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McQuiston lives a dream for B-5 title PDF E-mail

Two outs.

Bottom of the last inning.

A runner on base.

You’re in the batter’s box.

Get a base hit, and your team wins the championship.

Admit it -- you’ve had the dream before, too.

You know the one, where you see the baseball (or softball) pitched, you swing, and everyone hears that beautiful ping! You, along with everyone else, watch the ball fly, and there’s no way the opponent is going to get it in time before the game is over.

Close your eyes for a minute, and even the most grown-up of us can visualize the scene. Most of us, though, never get the chance to see it become reality right before their very eyes.

It’s a dream Ben McQuiston certainly had more than once while growing up in Aurora.

Now he can say he’s lived it.

McQuiston came through in a two-out situation for the Aurora Legion Seniors, pounding that needed hit to advance his team to the Class B state tournament at Gering.

“I guess growing up, it’s every kid’s dream,” he said after the Area 5 championship game. “I came through in the clutch, I guess.”

Of course, had things followed the script Aurora’s team had initially hoped, the Big Red would have taken care of business before McQuiston had the bat in his hand.

With no outs, Wayne’s catcher threw wild to first base, allowing Cole Ashby to trot to second. But Blake Williams flew out and Eli Bricker struck out looking, and Aurora’s squad pinned its hopes onto its No. 5 hitter in the lineup.

McQuiston admitted afterwards that, when he was in the warm-up circle, he was waiting for Bricker to deliver the hit.

“I was on deck and saw our No. 4 hitter, Eli, come up and I trusted him to get the job done,” McQuiston added. “The job fell into my hands.”

With it being Aurora’s third straight year at state, the players understand there will be more of a target on them this time around.

“We had a big, almost surprise, run at state last year,” McQuiston said. “Nobody really knew who Aurora was at the state tournament last year. We’ll go back this year, and people will know who we are. We’ll be ready to play ball.”

That target was evident. Even though defending state champion Gering came into state as the host team with only 10 wins on the season, it was Gering which led 1-0 after an inning. Aurora got its offense cranked up in plenty of time, scoring 11 unanswered runs to take home its third state tournament victory in two seasons.


The third-consecutive state championship berth for the Aurora Legion Seniors gave a pair of graduated Huskies a rare feat -- qualifying for state in four different sports seasons in one year.

McQuiston pulled off the accomplishment for the second year in a row, having made state in football, basketball and track each of the last two years. Ashby was a teammate of McQuiston’s for football and basketball, and Ashby was part of the Husky golf crew which qualified for state.

Many athletes end their careers with nothing more than a dream of making it to just one state tournament. But four in one year?

You’ve got to be dreaming.

NICK BENES can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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