CHADRON — The WESTCO Zephyrs senior legion baseball team is rolling.
WESTCO grabbed a pair of wins from Chadron, 9-8 and 5-1, in a double header on Tuesday night, picking up its sixth straight win while improving their record to 27-15.
The first contest against the Nationals was far from clean, with WESTCO committing six defensive errors to Chadron’s three, but the Zephyrs were able to hold on to the lead for just long enough.
The Zephyrs trailed 3-1 after the first inning but went ahead with a five-run, third inning before extending the lead to 9-5 by the middle of the sixth inning. The Nationals refused to go down without a fight. Colton Olson reached on an error, allowing Tate Ryan to score. Trevor Berry then singled in Olson before Sam Rischling hit a deep double into centerfield. Berry scored easily but a perfect relay from WESTCO’s centerfielder Jack Jones to Harold Baez then to Paul Panduro nailed Chadron’s Dan Dunbar at the plate for what would have been the game’s tying run.
The Zephyrs held on as pitcher Hunter McCollum struck out two and forced a groundout in the bottom of the seventh.
Jace Heimerman led the Zephyrs at the plate with three hits, two RBI and three runs scored. McCollum added a pair of RBI on one hit. Jones went 3-for-5 with a run. Jones, Baez and Panduro all added a double to the winning effort. Six Zephyrs finished with a multi-hit game.
Olson and Berry led the Nationals, each scoring two runs with one hit. Berry added a RBI, as did Rischling, Cole Matson and Cobee Bila.
WESTCO controlled the second game from the start. Panduro doubled to leadoff for the Zephyrs and later scored on an error.
The Zephyrs scored one in each of the next two innings while McCollum, this time as the starter, kept the Nationals uncomfortable at the plate.
Later in the seventh, Panduro scored again on a wild pitch and Creighton Dike scored on an error, giving the Zephyrs a 5-0 lead. The Nationals put one on the board in their last chance at the plate, when Berry doubled to score Olson, but the Zephyrs caught Berry trying to advance for the second out, and Heimerman forced a ground ball to end the game two batters later.
Dike added a two hit game for WESTCO while K.J. Hartline drove in the Zephyrs’ only true RBI.
Dunbar went 3-for-4 in the nightcap. Berry and Olson each added two hits.
WESTCO 115 011 0 — 9 17 6
Chadron 300 203 0 — 8 7 3
WP — Creighton Dike
LP — Curt Bruhn
2B — WESTCO (Harold Baez, Jack Jones, Paul Panduro). Chadron (Sam Rischling).
WESTCO 111 000 2 — 5 6 4
Chadron 000 000 1 — 1 10 4
WP — Hunter McCollum
LP — Colton Olson
2B — WESTCO (Paul Panduro). Chadron (Trevor Berry, Kristian Bartlett).