Aside from the fireworks going off across U Street — and the postgame plaque presentation — Monday's Blair Senior Legion baseball team victory was pretty typical.
The Post 154 Bears built an early lead, added to it and won comfortably, 7-3, at Brown Park against South Omaha Post 331. The Dave Van Metre Classic Tournament championship game victory was Blair's 20th of the season in 24 tries.
“I think we're rolling,” winning pitcher Jason Stewart said.
The original Van Metre title game was set for June 23 before rain postponed it to Monday's previously scheduled regular season game. It became business as usual for the Bears, though, when they went ahead 4-0 through just one inning.
Colin Quick stared down the second pitch to him and hammered it to deep left-centerfield for a one-out, two-RBI double. Later, after the first of Jacob Rodriguez's three walks, Max Nickerson put Blair ahead 3-0 with an RBI single.
The last run of the first frame came on a South Omaha error.
“When we're hitting the ball and getting runs, we're going out on the mound really confident,” Stewart said.
The Bears added to their pitcher's advantage during the fifth inning when Nickerson notched his second RBI on a sacrifice fly and two more runs scored on another Post 331 error. The 7-1 advantage would shrink to four runs as the game went on — and the Omaha neighborhood's fireworks filled the outfield sky — but Quincy Nichols came into pitch and cleaned up the final groundout.
That's when Post 154 collected its tournament plaque at the conclusion of its 20th win of the season. Its 21st came a day later when it beat Waterloo-Valley on the road, 20-2. The Bears collected 19 hits in five innings for the victory.
Nickerson and Auggie Rasmussen had three hits each, while AJ Bilslend (three RBIs) and Rasmussen (four) combined for seven RBIs. Caddon Keatts added two hits and two RBIs as Blair improved to 21-4.
Juniors top South Omaha 8-0
Before sunset at Brown Park, the Blair Junior Legion baseball team defeated South Omaha 8-0.
TJ Swaney and Jacob Chavez notched two Bears hits each, while Danny Lenz had a team-best two RBIs. Post 154 outhit 331 10-2.
Canton Lippincott pitched four innings and had four strikeouts.
The next night, Tuesday, Blair pitcher Morgan Rump had eighth strikeouts to go with his two hits and two RBIs to lead the Bears against Waterloo-Valley. Post 154 won 3-0.