By GREG MENGELT
New Albany's 9-10-year-old All-Stars opened the state tournament at Jeff/GRC Little League with an 18-0 win over New Castle on Thursday.
New Albany had 10 hits and took advantage of eight New Castle errors and will play Auburn — a 14-10 winner over North Posey — at 8 p.m. Friday in the second round of the winners bracket.
“We came out and put a couple of balls in play and they didn’t make plays,” New Albany manager Josh Biven said. “We played a little small ball and we had a couple of big hits.”
Ray Reisinger, Josh Castleman and Nick Sexton combined on a one-hit shutout for New Albany. The only New Castle hit was leadoff hitter Cole McDaniel, who barely beat out an infield single as the first batter of the game. Reisinger, Castleman and Sexton combined to strike out seven and allowed just four baserunners.
“Ray’s been our go-to guy,” Biven said. “Josh threw well and Nick Sexton threw strikes. It was a big win against a New Castle program with a lot of history.”
After a scoreless first inning, four New Castle errors led to four New Albany runs in the second. Castleman also had an RBI double — New Albany’s only extra-base hit — in the inning.
New Albany tacked on four more in the third. In the third, New Albany had two hits, including an Austin Oppel RBI single, drew two walks and New Castle had two more errors.
Leading 8-0 after three innings, New Albany put the game away in the fourth with 10 more runs. Jameson Miller-Embry hit a two-RBI single to make it 10-0. Sexton and Tucker Biven followed with bases-loaded walks, Castleman hit another RBI single, Reisinger brought home another run with a single, David Newbanks was hit with a pitch then two more errors produced two more New Albany runs.
New Albany 18, New Castle 0, 4 inn.
Auburn 14, North Posey 10
Terre Haute North 14, Valparaiso 0, 4 inn.
Goshen 8, South Bend South East 5
Highland 10, Monticello 0, 4 inn.
Wabash 14, Southport 10, 8 inn.
New Albany vs. Auburn, 8 p.m.
Terre Haute North vs. Indianapolis Havorford, 8 p.m.
Goshen vs. Highland, 5:30 p.m.
Wabash vs. Bedford, 8 p.m.
New Castle vs. North Posey, 5:30 p.m.
South Bend South East vs. Monticello, 5:30 p.m.