Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Class 3A Baseball: Nemaha Central Steals Title from Remington

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Class 3A Baseball: Nemaha Central Steals Title from Remington

Article excerpt

MANHATTAN -- The game plan of Nemaha Central was clear: Get on base and run.

It began right away when Dalton Hiltibrand led off the bottom of the first inning with a single and promptly stole second base. Hiltibrand advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on Neil Sudbeck's single in a two-run inning in the Class 3A baseball championship game.

The Thunder kept running, stealing six bases the first three innings to score five runs.

"We wanted to be aggressive," coach Terry Stueve said.

The plan worked as Nemaha Central stole eight bases in a 5-4 victory over Remington on Saturday at Tointon Family Stadium.

"We didn't know what the catcher's arm was going to be like," said Hiltibrand, who had two stolen bases and went 3-for-3 at the plate with one RBI and two runs scored. "The first of every game we usually have somebody steal and see what the catcher has for an arm and go from there. That catcher's arm wasn't all that great and we took advantage of it."

The Thunder was caught stealing three times, twice at third base, but the 8-of-11 thievery -- four by Sudbeck, who also had two hits and one RBI -- put pressure on Remington that resulted in errors, wild pitches, a balk and a passed ball.

"We watched their first game and had a stopwatch on their catcher and pitcher and we added the two times up against what we had," Stueve said. "We matched up and said, 'Go,' and we went.

"When we're aggressive on the basepaths it puts the pressure on the defense, no doubt."

After building the 5-0 lead, the Thunder had only two hits and no runs their final three innings against Broncos pitcher Blake Thunberg.

Nemaha starter Ryan Hasenkamp cruised through three innings, allowing only one hit, but Remington -- which beat Larned 4-2 in the semifinals Saturday morning -- put together a four-run fourth with three hits and two Thunder errors to make it a one-run game. …

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