Bryce Butterfield and Carter Kelley combined for two hits each, and Butterfield knocked in two runs, but it wasn’t enough to overcome Scottsbluff in the first game of a doubleheader Wednesday at Bill Wood Field.
Scottsbluff scored the go-ahead run off a single to the shortstop in the top of the seventh inning to defeat the FNBO Nationals seniors 6-5.
“(We) came out pretty flat after a good win last night,” seniors coach Ricky Holm said. “I think we might’ve been hungover from last night’s win. Just shows you that it doesn’t matter who you play, if you don’t come out ready to play, you could lose against anybody. By the time we turned it on, it was too late.”
North Platte was leading Scottsbluff 8-0 in the fourth inning of the second game at press time.
In the first game, North Platte’s troubles started in the top of the first. Starting pitcher Cole Wright walked three straight with two outs, and three fielding errors by the Nationals defense helped Scottsbluff put three runs on the board.
“(I told Wright) that they can’t touch your velocity,” Holm said. “And that if you just challenge up and go after them … you can see their swings. They were so late on them. So just put it down the middle, see how far they can hit it. At least in that way, we have a chance to defend it.”
Wright went three innings, allowing four runs — one earned — on three hits and five walks. That earned run came in the third inning, when three straight singles pushed the score to 4-0.
Carsen Johnson relieved Wright in the fourth inning, and he gave up a run on a two-out double to center field. Johnson went three innings and gave up two hits and a walk.
North Platte mounted a comeback in the bottom of the fourth with a four-run rally. Kelley and Derrick Kuhlmann led off with back-to-back singles, and a Butterfield double to left brought in Kelley. Kuhlmann came around later on a ground out to make the game 5-2.
Jeremiah Seamann doubled to center to score another run, and Tate Janas reached base on an error that brought Seamann around.
The Nationals tied the game in the fifth when a Butterfield single scored Kelley.
“Carter’s been hot, he had a couple hits yesterday too,” Holm said. “So just trying to ride (Johnson and Butterfield) and hopefully we can get some of these other guys hitting.
“That’s the thing. Yesterday, we won. We scored five runs with only three hits,” Holm added. “So you don’t need a bunch of hits, you just need the hits at the right time.”
Mason Tilford relieved Johnson in the seventh inning, but two consecutive singles brought Scottsbluff’s go-ahead run in at 6-5.