KEARNEY — The North Platte First Nationals split a doubleheader on the road against district rival Kearney on Thursday night.
A 3-1 victory helped the North Platte juniors sweep the regular season series against Kearney Post 52, while the seniors fell on hard times, losing 9-0 to the Kearney Runza.
The first game of the night between the juniors and Post 52 carried a different narrative from the 9-1 shutout victory over Kearney at home a week ago, but the results remained the same.
Both teams flexed their stingy defense and relied on strong pitching to navigate up and down batting lineups, which led to a combined 13 hits and over 13 strikeouts.
North Platte’s Will Coe pitched against Kearney again, lasting four innings, allowing just four hits and a run, while striking out two and walking one. Coe’s performance clashed with Kearney’s Brayden Anderson, who allowed six hits and three runs, while striking out 10 batters in seven innings.
Derrick Kuhlmann and Trey Barker led the First Nationals lineup with two hits apiece, adding an RBI each to go along with a third from Jaylan Ruffin.
The win over Kearney Post 52 moves the juniors to a 22-4 record on the season thus far.
The North Platte seniors, however, had little success on Thursday.
The seniors allowed Kearney Runza to jump ahead early, and little could be done in crawling out of a 9-0 deficit just three innings into the game — giving up eight hits and seven RBI’s during that span.
Kearney’s Seth Strohl, Tyler Schirmer and Jaxon Worley each finished with two or more RBI’s for Runza, while the First Nationals’ struggled extended to the plate as well.
The seniors ended their stint in Kearney with just one hit from Gus Kreber, who singled in the fourth inning against Noah Carpenter. Carpenter pitched all five innings, allowing one hit, zero runs and striking out five.
The seniors return to action on Friday at the McCook Tourney, which is slated to begin at 3 p.m.