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Only One Alpacas reach State semi-finals for the first time

By Anne Homan,

Sports Reporter

The Lennox Only One Alpacas capped off a successful season in the first part of August, reaching the State Class B amateur baseball semi-finals. This marked the first time the Only One amateur team made it this far into the postseason, and the first time for a Lennox amateur team since 1995.

On August 5, the Alpacas began State action with a match-up against Nebraska’s Wynot Expos at Cadwell Park in Mitchell.

Lennox trailed early, but was able to use a four-run ninth inning to get the 7-4 victory over the Expos. The win was aided by three home runs in the game by Lennox as Drew Sweeter, Camden Wulf, and Corey Vasquesz all went the distance in the game. Wulf led the team at bat, with three hits in the game.

Handling pitching duties for the Lennox Alpacas were Brock Anderson and Drew Sweeter. Anderson pitched six innings, allowing ten hits and four runs while recording five strikeouts. Sweeter earned the win, allowing zero runs on two hits during his three innings on the mound. He recorded four strikeouts and walked one batter.

With the win, Lennox advanced to face off against Canova on Aug. 8. Lennox trailed Canova 5-4 in the bottom of the ninth when Vasquesz singled on the first pitch at bat, scoring two runs and giving Lennox the 6-5 victory.

Sweeter pitched all nine innings for Lennox, allowing seven hits, five runs, and striking out eight batters.

Offensively, the team was led by Walker Hutgren who had three hits in the game. Riley Hoffman and Peyton Eich each had two and Sweeter, Vasquesz, Jay Green, and Kyle Braun each recorded a hit.

With the win over Canova, the Alpacas advanced to the quarterfinals where they faced off against Alexandria on Aug. 11.

Lennox was tied at 6 all with the Alexandria Angels in the bottom of the eighth inning with Drew Sweeter able to single to score a run. After that Lennox managed two more to secure the 9-6 victory.

Handling pitching duties for Lennox were Anderson and Vasquesz. Vasquesz started the game, pitching just over five innings. He allowed seven hits, and three runs and recorded three strike-outs. Anderson came in for relief, pitching just over three innings. He allowed four hits, and three runs and recorded four strikeouts.

The Alpacas racked up 12 hits in the game with Vasquesz leading the way with three. Sweeter and Green each had two and Hultgren, Chris Kropenske, Braun, Eich, and Hoffman all recorded a hit in the game.

The win advanced the Alpacas to the semi-finals on Aug. 13 — just one win away from the State Championship game. Awaiting them was a tough Garretson BlueJays team.

Once again, Lennox found themselves in a tie with both teams sitting at 2 apiece in the bottom of the eight. However, Garretson went to town and managed to pull away for a 7-2 win, ending the Lennox Alpaca’s season.

On the mound for Lennox against the BlueJays were JD Kirchner, Anderson, and Sweeter. Kirchner pitched six innings, allowing six hits, two runs, and recording five strikeouts. Anderson and Sweeter each pitched one inning. Anderson allowed one hit, and four runs and recorded one strike-out. Sweeter allowed one hit and one run.

Offensively, Lennox had 11 hits in the game with Green leading the team with four. Hultgren also had multiple hits in the game, recording two.

Lennox’s third baseman, Kyle Braun was awarded the “Tony Adams Hustle Award” at the end of the Class B State Tournament.


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