Sophomore Team to Compete in Oklahoma Tournament
June 3, 2010
Score Updates (Sluggers, 6-1, win the Sunbelt Classic Championship)
Hall of Fame coach Bill Olson and a hand-picked team of fourteen Nebraska players who just completed their sophomore year are en route to Edmond, Oklahoma today where they will compete in the 14th Annual Sunbelt Classic baseball tournament this weekend. The eight-team tournament field also includes two teams from Texas and five teams from Oklahoma that will each play a round-robin schedule of seven games Thursday through Saturday. Team Nebraska will play two games tonight, two on Friday and three on Saturday. The event concludes with pairings on Sunday based on pool play records, including a championship game between the top two finishers.
The Nebraska players are selected by Coach Olson and his assistants, former Wayne State head coach John Manganaro and Rollie Kenny. Olson and Manganaro are both instructors at the Ultimate Baseball Academy in Omaha. Players on the Oklahoma teams, which include three teams of rising juniors and two squads of rising seniors, are selected based on evaluation camps, and the Texas players are selected by invitation.
This year's edition of the Team Nebraska is the fifth that Coach Olson has taken to the event. His squads have finished runner-up to a Texas champion each year. "It's a great opportunity for our young players," commented the veteran coach. "The competition is a great experience for them, and they form bonds of friendship with players from other schools. Plus, we get to showcase our Nebraska talent in front of a number of college coaches in attendance."
This year's roster includes the following members of the Class of 2012:
This will be the second trip to the event for Groth who also played on the 2009 Nebraska team. Catcher Tyler Cook was a last-minute scratch from the trip after being sidelined by an injury.
A number of the Team Nebraska players recently earned post-season recognition following the completion of the Spring 2010 season:
Albert Johnson: OWH All-Nebraska First Team, LJS Super-State First Team, OWH Class A All-State First Team, LJS Class A All-State First Team.
Jordan Schroer: LJS Super-State First Team, OWH All-Nebraska Second Team, LJS Class A All-State First Team, LJS All-City, First Team.
Austin Groth: LJS Second Team Super-State, OWH Class B All-State First Team, LJS Class B All-State First Team.
Ryan MacDonald: LJS Second Team Super-State, OWH All-Nebraska Honorable Mention, LJS All-City First Team.
Tanner Kirk: OWH All-Nebraska Honorable Mention, LJS All-City Second Team.
(Game data provided by Gary MacDonald)
Game 1 - Thursday, June 3, 5:00pm
Nebraska Sluggers 9, Oklahoma Blue 3
Summary: Ryan MacDonald was two-for-two with a home run and 2 RBI to lead the Sluggers' nine-hit attack against Oklahoma Blue. Zach Barton and Jake Placzek, who tripled, each drove in two runs as well. Gavin Friehauf earned the victory in relief of starter Cameron Morgan, allowing only one hit in four innings.
Game 2 - Thursday, June 3, 7:30pm
Nebraska Sluggers 11, Oklahoma White 3
Summary: Austin Groth earned the win in Game 2, striking out eleven in six innings. Albert Johnson led the way offensively, driving in six runs on a double and a home run. Jake Placzek followed a 2-for-3 performance in Game 1 by going 4-for-5 and scoring three runs in the nightcap.
Game 3 - Friday, June 4, 1:00 PM
Nebraska Sluggers 5, Texas Gray 3
Summary: The Nebraska team improved to 3-0 in the tournament with a 5-3 win over Texas Gray. Tanner Kirk was 2-for-3 with a run scored, and Cameron Morgan scored three runs. Jordan Schroer earned the win, scattering four hits in a complete-game performance.
Game 4 - Friday, June 4, 3:30 PM
Texas White 9, Nebraska Sluggers 7
Summary: The Sluggers took a 7-4 lead into the bottom of the seventh but Texas White scored five runs in the final frame for the win. Starting pitcher Albert Johnson gave up a walk-off three-run home run as the Sluggers suffered their first loss, 9-7, to Texas White. Austin Groth homered and drove in two runs, and Tanner Kirk also had two RBI. Ryan MacDonald was 2-for-3 with a run scored.
Game 5 - Saturday, June 5, 9:00 AM
Nebraska Sluggers 8, Oklahoma Gold Jrs 0
Summary: The Sluggers improved their record to 4-1 in the tournament with an 8-0 shutout over Oklahoma Gold Jrs. The Nebraska sophomores drew ten free bases on 6 walks and 4 HBP, and used aggressive base running to score three runs on passed balls. Albert Johnson and Colby McPike each had doubles for the only hits, and JJ Benes allowed only one hit in five innings of work, facing 16 batters.
Game 6 - Saturday, June 5, 6:00 PM
Nebraska Sluggers 11, Oklahoma Royal 3
Summary: The Sluggers advanced to Sunday morning's 11:00 Championship with an 11-3 win Saturday evening over Oklahoma Royal, the team that they will face in tomorrow's championship game. The Sluggers were led offensively by Ryan MacDonald, who was 2-for-3 with 2 doubles, an RBI and 2 runs scored, Colby McPike and Austin Groth, who each went 2-for-4 with 2 RBI, and Jake Placzek, who hit a two-run homer and scored four runs. Brandon Bruggeman earned the win, scattering 3 hits and striking out 5 in five innings. A third game that was to have been played by the Sluggers on Saturday was cancelled due to heat.
Championship - Sunday, June 6, 11:00 AM
Nebraska Sluggers 7, Oklahoma Royal 4
Summary: Jordan Schroer went 2-for-3 and scored three of the Nebraska Sluggers' seven runs as Coach Bill Olson's sophomore squad won the Championship of the eight-team Sunbelt Classic. Tanner Kirk scored twice in support of his Lincoln Southeast teammate, Ryan MacDonald, who earned the win. Ralston's JJ Benes earned the save, holding the Oklahoma team scoreless over the last two innings. It was the first tournament championship for a Nebraska team during the five years that Coach Olson has been taking a sophomore squad to the event.
Congratulations, Sunbelt Classic Champions!