The Trojans have made a habit of digging deep holes. At the same time, they have proven that there is no reason to panic. For the second sectional game in a row, New Castle fell behind 7-0. This time it was to the Richmond Red Devils in the sectional finals.
That was on Monday, June 2nd. As the rain began to fall, New Castle saw the Red Devils string together some timely hitting along with a couple costly errors to take a 7-0 lead at the end of the third inning. The rain was coming down a little harder as the Trojans came to bat in the top of the fourth. New Castle managed to score two runs, and leave men on the corners with one out before the game was suspended as the floodgates opened.
Fast forward to Tuesday, June 3rd, and the Trojans started right where they left off, scoring a total of six runs in the fourth, to close the gap to 7-6. Richmond answered with a run of their own, extending their lead to 8-6 after four complete innings. In the top of the fifth, freshman Jared Heard stepped to the plate. Heard had not registered a hit in a varsity game (0-6) prior to this game. His first hit was a memorable one, a 2-run home run to tie the game 8-8. However, Richmond wouldn’t be denied as they again answered with a run to retake the lead 9-8.
After a scoreless sixth inning, the Trojans were down to their final three outs and were in desperate need of some late gain heroics once again. Senior Grant Malott played the part for a second time in as many games, hitting a solo home run to tie the game, ensuring that a bottom half of the seventh would be played. Tyler Smith would follow with a single, and Cory Isenbarger drew a walk to bring Heard back to the plate. Heard left no doubt, as he drilled a home run over the right field fence to give the Trojans their first lead of the game at 12-9. Richmond’s Tanner Marlow led off the bottom of the seventh with a double, increasing the anxiety of the New Castle fans in the stands. The Red Devils managed to score Marlow, but registered two outs in the process. Dylan Darling fielded a hard hit ground ball at third and threw to Tyler Smith to get the third out and secure the sectional title for the Trojans.
This is the first sectional for the baseball team since 1996, and the first ever in 4A. The Trojans will face Terre Haute North on Saturday at the Avon Regional. The game will begin approximately 45 minutes after the conclusion of the Ben Davis/Cathedral game, which starts at 10:00 AM.