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Ogallala wins Mid-Nebraska senior championship

Jordan Callihan pitches seven innings, striking out ten batters in the win.
Published: Jul. 31, 2020 at 10:23 PM CDT
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OGALLALA, Neb. (KNOP) - The Ogallala Adams Bank & Trust seniors hosted Kearney Jersey’s for the Mid-Nebraska League championship game Friday.

Jordan Callihan got the start for Ogallala, and came out firing. Callihan struck out the side in the first, and added two more strikeouts in the third before rain caused a delay in the game.

“I was kind of worried about that actually,” Callihan said after the game. “I stayed loose during the rain delay, got on the bands, threw the weighted ball, and that helped me a lot, so I feel like it helped my command pretty well.”

The delay lasted just under an hour, and Ogallala scored first in the bottom of the third, with Noah Ackerman coming home on a wild pitch.

Callihan continued pitching well after the delay, striking out two batters in the fourth, and one in the fifth. However, Kearney’s Alex Hunt hit a two-run home run in the fourth to take the lead 2-1.

Caden Laviagurre tied the game in the fifth with an RBI single, and Ogallala took the lead in the sixth inning on a Lane Blackwell ground-rule double that scored Callihan. Ian Shaw added an insurance run on an infield single.

Kearney got the tying run to the plate in the top of the seventh, but Callihan shut the door to seal the win. He pitched seven innings, allowing two runs on four hits, and struck out ten batters. Ogallala won the championship game 4-2.

“Lane and I, we’ve grown up together our whole life. We went to high school together and had a lot of big moments in basketball and baseball. I told him before we went up there, ‘this is our time right here,’ this is a testament to what we’ve done in the five, six years we’ve been here. I kind of had an inkling that I was getting driven in there,” Callihan said on the Blackwell RBI that turned out to be the game winner.

In a shortened season, with no post-season play, the league championship means a lot to the players.

“This just meant more to us than it did last year, because it’s all we got, so it was really all or nothing here,” Blackwell said. “I’ve been playing with these guys the last five, six years, so to go out with a win, it just feels great.”

“It’s amazing. This group of guys has come so far in the last couple months. It was a shortened season, it didn’t matter, we progressed like we should have. We lost our first game of the year, 4-1 to Gering. They were a good team up there, and we just quite frankly weren’t ready for that. We’ve progressed so much, I’m so proud of all these guys,” Callihan said.

Ogallala finishes the season with a record of 18-3.

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