The 2022 Class B Nebraska American Legion Seniors State Baseball Playoff concluded Wednesday at Broken Bow’s Paul Brown Field. The day included two games. In game one, Waverly met Columbus Lakeview for the right to move on and play Hickman later in the day for the title. Waverly took control of the game early with a big 2nd inning where they scored 11 runs. Lakeview tried to fight back scoring five runs in the top of the third but were held scoreless the rest of the way as Waverly went on to win in five innings 14-6.
The win advanced Waverly to a winner take all championship game against Hickman. The two battled earlier in the tournament with Hickman winning 4-2. The rematch was even better and more than met the expectations of a championship game. Waverly jumped out first scoring two runs in each of the first two innings to take a 4-0 lead. Hickman came back with one run in the third and then changed the complexion of the game with one swing of the bat. In the top of the fourth, with the bases loaded, Eaden Holt hit a grand slam to give Hickman the lead. Waverly scored a run in the bottom of the fourth to tie the game 5-5 which is how the score remained entering the 7th inning. In the top of the 7th, Eaden Holt delivered again for Hickman. With two out and a runner on second, Holt delivered with his third hit of the game driving in the go ahead, and ultimately the winning run. Carson Baker pitched two innings of no hit relief as he closed the door on Waverly in the 7th to secure a 6-5 win and a state championship for Hickman.
It was a fabulous end to the first state legion baseball tournament hosted at Broken Bow’s Paul Brown Field since 1985. Tournament director Jeff Denson visited with KCNI/KBBN radio Wednesday. Denson thanked all of the amazing volunteers who helped with the event and also expressed appreciation to the local American Legion post and those who were involved in the special opening ceremony and the ceremonial first pitch at the beginning of each game.
The Broken Bow seniors baseball team also made history at the tournament by winning their first state game at the seniors level since 1979. Denson, who also helps coach the team, said it was a great moment for Broken Bow American Legion baseball.