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Sports: Platte struggles right off the bat in loss to Aurora

The Aurora A's used a five-run first inning en route to a 9-3 win over the Platte Killer Tomatoes in second-round play at the Class B state amateur baseball tournament Wednesday night at Cadwell Park.

The Aurora A's used a five-run first inning en route to a 9-3 win over the Platte Killer Tomatoes in second-round play at the Class B state amateur baseball tournament Wednesday night at Cadwell Park.

Aurora scored the five runs with only the benefit of one hit, a two-run shot by Mike Graybill.

The A's were beneficiaries in the inning of three hit-batsmen and two walks.

Platte pitcher Rick Sternberg lasted only 1/3 of an inning, which was out of character for him, according to Killer Tomatoes manager Todd Strand.

"Rick usually has pretty good control," said Strand. "It's not like him to do that, but I guess that's the way it goes."

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Platte tried to answer in the top of the second inning as Andy Tegethoff singled, moved to second on a wild pitch and then to third on a groundout by Strand. Jarod Meyerink then grounded out to the shortstop and Tegethoff scored.

The A's responded in their half of the second as Curt Anderson was hit by a pitch and Jeremy Nordbye hit a two-run home run over the left-field fence. Aurora had a 7-1 lead after two innings with only two hits.

It looked liked Platte would get a big inning going in the fourth. Trailing 7-2, Strand walked and Meyerink singled. Cory Weins sacrificed the runners to third and second.

Miles Kuiper then flied to the A's right fielder Luke Roach, who threw Strand out at home plate trying to score.

Meyerink opened the sixth for Platte with a double. After Weins grounded out, Kuiper hit a line drive that Aurora pitcher Joe Lewellen grabbed and then threw to shortstop Rob Bortnem to double up Meyerink and the Killer Tomatoes threat was over.

"Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good," said Aurora manager Terry Anderson of his team's double plays. "But we pitched pretty well and defensively we played well. Their pitcher had trouble hitting the strike zone. He hit a couple of our guys and then we got the big home run from Mr. Graybill, our cleanup hitter. "

Platte had runners on first and third in the top of the ninth, but fittingly the game ended on a 4-6-3 double play.

Aurora moves on to play in the quarterfinals at 8 p.m. Friday at Cadwell.

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