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BASEBALL

BASEBALL: Elkhorn North's 10-run fourth sinks Gross Catholic in state quarterfinals

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Gross huddles.JPG

Gross Catholic huddles outside their dugout at Werner Park during Saturday’s (May 14) 11-0 loss in the state quarterfinals against Elkhorn North.

PAPILLION — A ten-run fourth inning sunk Gross Catholic in an 11-0 loss to Elkhorn North in the state quarterfinals on Saturday, May 14 at Werner Park.

The Wolves got on the scoreboard quickly with an RBI single by senior Easton Mains, but the Cougars otherwise limited the No. 3 seed through the first three innings.

“Then in the bottom of the fourth... the ball that led off the inning is a play that we’ve made all season long,” Gross head coach Jim Hempel said. “We got to make those plays at this point in the season. And then a tough ball to our third baseman, and (junior Joe) Rempe’s made that play all season. It’s one of those that in this situation, plays got be be made because other teams are making those plays.”

After those errors, the Wolves loaded the bases for Mains, who drove a ball up the middle, and after an over-throw into third, the bases were cleared and the Wolves went up 4-0. From there, the Wolves would bat around, sending 14 batters to the plate and scoring ten runs in the inning on nine hits and two errors.

Hempel said after the errors were made, the margin for error was slim and the Cougars were left trying to stop a flood.

“All of a sudden the floodgates open and that happens in state tournaments,” Hempel said.

Down by more than 10, the game ended after the top of the fifth, an 11-0 final against Gross. The Cougars will now need to win out in the double-elimination state tournament, but Hempel was confident in his team’s ability to still make a run.

“One thing we’re blessed with, we have a pretty deep pitching staff,” he said. “We got seven, eight, nine deep here with arms. So we’re not going to be hurting for guys to run out there on the hill... It’s really about just executing inning-by-inning from here on out. There’s no margin for error now.”

Hempel said senior Kyle Capece will start on the mound for the Cougars against the losing team of Skutt Catholic and Elkhorn on Monday at 1 p.m. at Tal Anderson Field on the campus of UNO.

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