Grand Island puts scare into Millard West before bowing out of state baseball tournament

Local4 News at 10
Published: May. 17, 2023 at 11:18 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (KSNB) - After a tournament opener that could best be described as rough, not a lot of people had Grand Island Senior High playing baseball Wednesday.

The Islanders got run-ruled back on May 12th by top-ranked Millard West - a 10-0 game that was called after five innings.

Fast-forward to Wednesday, and the Islanders battled their way back through the loser’s bracket to again face the top-seed Wildcats. The only catch - the Islanders would have to beat Millard West twice to earn a spot in the Class A Championship.

In the first game of potentially two, Grand Island tore the cover off the ball in the second inning. Cohen Evans brought in the game’s first run in the frame after a two-run single gave GISH the 2-1 lead. Sam Dinkleman added to it with a line drive to center that brought in two more runs.

In total, GI plated seven runs and never looked back in a 7-5 win over the Wildcats. More importantly, it forced a pivotal winner-take-all game two against Millard West. That’s when the Wildcats kicked it up a notch. Tanner Wilbeck and Caden Driessen both tallied RBI in what would be a 5-1 win over the Islanders.

The Wildcats are moving on the the Class A Championship, but not before a wild run from the tournament’s #8-seed.

”We enjoyed the whole entire run,” GISH Baseball Coach Kirby Wells said. “We got to stay for a couple of nights, and the boys sure enjoyed that. Just being here in a championship atmosphere, it’s exactly what you play for. It’s great to be down here and great to compete at a high level and win some games and show just a ton of resiliency since our first defeat, and we came back and had been playing really good baseball.”