BEATRICE – The Beatrice baseball team (6-10) fell to the No. 1 ranked Norris Titans, 7-2 Thursday night at Christensen Field.
In the regular season finale for both teams, Norris (16-8) scored three runs in the third and four more in the sixth to win its fifth straight game and hand Beatrice its fifth straight loss.
The Titans benefited from nine walks by the Beatrice pitching staff. Three sophomores pitched for the Orangemen, with sophomore Billy Humphrey making his first career varsity start on the mound.
Humphrey took the loss in three innings of work, allowing just one hit, but five walks. Three of Norris’ seven runs were charged to him. Humphrey also struck out a pair of batters.
Zane Hoffman pitched the fourth and fifth innings, while Brody Nelson took over for the sixth and seventh.
As for Norris’ pitching, junior Tyler Monroe (2-0) made his first start of the season, and went a career-high 5.1 innings pitched with a career-high nine strikeouts. Beatrice’s Zach Hoffman broke up his no-hitter in the 6th inning.
Norris reliever Colbey Behrends was also impressive, allowing just one hit and striking out three over 1.2 innings.
Hoffman and Austin Burroughs scored Beatrice’s only runs in the 6th. The Orangemen were outhit 8-2, Thursday. Norris also struck out 12 total batters as a pitching staff.
Both teams have district games Saturday. Beatrice, the No. 3 seed, will be in Bennington to face No. 2 seed Nebraska City at 10 a.m. That game will be carried live on B-103.1 FM Nebraska City.
Meanwhile, No. 1 seed Norris will play either Plattsmouth or Guardian Angels Central Catholic on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at Hickman City Park.
You can follow Tommy on Twitter @Tommy_NCN.