COZAD – The Cozad Reds Seniors made their way through the bracket of the Class B Area 6 tournament held in Cozad to meet with the top seeded and undefeated McCook Seniors in the Championship round on Tuesday.
Cozad, the second seeded team in the bracket, began their journey in the tournament with a loss to the fifth seed, Doniphan-Trumbull on Friday, July 19. The Following Saturday, they took a win over Holdrege to move on for a rematch with Doniphan-Trumbull.
Cozad won their elimination game with Doniphan-Trumbull and moved on to game nine of the tournament, an elimination game with Minden ahead of the Class B Area 6 Championship game. The Reds defeated Minden in their game on Monday, July 22 and their next challenge emerged; they would have to beat McCook twice, the undefeated first seed in the bracket.
Time was made for two games on Tuesday, July 23. Should Cozad manage to win the 5 p.m. game with McCook, the top two seeded teams would then need to play a second to decide the B6 Champion.
McCook and Cozad played tight in Tuesday’s championship game. The first two innings went scoreless for both teams when, in the top of the third, McCook put one run on the board to take a small lead.
The MNB Seniors held Cozad at the plate in the bottom of the inning and went on to score another run in the top of the fourth to reinforce their lead. Then, in the bottom of the fourth inning, Cozad responded with two quickly scored runs to tie the game, 2-2, as the teams headed into the fifth inning.
McCook and the Reds dueled from the mound in the following innings, with the game staying tied at two into the seventh inning. It looked to go into extra innings with Cozad on the offensive with two outs. Nolan Wetovick scored a run on an error by McCook to claim the win in the bottom of the seventh, forcing the teams into a second game.
As close as the first game of the Championship had been, the second game saw a different performance from the McCook boys.
McCook drove in six runs in the first three inning before Cozad could retaliate in the top of the fourth with three runs of their own. In the bottom of the fourth inning, McCook extended their lead to 3-8 before heading into the fifth.
McCook continued to extend their lead with two more runs in the bottom of the sixth for a 3-10 lead. Cozad answered with one run in the top of the seventh to bring the score to 4-10, but were held by McCook for the remainder of the inning.
McCook took the win, 4-10, Eliminating the Reds from the tournament to take the Class B Area 6 Championship and secure a spot in the state tournament in Gering. The Cozad Reds end their season after taking the McCook Seniors the distance in the Class B Area 6 Championship.