ANDERSON — A young and inexperienced Anderson team again proved its mettle Friday in the semifinals of the Nick Muller Memorial Baseball Tournament.
The Indians (2-3), playing without several expected starters to open the season, clawed out a 10-6 victory against Lapel (2-2) at Memorial Field to advance to the championship game for the 10th time.
"We've got a bunch of new guys," Anderson coach Terry Turner said. "Obviously, it wasn't pretty. But we're moving on."
The Bulldogs were complicit in their own demise — committing six errors, issuing six walks, hitting three batters and allowing one Indian to reach on a passed ball following a strikeout.
Lapel's miscues were most costly in the fifth inning when the Tribe took control of the game.
With two outs and Anderson leading 5-4, Jordan Hill singled to left field and an error allowed pinch-runner Cory Chicote to score from second base. Tony Bova and Connor Johnson walked to load the bases, and Tyler Welch was hit by a pitch to bring home the second run.
Austin Chapman followed with an infield single, and Braden Odom drew a bases-loaded walk to make it 9-4. The Bulldogs escaped further damage when Joe Moran flew out to center field to close the frame.
"You're not going to win a lot of ballgames playing that way," Lapel coach Brad Lantz said, referencing the 16 free bases his team issued to the Tribe. "They squared up a couple of balls but not enough to score 10 runs."
Chapman led the way for the Indians, going 3-for-5 with three RBIs. Hill finished 2-for-4 with two runs scored, and Drew Laughlin went 1-for-3 with three runs scored and an RBI.
Anderson pitchers Moran and Odom, meanwhile, combined to handcuff the heart of the Bulldogs' batting order. Brady Cherry, Dane Mason and Cade Luker — Lapel's No. 3, 4 and 5 hitters — were just 1-for-10 with a pair of RBIs between them.