Strong defense late pushes Sheridan County over Sidney

The Sheridan County Regulators American Legion baseball team invaded Sidney without a hit on the season and left with a "W" in the victory column.

The Regulators improved from its last effort, where they faced an Alliance baseball team led by the immaculate pitching of Chance Crowe, who pitched a perfect game in route to a 10-0 blowout of Sheridan County.

Tonight, things worked differently. Tyler Johnson retook the mound for the Regulators and faced a Sidney Red Raider team who was 1-6 coming into the game. 

Johnson pitched a complete game, allowing three runs on six hits and striking out four, while maintaining a rhythm that lasted the entire seven inning ballgame. In his last four innings on the bump, Johnson and the Sheridan County defense retired the side twice, and saw just four batters in the other two innings.

Sidney wasn't completely quiet offensively, however. With the Red Raiders six hits and three runs, the team played in a tight contest with the Regulators. The key difference were some of the early runs scored by Sheridan County, including four more hits and no errors.

Harley Bayne led Sheridan County with three hits, followed by Jace Freeseman and Logan DeCoste with two and Tyler Johnson adding one.

Sidney was led by third baseman Jakob Meyer, who had half of the teams six hits, while Micah Schneider, Sam Hashman and Ty Stettner each had one.

Sidney's Blaine Russell got the game started in the pitchers mound and he lasted four innings, giving up four runs on 10 hits.

Both teams were scoreless after the first inning came to a close, with Blaine Russell getting out of an early first inning jam via a double play.

In the top of the second inning, the Regulators plated two runs thanks to a two RBI double by Jace Freeseman, scoring Logan Decoste and Aydon McDonald. Freeseman tried to stretch the double into a triple, and was gunned down on a nice relay from Austin Lulf to Micah Schneider and into a tag placed by Jakob Meyer at third.

Sidney got a run back in the bottom of the second with a lead off single by Ty Stettner, who later scored on the Jakob Meyer RBI.

With the score 2-1, Sheridan County got some insurance in the next frame, when Harley Bayne came across home plate on the RBI from Louie Wilson.

Sidney would again answer the score by adding its own in the bottom half of the third, when Schneider reached first on a "hit by pitch", stole second, and was scored on a single by Sam Hashman.

After a scoreless fourth inning, the Regulators again scored a run when shortstop Logan Slama crossed home in the top of the fifth.

That would be the end of the line for Blaine Russel after pitching four innings. Micah Schneider came in to relieve him, and after walking his first batter, would go on to strike out the next six.

Schneider left the mound in the top of the seventh, when Reid Fiscus came in to close out the game, and he did so by picking up where Schneider left off, striking out the final three batters of the contest.

Sidney had one final attempt in the bottom of the seventh inning. Jakob Meyer reached base on a hard hit ball in the infield and was pinch hit for by Landon Riddle. Riddle stole second base and advanced to third on an infield grounder by Austin Wolfe. 

On the throw to third, DeCoste couldn't scoop the throw from Bayne and Riddle reached home for the Red Raiders. 

Sidney wasn't able to get any more runners on board and the Sheridan County Regulators picked up its first win of the season. They move to 1-1 on the 2021 season, where many of the teams games have been canceled due to weather.

Sidney drops to 1-7 on the year with the close loss and looks to regroup in an effort against the Gering American Legion team in Gering, NE. The senior game is slated for a 7 p.m. start tomorrow, Wednesday June 2, 2021.