The Shelby-Osceola-Stromsburg Rebels Senior American Legion baseball team had an early exit from the state tournament in Syracuse after losing its first two games.
SOS lost its opening-round contest to Harington on Saturday 7-2 and lost to Valentine 6-5 on Sunday in an elimination game.
In the game against Hartington, the Rebels fell behind 2-0 in the first inning, then trailed 4-0 in the fourth.
Two runs in the bottom of the fourth closed the gap to 4-2, but a Hartington run in the sixth and two in the seventh sealed the game.
Konner Batenhorst started the game for the Rebels pitching 1 and 2/3 innings allowing two runs, one of which was earned, on three hits, striking out two batters and walking one.
Max Hoatson came in for relief tossing 3 and 1/3 innings giving up two runs on three hits while striking out four batters.
Pierce Branting had a tough go of it as well. Allowing three runs on two hits and two walks.
Tanner Wood closed the game with one inning of work, allowing no runs on no hits while striking out one batter.
"We had started Konner Batenhorst, who had put up some really nice outings the last few that we put him on the mound," said head coach Jeff Kuhnel. "I could tell nerves were there. When you don’t hit the ball and score runs, I don’t care who you’re playing. We could have pitched anyone on that particular day and we just didn’t hit the ball. We had 14 outs that were either strikeouts or pop ups."
Hartington scored its first two runs on a single, error, passed ball and a double then scored two more in the fourth on a single, double, ground out and another single.
In the bottom of the fourth, Hoatson singled in a run and Branting drove in another on a sac fly, making the score 4-2.
Neither team scored again until the top of the sixth when Hartington singled in a run and scored again in the seven off of a wild pitch and an error to take a 7-2 lead.
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In the bottom of the seventh, Brady Belt hit a one-out single but a fly out and a strikeout ended the game.
On Sunday, SOS took an early lead scoring a run in the top of the first, but Valentine tied the game up with a run of its own in the bottom of the inning.
SOS regained the lead in the top of the second, but Valentine took the lead for good in the bottom of the fourth, scoring three runs.
Valentine added two more in the bottom of the sixth to make it 6-2.
The Rebels attempted a rally in the top of the seventh scoring three times but fell short of the victory.
Austin Coffin started the game and pitched 1 and 2/3 innings allowing one run on two hits, striking out one and walking two.
Colin Wingard tossed 2/3 of an inning in relief allowing no runs on one hit, striking out one and walking two.
Bailey Belt closed the final 3 and 2/3 giving up five runs, two of which were earned, on three hits, one strikeout and four walks.
"We came out and put a run up in the first inning," Kuhnel said. "The guy that was on the mound initially I thought he was just throwing strikes and it wasn’t anything overpowering. We hit the ball well (Sunday), we really did. The trouble was, everything that we hit was a line shot to the left fielder, a line shot to the center fielder or a hard hit ball right to an infielder."
Peter Huguenin is a sports reporter for The Banner-Press. Reach him via email at DVDsports@lee.net