LINCOLN–(KFOR May 18)–After getting out of a jam in the seventh inning, the Lincoln East baseball team was able to overcome a late surge from Elkhorn South and pickup a 3-2 victory in the Class A State Baseball Tournament on Wednesday at Omaha’s Tal Anderson Field, giving the Spartans their first ever appearance in the Class A championship game.
East (30-4) will play top-seed and defending state champ Millard West in the Friday 7pm Class A title game. The Wildcats overcame an early loss to Grand Island on Wednesday to beat the Islanders 5-1 in the elimination game.
Spartan relief pitcher Connor Johnson came into the game during an at bat from Elkhorn South’s Trey Madina behind the pitch count 2-0 with the bases loaded an one out in the fourth inning. While the Storm managed to get a run in, East managed to get out of the inning. Elkhorn South added another run in the fifth inning, when Eli Small singled and scored off a double from Carson Rauner.
Johnson faced two more jams in the sixth and seventh innings, but got help from shortstop Joey Senstock throwing out the game-tying run at home in the sixth and second baseman Jeter Worthley catching a pop-up in the seventh. Johnson recorded the strikeout to earn the win and send the Spartans into the championship game.
East will be the first Lincoln team to play in the Class A final since Northeast finished runner-up in 2012. The Spartans are also seeking LPS’ first state baseball title since Southeast last won it in 1977.
In Class B, Norris will play defending state champ Elkhorn North Friday at 1pm, after the Titans bounced back to beat Omaha Skutt on Wednesday 11-2. In Class C, Malcolm will play for a state title Friday at 1pm against Omaha Roncalli, after the Clippers beat Platteview 7-6 in Wednesday’s play-in game.