SYRACUSE - Throw strikes and catch the ball on defense. Two areas the Syracuse Junior Legion Baseball team has stressed all season.

It's also two areas that haven't been very stressful for Co-Head Coaches Mark Bayliss and Andy DeGolyer. The Post 100 Juniors (17-7) have struck out a combined 198 batters and have only walked 87. They have a combined ERA of 2.50. They've given up 39 errors and have a fielding percentage of .936.

Bayliss says they have pitchers who can pound the zone and put pressure on opposing hitters.

"We've gone through some spurts where we've hit the ball pretty well. We have a handful of guys that have been pretty consistent, but we're relatively young. We actually have six kids who could still be playing 'pony ball' on our team, so we're a young group. The hitting is coming around, but the pitching and defense has been pretty steady most of the year."

Braden LaFollette and Griffin Goering lead the team's pitching rotation. LaFollette has a record 5-3 with a 2.58 ERA, 53 strikeouts and 14 earned runs. Goering has struck out 65 batters, and supports a 2.19 ERA and has a record of 4-2.

Syracuse defeated Wymore, 12-1, on Tuesday to advance to the 2019 Class C State Legion Baseball Tournament at Tri County. They'll open with Imperial on Saturday at 11 a.m. The winner will advance to the second round to play the winner of Louisville/Weeping Water and Pierce on Sunday at 5 p.m. The two losers will drop to a consolation game on Sunday at 11 a.m.

The Post 100 Juniors won't shy away from what has worked for them this season and will continue to focus on throwing strikes and playing good defense at state, according to Bayliss.

"It's hard for teams to get a lot of hits. We'd rather take our chances having them hit the ball and beating us, oppose to us walking, making errors and having guys stand in the field. The odds are in your favor when you throw strikes that you're still going to be able to get them out, so we have that kind of mind-set. That's going to be key. We've also been getting some pretty timely hitting and have some decent team speed, so when we do get some guys on base we're able to take advantage and add some pressure."

Syracuse has scored 129 runs and have a batting average of .281. They've swiped 58 bags this season.

Grant Stubbendick has the best batting average on both the juniors and seniors team. He's hitting .446 for the juniors with five doubles, 14 runs scored and nine RBI's. He also has 12 stolen bases.

The double-elimination state tournament runs through next Wednesday.

Mackling throws gem to advance Louisville/Weeping Water to state tournament

YUTAN - Tyler Mackling threw a complete game shutout and the Louisville/Weeping Water Junior Legion Baseball team took the Class C Area 3 crown on Tuesday with an 8-0 victory over Malcolm in Yutan.

Mackling threw all five innings, giving up just three hits and no runs while striking out four.

Louisville/Weeping Water scored seven combined runs in the third and fourth innings. In the fourth, Mackling hit a run on a single, Josh Nolte had an RBI on a sacrifice fly, and Brayden Powell had an RBI double.

Nash Callahan finished 2-2 with an RBI and a run scored.

Louisville/Weeping Water will play Pierce in the first round of the Class C State Tournament at 2 p.m. Saturday. Tri County is hosting the double-elimination tournament.

Nebraska Junior Legion State Baseball Tournaments

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