Otte, Christensen lead FCHS past No. 10 Eagles

Baseball teams met Thursday at Washington County Fairgrounds


Senior pitcher Declyn Otte threw a complete game Thursday at the Washington County Fairgrounds, leading his Fort Calhoun baseball team past the Class C No. 10 Arlington Eagles.
The right-hander struck out five batters on 77 pitches, and received plenty of run support from Alex Christensen and his fellow Pioneers.
“We were hitting what they were throwing,” the winning pitcher said after the 7-1 road victory in Nebraska Capitol Conference play.
AHS catcher Tim Halley didn't disagree.
“They just had timely hits when they had runners in scoring position,” he said. “They had the big hits.”
The Eagle felt his team was productive at the plate, too, but didn't take advantage of its scoring opportunities like FCHS did.
“We'd get a hit an inning,” Halley said. “We just didn't get that big one in the gap or that big one over the fence.”
The Pioneers scored their first runs during the top of the first inning. With Arlington's Tyler Ott on the mound, Kenny Wellwood and Carter Christensen singled, and Sam Genoways walked.
Alex Christensen was up next for coach Roy Prauner's squad, delivering a bases-loaded, two-run single to centerfield. Ott struck out the next two batters, but Fort Calhoun led 2-0 before the Eagles ever saw an Otte pitch.
“I think the first inning is one of the more important,” Christensen said. “The first and the last inning.”
The Pioneers added three runs to their lead before Ott finally scored Arlington's first and only when a contact swing by Andy Misfeldt led to a run-scoring error. FCHS' Eric Koterba, meanwhile, sacrificed for a run during the second inning, Christensen scored on a double steal in the third and Genoways plated AJ Duros in the fifth frame.
Finally, during the top of the seventh inning, Christensen added his third and fourth RBIs of the game on his third hit. The first baseman's knock pushed the Pioneers' lead to what became the final margin.
“I feel like I've had a more relaxed approach at the plate this year,” Christensen said. “I've been less stiff and more relaxed, so I just allow myself more misses and attempts at pitches because I know I can always come back on a count.”
He started his first at-bat with a big miss, but battled back and started Calhoun off with a two-run lead. It was enough for Otte.
“I just had to throw it in the zone,” the pitcher said. “I had to let guys hit.”
The day's objective was simple.
“Don't throw balls,” Otte said. “Don't walk people.”
Again, Halley gave the Pioneers credit.
“They played a clean game,” the AHS Eagle said. “You've got to give it to them.”

Platte Valley tops FCHS
Wellwood homered Friday against Platte Valley, but Fort Calhoun couldn't quite replicate Thursday's success on its home field.
The Pioneers' guests scored four runs across the final two innings, besting Coach Prauner's team 5-4. The loss dropped FCHS to 3-4 overall.
In addition to Wellwood's home run, Duros notched two hits. Genoways, meanwhile, pitched 5 1/3 innings, totaling six strikeouts in defeat.
The Pioneers next compete noon Thursday at home against Central City/Centura before a 4 p.m. game against Wahoo. The Kernals play the Warriors between the two FCHS games, too.

Platte Valley 5, Fort Calhoun 4
PV (3-3) 0 1 0 0 0 3 1 — 5
FCHS (3-4) 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 — 4
Fort Calhoun 7, No. 10 Arlington 1
FCHS (3-3) 2 1 1 0 1 0 2 — 7
AHS (2-3) 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 — 1

High School Baseball