INDIANAPOLIS — Evansville Highland scored on a wild pitch in the bottom of the ninth to cap off a big comeback and beat the New Albany 12-year-old All-Star team 6-5 Thursday night in the winners’ bracket final at Decatur Little League.
New Albany, which has played in five consecutive state championship games, will face Munster at 5 p.m. Friday in the losers’ bracket final. The winner will face Highland at 8 p.m. Friday night in the state title tilt at Southwestway Park.
Thursday night New Albany raced out to an early 5-0 lead, scoring once in the first, thrice in the second and once more in the third before Highland rallied. The District 13 champions plated four runs in the bottom of the third, then tied it up with another run in the fourth. It remained that way until the bottom of the ninth when Highland plated the winning run with two outs.
Jack Beyl and Luke Kruer led New Albany at the plate. Beyl went 3-for-5 with a double, two RBIs and a run scored while Kruer was 3-for-4 with a run scored. Cody Jackson also added a pair of hits.
LITTLE LEAGUE STATE FINALS
At Decatur Little League, Indianapolis
EVANSVILLE HIGHLAND 6, NEW ALBANY 5
New Albany 131 000 000—5 11 1
Ev. Highland 004 100 001—6 10 3
W — Cole D. L — Luke Kruer. 2B — Jack Beyl (N), Cole D. (E), Brayden H. (E). 3B — Joshua F. (E).
Floyds Knobs beaten 8-0 in regional
ZIONSVILLE — Reigning Central Region champion Floyds Knobs was knocked out of this year’s tourney with an 8-0 loss to Johnston (Iowa) Thursday in the regional quarterfinals at the Zionsville Baseball and Softball Complex.
A pair of Johnston pitchers — Ellie Horton and Jadeyn Pundt — held Floyds Knobs to a pair of hits — singles in the third and sixth innings.
The Iowa state champion took an early lead, scoring one run — the only one it would need — in the bottom of the first, when Raina Peterson singled with one out then scored on Horton’s double to left field.
Johnston broke it open with a 7-run fourth. It featured four singles, a walk, hit batter and a pair of Floyds Knobs errors.
Horton, Pundt and Rachael Schlotter had two hits apiece to lead Johnston’s nine-hit attack.
Alyssa Murphy and Elliot Nance had Floyds Knobs’ lone hits.
CENTRAL REGIONAL TOURNAMENT
At Zionsville Baseball and Softball Complex
JOHNSTON (IOWA) 8, FLOYDS KNOBS 0
Floyds Knobs 000 000—0 2 3
Johnston (Iowa) 100 70X—8 9 1
W — Ellie Horton. L — Elliot Nance. 2B — Horton (J).