Malcolm, Seward play to tie in juniors battle


Having moved past the fourth of July, the postseason is in sight for the Malcolm Legion baseball teams.

Postseason comes with the pressure of both the juniors and seniors teams being two-time defending state champions. This is when it gets serious.

“Our guys are the hunted,” Malcolm head coach Tanner Soderberg said. “It’s been like that for a while now. Opposing teams want to do everything they can to take us out.”

In preparation for the C4 Area Tournament which begins Friday, July 12, in Malcolm, the juniors played road games on three consecutive days. Malcolm traveled south on July 5 and earned a 9-1 win at Adams. Miles McGill picked up his first junior-level win as he pitched four of the game’s five innings, allowing no runs and just one hit.

“Miles’ growth can be attributed to the number of reps he’s getting while playing on both the reserves and juniors teams,” Soderberg said. “He’s pitched 18 innings on the reserves team (with a 4-1 record). His demeanor and attitude has changed this summer. When adversity hits, he doesn’t let one bad thing ruin an otherwise good game.”

Malcolm went to Syracusethe next day and escaped with a 7-4 win. McGill had a big day at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a double and four runs batted in, while Brixon Meyer took care of business on the mound, improving his record to 4-0 with a six-inning, seven strikeout performance.

The juniors ended the weekend playing Seward to a 3-3 tie on July 7.

While Malcolm scored the game’s first two runs in the top of the first, Seward scored the next three to go up by one.

Nolan Duzik opened the top of the seventh with a double before Carson Frank drove him in with an RBI-single.

Frank came on in relief in the bottom of the seventh. After a dropped third strike allowed Seward’s Boston Happ to get on, Kyle Riley walked to put runners at first and second before Karson Dyer sacrificed both up a base.

Justin Wisnieski fielded a ground ball off the bat of Kolton Loos and threw out Happ to keep the winning run off the board. The game ended – due to time limit – when Brixon Meyer threw out Riley attempting to steal third.

“The winning run was 90 feet away with one out and our guys found a way to keep them off the board,” Soderberg said. “Adversity like that will only help us the next two weeks.”

The game was the only one of the week for Seward (14-10-3). Happ finished the game 3-4 with an RBI, and Dyer drove in two runs.

Malcolm (13-0-1) was set to face Lincoln Southeast (17-15-1) July 8 before entering the area tournament as the top seed.

Sutton (16-4) is the No. 2 seed while Lincoln Lutheran (9-5) is third. Malcolm will play Saturday, July 13, at 7 p.m. against the winner of No. 4 Wilber (6-11) and No. 5 Friend (2-8).

“Our guys have to handle the pressure,” Soderberg said. “Four games in four days against four quality opponents was designed to help them get there. We’ll be ready.”

Seward is in the Class B Area 4 tournament at Elkhorn. In addition to ETC, the bracket includes Arlington, Ashland, Omaha Concordia, Wahoo and Waterloo-Valley.

Seward is the No. 2 seed and will play WV Post 58 Friday, July 12, at 4 p.m. at Elkhorn Mount Michael.