The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Sports

April 16, 2014

Bulldogs, Indians impress in openers

ANDERSON — Lapel and Anderson have very different histories in the Nick Muller Memorial Baseball Tournament.

The three-time champion Tribe has nine appearances in the championship game, tied with Pendleton Heights for the most in the event's 13-year history. The Bulldogs, meanwhile, are looking to reach the title game for just the second time and the first since 2007.

On Wednesday at Memorial Field, however, the two programs looked very similar.

Anderson opened the tournament with a 14-4 dismantling of Madison-Grant, and Lapel followed with an equally impressive 12-1 win against Liberty Christian to set up a semifinal showdown Friday.

"We've played them close the last two years, getting a split," Bulldogs coach Brad Lantz said of the impending showdown with the Indians. "They're one of those guys that are always in the finals every year. They know what that's like, we don't. We're going to have to come out ready to fight."

Lapel (2-1) looked a bit rusty early against the Lions. The Bulldogs spent last week on spring break and had a Monday game against Wes-Del postponed because of rain.

Liberty Christian, meanwhile, came in riding a 3-0 start, determined to keep the momentum going.

The Lions drew first blood in the second inning when Dalton Miller reached on an infield single, advanced to second on a throwing error, stole third and scored on another throwing error. All four of Lapel's errors were committed in the first two innings.

But Lantz made no excuses for his team's slow start.

"They've got a pretty good ballclub," he said of the opposition. "They're getting better every year. I told our guys on the way over they're an aggressive team, and they're going to come to play."

Liberty Christian's aggression was muted a bit by the loss of starting pitcher Preston Quinn in the bottom of the first inning. After reaching on an error, the senior injured his hand diving back to the bag on a pick-off attempt.

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