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Chris Murphy, Published August 10 2013

Omaha West survives with victory in Central Plains Regional

FARGO – It wasn’t the prettiest victory, but Omaha West will certainly take it.

Omaha West was able to stave off elimination with a 7-3 win over Eden Prairie (Minn.) on Saturday in the American Legion Central Plains Regional baseball tournament at Jack Williams Stadium.

The game featured six errors and a combined seven wild pitches and passed balls, but the final score was the only thing Omaha West cared about.

“When you’re playing good teams, you’ll take anything you can get,” Omaha West coach Bob Greco said. “We really just appreciate every day we have. We want to make sure if we get beat and we have to go home that we’re not regretting anything. We want to get after it and have a good time.”

Early on, Omaha West (43-12) got after it with two outs. A two-out single from Mike Waldron plated Jake Meyers to open the scoring in the bottom of the first. In the bottom of third, Omaha West struck again with two outs, as Drew Fitzmorris’ single drove in Meyers to make it 2-0. Eden Prairie cut the lead in half on a Cody Wetmore sacrifice fly in the top of the fifth.

Omaha West started the bottom of the sixth with back-to-back walks. Matt Waldron laid down a bunt for a single and the ball was thrown into right field, scoring both Fitzmorris and Mike Waldron to make it 4-1. The throw in from right field got Matt Waldron to third, and he scored on a wild pitch to make it 5-1 before a two-out single from Brock Nemecek made it 6-1.

Eden Prairie got two back in the top of the seventh thanks to two Omaha West errors, but Omaha West pitcher Matt Waldron had more than enough support for what he was delivering on the mound. He went all nine innings, giving up no earned runs on five hits and two walks, while striking out four.

“Matt did an awfully good job,” Greco said. “I think our defense cost him about 30 to 40 pitches, but he stuck with it. He’s awfully tough to hit, and that sure helped us.”

Plus, he wasn’t ready to go home.

“I know the seniors didn’t want to be done,” Matt Waldron said. “At the beginning, I couldn’t really work my changeup, so I worked my fastball until I found my changeup. I really didn’t want to head home yet. I want to head down to the World Series.”

Omaha West will play today for a chance to head to the tournament championship, which is Monday. Eden Prairie ends the season 33-14.

EP 000 010 200–3 5 2

OW 101 004 10x–7 8 4

Curran, Choles (6), Phillips (8) and Graen. Waldron and Frei. W–Waldron. L–Curran.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Chris Murphy at (701) 241-5548