Despite being overtaken in the last inning, coach says “best performance, yet.”
HOLDREGE – Much of Hi-Line’s hard work appears to be coming to fruition as they played yet another great game, this time in Holdrege.
While the Bulls lost to the First State Bank seniors, they put up a fight. Holdrege drew first blood, putting two runs on the scoreboard in the bottom of the first inning. Hi-Line responded with two of their own in the top of the second and zeroed out the deficit. Holdrege responded in the bottom of the second, in-kind, scoring two more runs to regain the lead.
At the end of the second inning, Hi-Line trailed by two runs, 2-4.
The third inning saw Hi-Line come back with another two runs to tie the match. In the bottom of the third, they held the First State Bank boys to just one run and trailed by one, 4-5, as the teams traded places for the top of the fourth.
Hi-Line rallied in another two runs to tie and capture the lead from the Holdrege bench. When Holdrege took the plate in the bottom of the fourth, their at-bats went flat at the hand of the Bulls and Hi-Line held the lead at the top of the fifth inning, 6-5.
Hi-Line was unable to push runs on the scoreboard in the top of the fifth and momentum shifted, suddenly, to the Holdrege dugout. Holdrege put nine runs on the board in the bottom of the fifth inning and claimed the win, 6-14.
Hi-Line Bulls head coach Keith Henggeler expressed his pride in his players.
“They did everything right tonight,” Henggeler said. “I was aggressive with my play calling from an offensive standpoint and they executed what I called each time.”
Their aggression on offense was evident, recording seven hits in 22 at-bats for a total of six runs. Combining that with advancing runners into scoring position, the Bulls made strides against a long-established program.
“We played small ball tonight,” Henggeler continued. “I feel we can always do that because of our speed. We laid down timely hits and were very aggressive on the bases. From a defensive standpoint, we played solid but had a couple errors that definitely altered the momentum a couple times.”
Hi-Line is set to travel to Cozad for their final game of the season on Monday, July 27. Henggeler is hoping to give fans a good show at the Monday night game.
“You can hopefully expect to see every player get in the game,” Henggeler said of Monday’s game in Cozad. “I’ve done my best this season to get every player in the game while still trying to win ball games. I’m hoping to showcase strong pitching on Monday and hopefully, we can get some timely hits against them.”
As for his personally chosen MVP in Holdrege, Henggeler went with his starting pitcher.
“The player of the game would have to be Zeb Knackstedt,” Said Henggeler. “He struggled to find his command early in the game on the mound. I let him battle through it and he found his groove. He kept us in the ballgame. I pulled him in the fifth, when we had the lead. The kid has a lot of heart.”
Hi-Line’s game is Cozad is scheduled for Monday, July 27 at 7 p.m.