By George Bremer
The Herald Bulletin
PENDLETON, Ind. —
The Anderson baseball team’s Class 4A sectional title defense began well Wednesday night.
The only problem is it still hasn’t finished.
The Indians lead Richmond 2-0 heading into the bottom of the third after taking advantage of a Red Devil error and a single by Drew Laughlin to break a scoreless tie in the top of the frame.
Shortly after Eddie Boner grounded into a fielder’s choice to end the inning, umpires spotted lightning well beyond the outfield fence. That triggered a 30-minute delay shortly after 9:30 p.m. When lightning was spotted again just before that delay was to expire, the umpires consulted both coaches and determined to suspend the game until 5:30 p.m. today.
The winner will face Greenfield-Central, an 11-6 winner against Pendleton Heights in the opener. That game also saw its fair share of delays.
The stoppages began with a 15-minute rain delay after a squall line rolled through in the third inning. And the contest was delayed on two other occasions as the umpires huddled to discuss calls.
The first came with the Cougars leading 2-0 in the fourth inning and the bases loaded. Pendleton Heights center fielder Kurt Talbert briefly pulled in a flyball before dropping it. The play originally was ruled an error, and Greenfield-Central had the bases loaded with a 3-0 lead.
After a prolonged conference, the umpires determined Talbert had held onto the ball long enough to be considered a catch. That gave Greenfield’s Cameron Gruell a sacrifice fly and left runners on second and third with one out.
After a popout to shortstop, Brendon Neal doubled in both runs to ignite a six-run inning and give the Cougars an 8-0 lead.
Pendleton Heights rallied behind four walks, an error, a sacrifice fly by Brogan Gary and a two-run single by Augdon Wilson to cut the deficit to 8-6 in the fifth.
But Greenfield-Central got three runs back in the bottom of the inning, highlight by Slater Rush’s RBI double, to regain control.
The game was further delayed in the sixth inning after a collision between Gary and Greenfield-Central’s Adam Rains in between first and second base. After another long conference, Rains was ejected from the game but allowed to remain on the Cougars’ bench.
Pendleton Heights aided Greenfield-Central’s cause with four errors, leading to nine unearned runs.
“We made some uncharacteristic errors,” Arabians coach Travis Keesling said. “These guys have come through all season long. Sometimes you catch a ballgame like that. You just hope it’s not in the sectional.”