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Platte wins State B VFW title

Back row (from left): Coach Rob Hoffman, Trevor Sprik, Jack Johnson, Michael Westerhuis, Chase Pheifer, Ethan Kirsch and Coach Troy Sprik. Front row (from left): Bat boy Dawson Hoffman, Miles Huber, Andy Slaba, Zane Kress, Connor Westerhuis, Riley Hoffman, Cole Nachtigal and bat boy Hayden Sprik. (Photo courtesy of Kristina Sprik)

GARRETSON -- The Platte 13-14 VFW baseball team won the state B tournament championship with four straight wins in Garretson over the weekend.

Platte coach Rob Hoffman said his team was playing its best baseball of the season heading into the tournament and Platte's pitching and defense made the difference. Platte outscored its opponents 31-5 in the three games at the state tournament, which ended with an 8-2 win over Kimball/White Lake in the championship game Sunday.

Against K/WL, Platte was led by pitcher Riley Hoffman, who tossed seven innings and struck out 11. Hoffman added a single and two walks, while Ethan Kirsch finished with three singles.

Platte (14-5), which also has a player on the roster from Geddes, took an early lead with five runs in the bottom of the first inning. Platte took advantage of a pair of hits and fielding errors by K/WL, which came into the championship game undefeated at 17-0.

"It's always important to get up early to build confidence against a team like Kimball/White Lake," Hoffman said. "We have battled back and forth with them the last couple of years and it's always a tough game."

Dylan Mohnen took the loss on the mound for K/WL, allowing five runs in one inning. Seth Kirsch and Kory Peters each finished with a hit for K/WL.

Platte reached the championship game with a 10-0 win over Lake Norden in the first round and a 13-3 victory in six innings over Parker in the second round.

Against Lake Norden, Riley Hoffman picked up his first of two wins in the tournament on the mound. He pitched three innings and struck out six. Hoffman added two triples and a double, while Chase Pheifer chipped in with three singles. Connor Westerhuis added a double and two singles.

Michael Westerhuis got the win on the mound for Platte against Parker. He pitched six innings and allowed five hits. Westerhuis added a double and two singles, while Jack Johnson finished with three singles. Cole Nachtigal was 2-for-2 with two walks.

"Any given night, we have had different players stepping up for us," Rob Hoffman said.

State B final standings:

1. Platte

2. Kimball/White Lake

3. Clear Lake

4. Parker

5. Garretson

6. Lake Norden

Canova and Eureka/Selby finished 0-2.