Everything appeared to be going right for the Johnson Imperial Homes junior legion baseball team when it jumped out to a 7-0 lead after two innings in the season opening game against Kearney Post 52.
But the big start wasn’t enough to deter the visitors, who scored six runs in their last at bat to take the lead for good in an 11-9 comeback victory at Prairie Ridge Park.
Kearney was down to its last out in the seventh inning trailing 9-6 with the bases loaded. Creighton Hamik, the No. 9 batter, delivered with a three-RBI double to left field to tie the game up. It was Kearney’ s only extra base hit of the game.
Kearney added two more runs in the frame, then took down the Hastings lineup in order in the bottom half of the inning to spoil the home team’s debut.
“It was hard. It was disappointing,” said JIH head coach Blake Marquardt. “But we showed some signs that we can be good. We started off hot, but we need to learn how to close a game.”