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Kearney notches another area tourney title

The Kearney Runza team takes the field in Lexington, Neb. for the A7 championship game on July 24, 2018. (KHGI)

Hastings gave Kearney a solid run for its money at a 13th consecutive area title.

The boys from Five Points Bank beat Runza 6-2 in the first game of the championship round to force a winner-take-all situation at Lexington.

In the finale, Hastings was trailing 11-4 and the Chiefs still had a lot of fight in them, scoring five runs and ultimately brought the go-ahead run to the plate. Kearney was able to stave off the comeback by getting an out with a runner on first and second for Five Points.

Hastings got out to a 3-0 lead and had the bases loaded in the top of the first with two outs. Trevor Payne was able to get out of the jam when Corbin Foster chased down a fly ball in foul territory behind first base.

Runza got a run back in each of the first three innings before popping off with a five-spot in the bottom of the fourth, ensuring Trevor Payne the victory after a rocky start.

Kearney scored three more in the bottom of the seventh, which proved to be crucial, by bringing their total to 11. At the time, those runs seemed like nothing more than a premium amount of insurance to take a seven-run lead.

Both teams advance to the state tournament, with Hastings traveling to Elkhorn and Kearney joining Grand Island Home Federal in Columbus.

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