Nate Steger drove in three runs to lead Beckman to a 6-3 victory over Kuemper Catholic in the 2A semifinals at Principal Park on Thursday.
Beckman took the lead in the second, led by Lucas Jacque’s leadoff double. Three consecutive walks and an error would follow, allowing two runs to score before Kuemper starter Chris Halbur struck out Rob Anstoetter and Connor Golden to get out of the bases loaded jam.
Golden prevented a run in the fourth. The center fielder gunned down Logan Nolting at the plate on a base hit off the bat of Kolby Hilgenberg.
Hilgenberg would return the favor to prevent Golden from drving in a run during the home half of the fourth. The left fielder’s canon caught Michael Boeckenstedt trying score off a single by Golden.
The Knights tied the game with two runs in the sixth. Alex Drees brought in the first run with a single to center that scored Colby Baumhover, who was courtesy running for Halbur. Chris Uhlenkamp hit a RBI-double down the line in right that scored Bryce Wessels for the second run. The Trail Blazers then went to the bullpen replacing Joey Lehmann with Steger, who struck out Riley Bach to end the inning.
Beckman answered with four runs while batting around the order in the home half of the sixth. Anstoetter gave Beckman the lead, driving Boeckenstedt in with a bloop single to right. The Trail Blazers proceeded to load the bases with one out for Steger, who belted a bases clearing double deep to left field putting his team up 6-2 heading in to the seventh.
The Knights would not go quietly, putting together a two-out rally in their last attempt. Wessels knocked a RBI-double to right, but Steger would get Hilgenberg to ground out to end the game.
Anstoetter went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored for the Trail Blazers.
Joey Lehman (10-0) allowed two runs (both unearned) on six hits and struck out eight to earn the win. Halbur (8-2) allowed all six runs (five earned) on 10 hits, walked five and struck out six to suffer the loss.
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