|By Columbus Telegram, Neb.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
Hehnke, who led
"We knew we had our work cut out for us," Columbus head coach
Hehnke's dominating performance on the mound was backed up nicely by the
"They put up runs right away in the first inning and gave him a cushion," Keiser said. "We couldn't string together enough runners, but give Hehnke credit."
The Columbus Seniors were held to five hits in the game from
Still, Keiser knows his team will be able to move past Saturday's loss.
"We should be upset by the way today went and we are, but this is a group that has been able to see the bigger picture," Keiser said. "This is as tough as a team as we've played. If you're still thinking about this when you wake up tomorrow, you're in trouble."
"I feel confident in what we have available with our pitchers," Keiser said.
Now, Columbus will play with its season on the line for the next game in the tournament in the loser's bracket.
Though Keiser admits the pressure definitely builds around a team in a do-or-die situation, he doesn't try to change the approach.
"We try not to change it too much," he said. "We just want to go out, play every single pitch. Whether things are going our way or things aren't going our way, we want to make sure we got our foot on the gas and playing the entire time. The mental and physical aspect gets heightened by the situation, but we want to focus on playing our game."
Columbus will play the winner of
Because of a rain out earlier in the season, Keiser doesn't know a lot about Grand Island U-Save, but knows the challenges Norfolk would bring.
"They're frisky," he said. "They're the team that can spoil someone's tournament. They're athletic and they're old, which is something a lot of teams have on us."
Saturday at Norfolk
Columbus (8-14) -- 0 5 1
-- Pitching: WP --
-- Columbus Leading Hitters:
Good thing for him, the fourth-seeded Columbus Seniors broke out of the first round in seven innings after a 13-3 win over fifth-seeded South Sioux City.
"Without a doubt (it was a relief)," Keiser said. "It shows our kids kept their foot on the gas. It really makes you feel better going into a double elimination tournament."
Columbus, which is down to 10 available players, used 12 hits to overpower South Sioux City Friday.