”

The Griffins couldn’t get anything going in the first two innings either.  The first inning was a quick one-two-three, and in the second inning, only one runner reached base by walking.

However, it all changed in the third.  After Cox struck out two batters, the momentum shifted and they didn’t look back.  To start the inning, sophomore first baseman Colton Nicholson hit a hard line drive into the right-center gap for a double.

“It felt great to get momentum going our way,” Nicholson said.

The Griffin bats didn’t slow down as junior and designated hitter Easton Leahy came up to the plate and hit a line drive single, then stole second base to put two runners in scoring position.

“My first at-bat I was late on the fastball,” Leahy said.  “I kept my head on it and drove it to right [field].”

With a high-sac fly from sophomore catcher Carson Herrmann, the Griffins took a 1-0 lead.

More of the same continued for the Griffins as Trevor Cox put up an easy one-two-three inning with another strikeout.  Sophomore center fielder Jensen Albers hit a triple and scored off another sacrifice fly to extend the Griffins lead 2-0 going into the fifth.

“We just kept clawing away and put ourselves in a position to win,” Leahy said.

The Bulldogs would not go down without a fight as pitcher Easton Jones hit a lead-off double and was bunted over to third base.  It seemed as if a score from the Bulldogs was inevitable with a runner on third and one out, but Trevor Cox thought otherwise.

“We can attack the bottom of their order,” Cox said.

He did just that, back-to-back strikeouts left Jones stranded on third and resulted in another scoreless inning for the Bulldogs.

The bats slowed down in the bottom of the fifth, but junior shortstop Nolan Green took advantage of his walk.  After advancing to second on a passed ball, Green stole third and a wild throw over left him with an easy path to home plate and a 3-0 Griffin advantage at the end of the fifth.

The top of the sixth inning came with a rough start, North Platte leadoff batter Caden Joneson hit a solo home run to cut the lead to two runs.  Then, more trouble came as Cox hit a batter, and gave up a single.

The game’s momentum shifted to North Platte’s dugout, and it seemed with runners on first and second that they could do major damage. Cox bailed the Griffins out with a flyout and strikeout to stop the bleeding and end the half inning 3-1.

No insurance runs in the bottom half left the game up to freshman relief pitcher Chase Neneman to decide the Griffins’ fate.  Neneman sealed it for the Griffins with a strikeout and two groundouts.

Trevor Cox and Neneman finished the game with a combined 11 K’s and just one earned run.  Leahy, Nicholson and Albers had the teams three hits and scored two of the runs.

“It was a good team win and I’m proud of our guys,” Leahy said.  “We are ready to make a run in the State Tournament.”  


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