The Falls City Blue Storm Seniors fell 7-2 to Beatrice and saw its season come to an end this afternoon at the Class B-1 Area Tournament in Syracuse.
The Storm finishes with a record of 20-12.
Beatrice scored seven runs on just five hits — of the seven players who came across the plate, only two reached on hits. Losing pitcher Derek Bippes issued six free passes in five innings, striking out five and surrendering a two-out solo homer in the sixth.
Offensively, Falls City got fanned a season-high 14 times. Center fielder Tyler DiGiacomo, the team’s hottest hitter all summer, went 2-for-3 with a home run and two RBI to lead his team.
Falls City opened the tourney Friday night with a 14-2 dismantling of the hosts, as hurler Weston Witt tossed three-hit ball and he and his teammates exploded with run support in the fifth inning, ending it early with a nine-run frame. FC actually trailed 2-0 after three innings, but first baseman Chase Thompson homered to lead off the fourth, and three batters later, with two outs and Bippes on third, Witt crushed a 1-2 pitch over the left field fence to give his team a 3-2 lead that would only get exponentially bigger.
In the bottom of the fifth, nine batters came to the plate and nine batters scored. DiGiacomo tripled his first time to the plate in the fifth, and then homered in his second time up that inning. For the game, he was 3-for-4 with four RBI and two runs scored; Witt finished 2-for-2 with three RBI and two runs scored; Bippes was 2-for-3 with two runs scored and one driven in.
The win sent Falls City to a Saturday night meeting with Auburn, a team the Storm beat 19-11 back in June. Auburn, though, capitalized on five FC fielding errors and took the rematch, 6-2, forcing Falls City into the losers’ bracket and against Beatrice today. Starting pitcher Logan Scheitel took the loss, despite surrendering just four hits out of 42 batters in five innings Saturday. He fanned seven and walked three. Hogue then pitched two scoreless innings of no-hit baseball in relief. That kind of pitching generally yields victories, but on this night, the defense failed FC. Errors helped produce Auburn’s run in the second, and then contributed heavily to a three-run Auburn fifth.
Falls City didn’t help its cause much at the plate, though, either. The Storm missed a potential big inning in the first, as DiGiacomo led off with a walk and scored on a one-out double by Rudy Vritska, who was left stranded in the frame. FC moved a runner to third in the third inning, yet failed to score him, and then in the fourth had the bases loaded with just one out, yet failed to bring a single run across.