ANDERSON — A light, steady drizzle greeted players as they gathered for Day 2 of the 16-18 year-old state Babe Ruth baseball tourney at Memorial Field on Saturday morning.
The first game of the day featured the Anderson Reds going up against Noblesville Black, and it offered a little bit of everything. Noblesville pulled out a 7-6 win with a four-run rally in the bottom of the seventh inning after the Reds scored twice in the top of the inning and appeared poised to grab the victory.
Anderson took advantage of wildness by Noblesville starter Justin Buchanan to stake an early 1-0 lead in the first inning.
Buchanan walked the first two batters he faced before inducing Jordan Hill into a grounder that forced Desmond McLemore at third. Andrew DiMaggio walked to load the bases, but Buchanan sent Michael McWilliams down on strikes.
Noblesville catcher Braydon Crow tried to pick off DiMaggio at first, but DiMaggio beat the throw. Tyler Young took advantage and scored the opening run on the play.
Buchanan settled down in the second, sending the Reds down in order.
Noblesville came to bat in the bottom of the second and opened a 3-1 lead on two hits and two walks. Anderson came right back in the third with three runs as Buchanan lost control and issued four walks along with a wild pitch and a passed ball that advanced runners.
DiMaggio delivered the big blow, driving home two runs on a solid single to right field. DiMaggio later scored on a wild pitch to give Anderson a 4-3 lead.
The game settled down from there, as the off and on rain became more “on” than “off.”
By the top of the 7th, the rain was coming down pretty hard and eventually forced the umpires to pull the teams off of the field with two Anderson runners on base and no outs.
After a little more than half an hour, the tarps came up and play resumed.
Michael McWilliams drove in Hill on a single, and DiMaggio scored after Ryan Hoffman tried to pick off McWilliams on a line out by Collin Matson.
Noblesville’s Connor Young drew a walk off DiMaggio to open the bottom of the seventh. Dylan McDermott came to the plate, pinch-hitting for Hoffman, and delivered a single. With one out, Daniel Brooks hit a grounder to short. McLemore fielded it cleanly and tossed the ball to Young at second for a force out. But the ball dropped from Young’s glove before an out was called.
It gave Noblesville a chance; bases loaded with one out instead of runners at the corners with two outs.
Crow grounded out but plated a run.
Ian Nicholson came up and delivered a looping liner that dropped just in front of right fielder Logan Clark to tie the game.
With the bases loaded, Brennan Greer singled to left field to score Nicholson and win the game for Noblesville.
“(It’s) very tough” Anderson coach Dave Sloterbeck said. “I saw my guy (pitcher DiMaggio) getting in trouble, should have given him the hook but I didn’t. It’s on me.”
DiMaggio played a solid game, blanking Noblesville for four of the five innings he pitched. He also went 3-for-4 at the plate with two RBIs. The Reds play today at 4 p.m. in the losers’ bracket.
In Game 2, Madison County Elite took on Greenfield and rolled to a 21-2 win to advance in the winners’ bracket.
Elite scored six runs in the top of the first and did not look back.
“I thought it was fabulous, they did a great job,” Elite coach Shelley Chapman said after the five-inning win.
Austin Chapman started it off for Elite, singling to short. By the end of the inning, Elite had racked up six runs on three hits with two walks, one hit batsman and one Greenfield error.
Elite sent 10 batters to the plate in the inning and kept it rolling in the second.
Eddie Boner stepped up to the plate and doubled to lead off the inning, Zach Sanderson hit a sac fly and Jon Griffey added an RBI double.
Griffey drove in seven runs, reaching base four out of five times. Drew Laughlin, Griffey, TJ Eads and Boner each scored three runs to lead the onslaught.
Elite scored six runs again in the 3rd and followed it up with two runs in the fourth and three in the 5th.
Elite’s pitching was just as dominant. Sanderson started and pitched two innings, giving up three walks, two runs and the only hit of the game for Greenfield.
Sanderson struck out five batters in two innings before giving way to Caleb York in the third.
York was perfect, not allowing a baserunner in three innings of work. Seven of the nine outs attributed to York were strikeouts.
Elite will play the winner of the Noblesville Black and Noblesville Gold game today at 1 p.m. at Memorial Field.