Omaha Concordia tops Norris in district final, but both teams make state baseball tourney

The conditions for playing baseball weren’t great Tuesday, but Omaha Concordia didn’t seem to mind.

When it was over — and it lasted only about 15 minutes — the Mustangs had earned their second consecutive trip to the state tournament.

Concordia, which co-ops with Omaha Brownell Talbot and Omaha Christian Academy, held on for a 6-5 win over Norris in the B-3 district final at Bellevue West. The Mustangs qualified for state while the Titans qualified as a wild card.

The teams began their district game Monday at Plattsmouth, but it was suspended in the bottom of the seventh because of rain. Concordia led 6-2, but Norris had the bases loaded with none out.

That’s how the game resumed Tuesday in cool, rainy weather. The Mustangs yielded three more runs but hung on for the victory and the state tourney berth.

“It’s absolutely crazy,’’ Concordia coach Dan Kraft said. “I’m so proud of our kids who fought hard all season.’’

Mustangs pitcher Braden Olson gave up a sacrifice fly to the first Norris batter, making the score 6-3. After Cade Argo walked, another sacrifice fly made it 6-4.

Walks to Colson Hestermann and CJ Hood brought home another run, making it 6-5. Tyler Monroe then lofted a fly into right field toward Gage Kanzmeier.

There was a moment of trepidation among the Concordia fans as Kanzmeier almost overran the ball. But he reached back to make the snow-cone grab, triggering a celebration among the Mustangs players.

“I saw the ball off the bat and I knew it was playable,’’ he said. “I tried not to run up too far.’’

Kraft was a little more direct.

“Sometimes these kids give me a heart attack,’’ he said. “I’m just happy Gage caught the ball.’’

Kraft credited his team with being mentally prepared for the challenge of completing the suspended game in the rain.

“It was hard to play yesterday and then come back out here today,’’ he said. “I’m really proud of the way the guys responded.’’

Concordia led 6-0 entering the seventh inning but gave up two runs Monday and three more Tuesday.

“Norris is a very good ball club,’’ Kraft said. “I had a mostly sleepless night because I was thinking about all of the scenarios today.’’

The coach added that the school’s second consecutive trip to state shows that Concordia’s program is moving in the right direction.

“Returning to state again is great,’’ he said. “The next step would be a state title.’’

Kanzmeier said he is ready for the return to the Class B state tournament, which begins Saturday at Werner Park.

“We believe in each other,’’ he said. “And it means a lot to us to be going back.’’

Omaha Concordia (14-5)……….100 120 2—6 12 4

At Norris (17-9)………………….000 000 5—5 7 1

W: C. Kanzmeier. L: Bennett. S: Olson. 2B: N, Osborn. HR: OC, C. Kanzmeier.

District Tournaments

Class A  –  A-1  |  A-2  |  A-3  |  A-4  |  A-5  |  A-6

Class B –  B-1  |  B-2  |  B-3  |  B-4  |  B-5  |  B-6

2019 Nebraska high school state baseball tournament schedules

Below you’ll find the complete pairings and schedules for the 2019 Nebraska high school state baseball tournaments:

* * *

CLASS A

Saturday

At Sherman Field, Lincoln

10 a.m.: No. 3 seed Gretna (16-6) vs. No. 6 Fremont Bergan (14-4)

1 p.m.: No. 4 Millard South (20-8) vs. No. 5 Grand Island (19-9)

4 p.m.: No. 1 Elkhorn South (19-3) vs. No. 8 Kearney (17-8)

7 p.m.: No. 2 Millard West (23-5) vs. No. 7 Omaha Creighton Prep (18-10)

Monday

At Haymarket Park, Lincoln

10 a.m.: Elkhorn South-Kearney loser vs. Millard South-Grand Island loser

1 p.m.: Gretna-Bergan loser vs. Millard West-Prep loser

4 p.m.: Elkhorn South-Kearney winner vs. Millard South-Grand Island winner

7 p.m.: Gretna-Bergan winner vs. Millard West-Prep winner

Tuesday

At Haymarket

1 p.m: Elimination game

4 p.m.: Elimination game

7 p.m.: Winners bracket game

Wednesday

At Sherman

3 p.m.: Elimination game

6 p.m.: Elimination game

Thursday

At Haymarket

9 a.m.: Championship game

Noon: Championship game (if necessary)

CLASS B

Saturday

At Werner Park, Papillion

10 a.m.: No. 1 seed Waverly (19-5) vs. No. 8 Elkhorn Mount Michael (12-8)

1 p.m.: No. 4 Hastings (18-6) vs. No. 5 Seward (14-6)

4 p.m.: No. 3 Norris (17-9) vs. No. 6 Elkhorn (12-10)

7 p.m.: No. 2 Bennington (15-5) vs. No. 7 Omaha Concordia (14-5)

Monday

At Werner Park

10 a.m.: Waverly-Mount Michael loser vs. Hastings-Seward loser

1 p.m.: Norris-Elkhorn loser vs. Bennington-Concordia loser

4 p.m.: Waverly-Mount Michael winner vs. Hastings-Seward winner

7 p.m.: Norris-Elkhorn winner vs. Bennington-Concordia winner

Tuesday

At Fricke Field, Papillion

4 p.m: Elimination game

7 p.m.: Elimination game

At Werner Park

7 p.m.: Winners bracket game

Wednesday

At Werner Park

4 p.m.: Elimination game

7 p.m.: Elimination game

Thursday

At Werner Park

10 a.m.: Championship game

1 p.m.: Championship game (if necessary)

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