Area team advances in B-2 baseball
OMAHA — Bryant Rief took the mound for West Point Guardian Angels Central Catholic/Scribner-Snyder/West Point-Beemer in the opening round of the B-2 District baseball tournament here at the Omaha School for Boys field.
And he did exactly what he needed to do.
The Patriots turned back Platte Valley 8-5 to advance to Saturday’s B-2 semifinals against Omaha Concordia/Omaha Brownell Talbot/Omaha Christian Academy.
“Bryant really set the table for us today,” West Point coach Bruce Schlecht said. “He told me he was ready to go this morning and I guess he was.”
Rief gave up only three hits and allowed just two runs on the way to the win.
Meanwhile, the Patriot offense used a couple of two-run innings and a three-run inning to put the icing on the game.
“Our hitting was very timely today,” Schlecht said. “Now we need to keep it going.”
After Platte Valley scored a couple of runs in the top of the third inning to make it 2-0, the Patriots responded with two of their own in the bottom of the frame.
Ray Loftis walked for West Point to open the third and then stole second base.
Jarred Minnick subsequently reached on an error and Derek Petz used a sacrifice bunt to move the Patriot runners to second and third.
Rief then helped his own cause with a double to even the score 2-2.
The Patriots plated two more runs in the fourth to take a 4-2 advantage and added one in the fifth to make it 5-2.
A three-run sixth put the game almost out of reach.
Loftis opened the Patriot half of the fifth getting plunked by the Platte Valley pitcher. Petz singled to right to move Loftis to third and Platte Valley intentionally walked Rief.
That brought Greg Johnson came to the plate. He rifled a single into centerfield that scored Petz and Rief. Later in the inning, Austin Peters scored on an errant pickoff attempt by the Platte Valley pitcher.
In the top of the seventh, the Platte Valley Patriots made a bit of a rally and scored a run.
But on the play, West Point right fielder Jaden Rahn grabbed the sharply hit ball, fired the ball to Johnson who relayed it to Blake Anderson at third to end the game.
“Look how far we’ve come — we started the season 0-5 and now we’re 7-7,” Schlecht said. “I’m really proud of these guys.”
Saturday’s semifinals had West Point playing at 2:30 p.m. while Wayne was to take on the Ralston Rams at noon.
Platte Valley 002 020 1 — 5 4 3
GACC/SS/WPB 002 213 X — 8 6 0
WP: Bryant Rief LP: Hunter Washburn
2B: Jared Minnick (GACC/SS/WBP); Hunter Washburn (PV).