The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Local Sports

April 13, 2013

Tigers edge out Frankton in extras

Muller placings decided

ANDERSON, Ind. — Isaac Mitchell’s bases-loaded single with two outs in the bottom of the eighth drove in two runs and lifted the Alexandria Tigers to a 9-8 victory over the Frankton Eagles in the third-place game of the Nick Muller Memorial Baseball Tournament on Saturday at Memorial Field.

The game-winner was a bit of redemption for Mitchell, who walked in three Frankton runs in the fifth inning to give the Eagles a 4-1 lead, and a prime example of the resiliency Alexandria showed throughout the night. The Tigers were able to come back once (tying it in the sixth), twice (answering Frankton’s two runs in the seventh with a pair to send it to extras) and then a third time (overcoming an 8-6 Eagles lead in the eighth) to take home the win.

“That’s the kind of group these kids are,” Alexandria coach Jeff Closser said. “They’re resilient, and they like each other. They get along, and they play hard all the time. You never know what’s going to happen.”

Frankton coach Greg Hughes was proud of the way his Eagles fought back in the seesaw battle. He just would have preferred they hadn’t found themselves in that position.

“We didn’t play very good defensively, and it opened up the door for them and they took advantage of it. They made some mistakes, too, and we took advantage of that,” Hughes said. “For the start of the season, the way they battled back, proud of them for that. We just obviously got some things to work on.”

Blaize Kelly, who started on the mound for Alexandria, tallied seven strikeouts through the first three innings.

But Kelly had already thrown 105 pitches in the opening round Tuesday, and by the fourth, he was gassed. He wasn’t alone. On the final day of a weeklong tournament, both teams were forced to mine deep into the bench for fresh arms. Fifteen walks were issued by a bevy of pitchers. And the hurlers got no help from a multitude of errors.

“I thought the first two guys that pitched, (Frankton’s Logan) Weins and Blaize Kelly, they were nails,” Closser said. “They were in the same situation we were in. They ran out of pitching, too. We were throwing guys we aren’t normally going to throw. But you’ve got to give Frankton credit, too. They’ve got a great team, too.”

Alexandria’s Jessie Gossett and Derek Dinehart both went 2-of-5. Dinehart’s  night included an double and run scored in the eighth. Frankton’s Matt Kunce, also 2-of-5, and TJ Eads both had triples.

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