Nebraska City’s Keston Holman threw more than 100 pitches and allowed no hits before the fifth inning while striking out eight batters on the night.
SPRINGFIELD — Nebraska City got off to a strong start in the first round of the Trailblazer Conference Tournament on Monday and received a masterful pitching performance on the mound from their second right-hander Keston Holman.
Both offenses were thwarted by the pitch for three scoreless innings before the Pioneer bats produced a twisted number in the fourth to start the scoring at Buffalo Park.
Bayler Poston delivered a one-out RBI single with the bases loaded to put Nebraska City ahead 1-0. After a fielder’s pick scored another run, second baseman Cael Kreifel unloaded on a fastball, driving it deep to left center for a 2-run double.
The Pioneers added two more runs in the fifth, chasing Trojans starter Austin Krenzer and holding the offense for the rest of the night in the 6-0 win.
Platteview loaded the bases twice against Holman, but he was unable to come away with the big shot needed to break through.
The Nebraska City starter struck out eight and retired the last batter of the inning twice with Platteview threatening.
Pioneers head coach Kyle Ferguson said Holman threw “one hell of a game” on the mound.
Ferguson: “He worked all off season, so I wasn’t worried about his pitch count. He’s a competitor. He wanted it. He wanted that full game and I think the kids wanted it for him too .”
Holman featured a fastball with good speed and added a breaking ball that gave the Trojan hitters adjustments throughout the game. Ferguson said it looked like Holman was getting stronger as the game progressed.
Ferguson: “Keston threw really really well for us. That’s what he’s capable of. He’s got some good stuff.”
The Trojans only had five hits and blocked 11 runners on base.
Nebraska City will travel to face one-seeded Beatrice at 5 p.m. Tuesday in the semifinals.
Ferguson: “I’ve been telling the boys all year that if we can figure out that little piece on the defensive end, we’re going to do some good things. It was only a matter of time today before we broke through. ”