NEW ALBANY — The Jeff/GRC 10U All-Stars rallied from a four-run deficit with only six outs remaining to force extra innings and move on to the semifinals of the Little League State Tournament with an 8-7 victory in seven innings against New Castle.
The squad improved to 2-1 in Pool B to advance to the championship bracket against Pool A No. 1 seed Broad Ripple Haverford at 2 p.m. Sunday.
Jeff/GRC nearly got the win in the bottom of the sixth, getting runners to second and third only to leave them stranded.
Carter Durbin stayed composed on the mound after making the final out of the previous inning, providing the Jeff/GRC lineup another opportunity to get the win.
Cash Waters, who went 3 for 4 with three RBIs on Saturday, led off with a double to center field to get the Jeff/GRC faithful excited. Braylon Gray bunted the runner to third, setting up Landen McGee to smack the winning hit.
McGee already provided heroics earlier in the game with a two-run single to tie it at 7-7 in the fourth.
"He was hot all day and he got that 2-0 pitch. I told him look for that meatball. He got it and put a good swing on it," Jeff/GRC manager Andrew Durbin said.
Durbin said his team drew on experience playing with their collective backs against the wall during the District 5 championship against Silver Creek when his team had a huge inning to key a come-from-behind win.
"I told them this is the same spot we were in against Silver Creek in the district final. Let's not quit. We drew even," Durbin said. "They could have quit in the sixth. We get our first two runners on, didn't scratch a run. We came out, held them and took care of business in the bottom of the seventh. We didn't get it done right then [in the sixth], but give New Castle credit. They got it done with defense and pitching."
Aidan Toler went 2 for 3 with a walk and a run scored and Trevon Mitchell was 1 for 4. Grant Smith also went 1 for 2 with an RBI.