JEFFERSONVILLE — Silver Creek ended New Albany’s five-year reign over the District 5 Little League Tournament on Monday with a 7-2 victory.
New Albany was hoping to win a sixth straight title and compete for a fifth state championship in the past six years, but coach Justin Elliott’s team “ran into a buzz saw,” he said, in reference to flame-throwing right-handed pitcher Preston Burton.
Burton struck out eight in an efficient complete-game effort to lead the Silver Creek effort. Silver Creek had not won a 12U district title in more than 25 years, while New Albany has won four of the past five state championships and 19 of the past 24 district crowns.
“We knew if we could get the talent together in our town, we could put together a contender,” Silver Creek coach Damon Lewis said. “A lot of guys played Little League and then went and played travel ball. We had a great team. New Albany’s the gold standard of Little League baseball in the state. I have all respect in the world for them.”
Burton and his teammates enjoyed a subdued celebration and hope to move on to see what they can do at the state finals next week.
“My defense helped me out,” Burton said. “I tried to keep the ball low to get ground balls and keep my pitch count low.”
The offense got going early as well. Spencer Durham drove in Burton for the game’s first run in the first, and Silver Creek earned a four-run cushion with three more in the second. Burton, Cullen Garloch and Jackson Lewis provided hits during that inning.
New Albany didn’t make the plays in the field, totaling five errors.
“If we make plays, we’re right there with them,” Elliott said. “But Burton is a heck of a pitcher. It would have taken our best game to beat them. We needed to get his pitch count up and we couldn’t do that.”
Burton walked and hit a batter in the third and Kadin Bush drove in two runs with a double, but that would be all New Albany would get.
“The way we played Friday against HYR and coming in here, the guys were locked in and ready to go. They felt comfortable, they knew they had a good pitcher on the mound and [Burton] was fired up,” Lewis said. “They’re all great kids. They left me speechless.”
JEFF/GRC 10U RALLIES FOR BIG WIN
The Jeff/GRC 10U team trailed Silver Creek 5-1 in the fifth inning before coming alive with seven runs in the bottom of the fifth to take an 8-5 lead. Silver Creek scored one in the sixth but Carter Durbin got out of the jam for Jeff/GRC to hold on for an 8-6 victory.
Durbin and Trevon Mitchell had doubles during the big inning, while Aiden Tolen, Caleb Jones, Cash Waters and Preston Hart also had singles.
Boston Roberts, Elliott Kopf and Brody McLaughlin had hits during Silver Creek’s three-run third inning as it took a 5-1 lead.
NEW ALBANY 11U CLAIMS TITLE
New Albany’s 11U team topped HYR by a margin of 15-1 to claim the district title and advance to the state finals at Decatur Central later this month.
Braxton Mayfield had a double and a triple for New Albany. Lucas Maun added a first-inning RBI double.
Gavin Jackson led the way on the mound for New Albany.
“Gavin has started all three games and we were able to stretch him out past 50 pitches today, which is something we might need at the state finals,” coach Brian Mayfield said.
NEW ALBANY, FLOYDS KNOBS TO MEET IN 10U SOFTBALL
New Albany and Floyds Knobs advanced to tonight’s finals in 10U softball. New Albany won 8-3 against Silver Creek and Floyds Knobs topped Charlestown 13-3.
Lyric Hertweck had a double and triple for New Albany.
Sophie Douce had a double for Floyds Knobs, while Adeline Shultz went 2 for 4 with a double.
Charlestown scored three in the first with Katherine Pickerell, Taylor Burnett, Braylee Hopwood and Chrizney Fraley collected hits.