NEW ALBANY — Throughout its history, the Jeffersonville-New Albany baseball rivalry has had plenty of dramatic finishes.
On Wednesday night at Mt. Tabor Field, the Ohio River rivalry produced another instant classic.
Noah Smith smacked a game-winning RBI single in the bottom of the 11th inning to give the Bulldogs a thrilling 7-6 victory.
The frame began when New Albany’s Jack Shine reached first base on a throwing error by Red Devil relief pitcher Joe Burke. With one out, Shine moved up to second on a stolen base when teammate Brady Parr struck out.
After A.J. Nixon was intentionally walked, Smith lined a single that deflected off Jeff third baseman Josh Burke and went into left field. Shine scored from second for the game-winner.
The Bulldogs (10-2) got on the scoreboard first thanks to Nixon.
The sophomore right fielder collected an RBI single to drive in Parr from second and then came home on a passed ball to give New Albany a 2-0 lead.
But the Red Devils (6-3) answered in the top of the third with five runs off New Albany starter Tanner Goller. With the bases loaded and two out, a New Albany throwing error allowed Jacob Flispart and Drew Ellis to come home to tie the game at two. Then sophomore Ian Ellis launched a three-run home run over the left-field fence to give the Red Devils a 5-2 advantage.
In the bottom half, the Bulldogs pulled to within one at 5-3 when Parr drilled a two-out RBI single into right-center to plate Matt Sogge from third. Senior Chandler Dale got the Jeff lead back up to three in the top of the fourth with a two-out RBI base hit.
But the Bulldogs responded with some timely hitting of their own in the bottom of the fourth.