GREENWOOD — Wednesday's Little League State Tournament pool-play game between Silver Creek and Brownsburg was a pitchers' duel.
Until, that is, Colin McNeer's walk-off home run — with one on and one out in the bottom of the sixth inning — lifted Brownsburg to a 2-0 triumph over Silver Creek at Greenwood Little League.
"The kid that hit that home run, he's a slugger," Silver Creek coach Damon Lewis said. "[Pitcher] Ross [Jackson] did exactly what we asked him to do, put it low and outside. The kid just went out and got it."
Silver Creek will look to bounce back at 11 a.m. Thursday morning, when it faces Lebanon in pool play. Lebanon lost to Chet Waggoner Little League out of South Bend in pool play Wednesday.
"I think we'll be fine," Lewis said. "They were pretty fired up after the game. I think they'll come out ready to go [today] for sure."
Coming off its win over New Albany, which won four of the previous five state titles, in the District 5 Tournament, Silver Creek faced a Brownsburg team trying for its first state championship since 2003.
"It was a pitchers' duel all the way," Lewis said. "Of course we were really watching our pitch counts, and I know they were, too."
Silver Creek starter Preston Burton and Brownsburg starter Connor Hickey went cleat-to-cleat into the fourth inning. Hickey struck out five in 3 1/3 innings, while Burton fanned nine in 3 2/3 innings before exiting after reaching the 50-pitch mark.
"We battled early against their starting pitcher," Lewis said. "We got him into some pretty deep counts, we just couldn't get anything going against him."
Bryce Kernen relieved Burton in the fourth before he reached the 20-pitch mark and gave way to Jackson in the sixth.
Brownsburg's leadoff hitter "laid down a perfect bunt," according to Lewis, to start the home half of the sixth. After an out, Jackson faced McNeer, who hit a pair of home runs in Brownsburg's 11-1 win over Terre Haute North in last Saturday's District 8 final.
"We could've put him on, but it would've moved the winning run over to second base and that's not something you really want to do," Lewis said.
McNeer's home run was his second hit of the game, but only the third for Brownsburg.
Silver Creek, meanwhile, mustered just a pair of hits (by Burton and Jackson) off Hickey and McNeer.
"It was a very clean game by two good teams, I just hate that we couldn't come out on top," Lewis said. "But we'll learn more from losing a game like that 2-0 than beating somebody 15-0. I think in the long-run it's going to help."
Lewis plans on starting Bryce Kernen in today's game against Lebanon.
"We've just got to get our bats going a little earlier," Lewis said.
LITTLE LEAGUE STATE TOURNAMENT
Wednesday's pool-play game at Greenwood Little League
BROWNSBURG 2, SILVER CREEK 0
Silver Creek 000 000 — 0 2 1
Brownsburg 000 002 — 2 3 0
W — Colin McNeer. L — Ross Jackson. HR — McNeer.
NEW ALBANY 11U STARTS PLAY THURSDAY
The New Albany 11U All-Stars, coming off winning the District 5 Tournament in convincing fashion, begin play in their state tournament Thursday. New Albany will face District 1 champion Dyer Little League at 5 p.m. at Decatur Little League in its first game of pool play.
New Albany won its three District 5 games by a combined score of 47-1.
The 11U team is comprised of Jude Hickman, Zachary Medlock, Max Watson, Lucas Mauk, Duke Beckort, Gavin Jackson, Braden Brewer, Andrew Ciszewski, Braxton Mayfield, Dane Sprigler, Camden Wright and Hayden Krueger. The team is coached by Brian Mayfield, Brian Jackson and David Brewer.
HYR INTERMEDIATE OPENS REGION PLAY FRIDAY
The Highlander Youth Recreation Intermediate 50/70 All-Stars, fresh off their third straight state championship, will open Central Region play Friday in Kalamazoo, Mich.
HYR will face the Keystone Little League team from Omaha, Neb., at 3 p.m. Friday.
HYR rolled to the state title, outscoring its five foes 62-2 — including a 10-0 triumph over Greenwood in Sunday's final. Seth Newkirk and Justin Early combined for a two-hit shutout on the mound while Clayton Schroeder homered in the championship game.
HYR won the region in 2017 and was the runner-up last year.
The team is comprised of Newkirk, Early, Schroeder, Peyton Durham, Brady Bilsland, Rollin Shirer, Travis Williams, Tate Timberlake, Wesley Taylor, Alex Schuler, Carter Jacobi, Masen Moravec and Kayden Linares. It is coached by Rich Moravec, Eric Jacobi and Todd Shirer.