Crete, Nebraska- It took a total of 19 innings, but the Hastings College baseball team left Crete on Monday with a hard-earned sweep of Doane, winning the pitchers' dual in game one 1-0 and taking game two 5-3 in 12 innings.
Game one saw two hot pitchers pitch against each other in Andrew Kuta (SR/Edgar, NE) and Doane's Caleb Goedeken. Kuta allowed only four hits, while striking out three in his complete game shutout. Kuta also walked no batters and faced one batter over the minimum, thanks to two pickoffs and a double play. This was his fifth complete game shutout this season.
Hastings looked hot from the gate as Brandon Utrup (JR/Lincoln, NE) and Reed Stone (JR/Sutton, NE) hit back-to-back singles with one out in the 1st inning and advanced on a Ty Neill (SR/Ogallala, NE) groundout to have runners in scoring position with two outs. Luke Christensen (SR/Davenport, NE) loaded the bases after getting hit by a pitch, though this threat was eliminated by a groundout.
Doane countered with a leadoff double down the left field line in the bottom of the 1st, but Kuta anchored down to induce two flyouts and a groundout to end the inning.
The Broncos' offense heated up again in the 3rd inning, as Stone led off the inning with a walk. With two outs in the inning Alex Utrup (JR/Lincoln, NE) singled and Lucas Lingreen (SR/Sterling, CO) got plunked to load the bases again but could not get any runners in as a groundout ended the inning.
Hastings was led offensively by Petersen, who scored the only run, O'Brien with the sole RBI, and Brandon and Alex Utrup, who both went 2-for-4. This was enough to award Kuta with his seventh win on the season.
Tanner Nickoloff (SO/Thornton, CO) was on the mound for the Broncos in game two and was opposed by Doane's Carter Cummins. Nickoloff allowed three runs in six innings of 5-hit baseball and was replaced by Xander Schmidt (SR/Hastings, NE) who went the rest of the way.
Christensen hit a leadoff double down the left field line in the 2nd inning. He advanced to third on a Alex Utrup sacrifice bunt and scored on a Will Frei (SR/Omaha, NE) groundout to give Hastings a 1-0 lead early in the game.
Doane answered back in the bottom of the inning with a leadoff homer by Eduardo Yanez. Nickoloff would get the next batter to strikeout, but two walks and a fielding error filled the bases with only one out. The next batter got the go-ahead run in with a fielder's choice and added an insurance run on a wild pitch to give Doane a 3-1 lead through the 2nd inning.
In the 4th inning, Stone hit a leadoff single and advanced to second on a balk. Neill grounded out to get Stone to third and Christensen plated Stone on a sacrifice fly. With two outs in the inning, Alex Utrup hit a single and stole second. This set up Frei for an RBI-single to tie the game up 3-3 in the 4th inning.
Both teams had their chances to take game two in regulation, but were unable to capitalize as they would go to extra innings.
With two outs in the 10th inning, Brandon Utrup and Stone hit back-to-back singles to get the go-ahead run in scoring position, but could not capitalize. Doane also had the same luck with Haase hitting a leadoff single and getting to second on a grounder. Jacob Duhey hit a single, but Petersen got Haase out with a throw to home to end the inning.
Eric Anderson (JR/Lincoln, NE) led the top of the 12th off with a single and was pinch ran for by Grant Norder (SO/Bruning, NE). Norder got to second on a wild pitch and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt. Brandon Utrup got the eventual game-winning hit with an RBI-single. Stone grounded out to get Brandon Utrup to second. Neill followed up with another single as Brandon Utrup scored on a throwing error by the Tigers' right fielder to put Hastings up 5-3 and three outs away from the sweep.
Doane had a leadoff single and a walk to put the tying-run on first without one out, but Schmidt was able to get Nathan Sliva to hit into a game-ending 6-4-3 double play to end the game.
Hastings was led by Brandon Utrup, who went 4-for-6 with a run and the game-winning RBI. Schmidt got his fifth win on the season.
Up next for the Broncos, who climbed to 22-16 and 11-7 on the season, is a 4-game home series against the Midland Warriors with doubleheaders on Saturday and Sunday.