Standing tall

Blair Seniors win on Military Appreciation Night, again Friday


July 3rd at Vets Field reminded Blair Senior Legion starting pitcher Blaine Rosenbaum of Smalls, Ham and Benny the Jet.
Fourth of the July fireworks filled the sky as he left the mound after 6 2/3 innings and nine strikeouts against Omaha Central.
“This is my absolute favorite thing in the whole world,” Rosenbaum said after the fact. “There's no better feeling. It feels like I'm, literally, in 'The Sandlot.' It's one of my favorite movies.”
While the kids played under a sky filled with fireworks in the 1993 film, the Post 154 Seniors (23-3 overall) beat their guests, 3-0.
“All-time classic moment,” Rosenbaum said.
Before Jakob Gaskill came on to earn the final out, coach James Bilslend's starting pitcher used his fastball and curveball to keep Central scoreless.
“Honestly, just working those two is what held up that whole entire game,” Rosenbaum said, noting how he worked in a few knuckleballs, too. He explained how his teammates played their part as well.
“When I'm struggling out there, not throwing strikes, they're just telling me what I'm doing wrong,” Rosenbaum said. “Helping me overall.”
While Blair's defense kept the opposition in check, though, the offense struggled to score. It finally recorded its first run during the fourth inning before adding two more in the sixth.
“I would have liked the runs, but I'm not going to focus on it,” Rosenbaum said. “If my team is backing me up on defense, that's all I care about.”
Courtesy runner J'Shawn Unger wound up scoring twice, while Brady Brown touched home plate once. Nate Wachter had a team-high two hits, while Brown, Nelson Kosch and Dylan Swanson had one apiece.
On Friday, Blair picked up a 12-1 road win against Auburn. Post 154 broke open the 0-0 game with six runs during the fourth frame and cruised from there. It added a single run during the sixth inning and five more in the seventh before Auburn finally scored during the bottom half.
Wachter homered and doubled during the game as the Bears picked up win No. 23 of the summer. Lee Chavez-Lara, Brown and he had three hits apiece, while Lucas Matejka and Kosch had two each.
Swanson, meanwhile, earned the pitching win with nine strikeouts across 6 2/3 innings. He allowed just three hits.

Juniors win three
The Blair Juniors, meanwhile, played three times around the Fourth of July holiday.
Post 154 won all three games.
First, coach Howie Brewer's squad beat Hastings 4-3 on Military Appreciation Night, July 3. Parker Jennings, Cam Wilkins and Jaxon Logan combined for four hits, two RBIs and two runs scored.
Post 154 won on Friday, too, topping Auburn on the road, 6-1. Andrew Korth knocked in the Bears' first run, according to the team's GameChanger stat-keeping app.
Then, on Saturday, the Bears scored 14 runs, besting Springfield by run-rule in the fifth inning, 14-6. Aiden McBreen notched three hits during the win.

Blair 12, Auburn 1
BLAIR (23-3) 0 0 0 6 0 1 5 — 12 15 0
AUBURN 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 — 1 3 1
July 3
Blair 3, Omaha Central 0
CENTRAL 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 — 0 3 2
BLAIR (22-3) 0 0 0 1 0 2 X — 3 5 2

Military Appreciation Night
The American Legion Post 154 baseball teams recognized veterans July 3 between the Junior and Senior games at Vets Field. The special mentions served the United States as members of the Army, Air Force, Air National Guard, Marine Corps, Army National Guard and Navy.
Air Force: Lt. Col. Burt Wiggins; Sgt. Raymond Mueller Jr.; Sgt. Donald H. Sorensen; Sgt. Bob Pettigrew; Airman 1st Class Stan Bilslend; Airman 1st Class Thomas Scott.
Army: Pfc. E-3 Albert Wegner; Spc. 4 Darvid Quist; Staff Sgt. Thomas Flynn; Staff Sgt. Jack Wachter; Spc. Terry Gochanour; 1st Lt. Ervin J. Darlage; 1st Lt. Russell B. Suverkrubbe; Pvt. Merlin Recker; Tech Sgt. Les Grace; Spc. E-4 Mike Matejka; Master Sgt. William Albert Snoad; Pfc. Spc. 4 James Kay; Sgt. Harold J. Korth; Pfc. Spc. 5 William Roy Livingston; Sgt. Craig Saylor; Frank Mann; Lt. Charles Leo Davis; Cpl. Alvin J. Neujahr; Col. Ed Bollerup; Sgt. Gary Riddle; Lt. Col. James Roan; Sgt. LeRoy Bilslend; Platoon Sgt. Ben Brown; Pfc. Dale Speicher.
Army National Guard: Spc. 4 John Robert Smutny; Gen. Carl Lorenzen; Sgt. Colin Quick.
Marines: Sgt. David McBreen; Sgt. Logan Rosenbaum.
Navy: Lt. Cmdr. Bruce Halverson Sr.; Seaman 1st Class Lawrence C. Gaskill; Metal Smith Petty Officer 2nd Class Robert Hamm; Petty Officer Eddie Kesling; Fireman 1st Class Harold Brewer.

Blair Legion Baseball