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NC 12U defeats CC to advance in district tourney

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New Castle’s Joey Hannan (5) and Cambridge City second baseman Carson Hawk watch the action at home plate during Tuesday night’s elimination game of the 12U Indiana District 6 Tournament at Brooklyn (Anderson) Little League.
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New Castle’s Gannon Harris gets ready to fire a pitch toward the plate against a Cambridge City batter during Tuesday night’s elimination game of the 12U Indiana District 6 Tournament at Brooklyn (Anderson) Little League. Harris threw 49 pitches over the first 3 2/3 innings and was the winning pitcher in New Castle’s 15-6 victory.
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Cambridge City's Dustin Lunsford fires the ball toward the plate against a New Castle batter during Tuesday night's elimination game of the 12U Indiana District 6 Tournament at Brroklyn (Anderson) Little League. Lunsford, who started the contest and tossed 35 pitches over two innings, absorbed the loss on the mound as New Castle defeated Cambridge City 15-6.
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New Castle’s Cade Logston races toward second base on a hit by Joey Hannan during the top of the first inning of Tuesday night’s elimination game of the 12U Indiana District 6 Tournament at Brooklyn (Anderson) Little League against Cambridge City. Logston was on base four times after trips to the plate and scored three runs in New Castle’s 15-6 win.
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New Castle's Jacob Cole lines an RBI single against Cambridge City in the top of the sixth inning of Tuesday night's elimination game of the 12U Indiana District 6 tournament at Brooklyn (Anderson) Little League. New Castle advanced to tonight's game against Hagerstown with a 15-6 victory.
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New Castle’s Vncent Farris (7), who singled to open the top of the second inning, and Cambridge City first baseman Jack Patton watch the action at home plate during Tuesday night’s elimination game of the 12U indiana District 6 Tournament at Brooklyn (Anderson) Little League. New Castle advanced to tonight’s game against Hagerstown with a 15-6 victory.
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Cambridge City’s Evan Stuckey stands at second base after doubling in a run against New Castle in the bottom of the fifth inning of Tuesday night’s elimination game of the 12U Indiana District 6 Tournament at Brooklyn (Anderson) Little League. Stuckey also hurled 75 pitches in middle relief as Cambridge City lost to New Castle 15-6.
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New Castle's Garren Mefford stands after getting an infield hit and sliding into second base to open the top of the sixth inning against Cambridge City during Tuesday night's elimination game of the 12U Indiana District 6 Tournament at Brooklyn (Anderson) Little League. Mefford was 4-for-4 from the plate and scored twice in New Castle's 15-6 win.

By DAVID RISLEY - drisley@thecouriertimes.com

ANDERSON—Hurdle No. 2 has been cleared as the New Castle 12U All-Star Team continues to maneuver through the losers’ bracket in the Little League Baseball Indiana District 6 Tournament.

Tuesday, New Castle played the late game against Cambridge City at Brooklyn Little League in Anderson and defeated the squad from western Wayne County 15-6 to move into tonight’s losers’ bracket “championship” game against Hagerstown, which is scheduled for 8 p.m. at the Delta LL complex.

Hagerstown is New Castle’s opponent because of the result of the first game Tuesday evening at Brooklyn LL, which did not end until 8:06 p.m. Delta scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to overtake and defeat Hagerstown 8-7 and automatically qualify for Saturday evening’s championship game in New Castle.

Both New Castle and Hagerstown have one defeat in the double-elimination tournament while Delta has not lost.

“We focused on putting up a bunch of runs because scoring runs is the name of the game,” New Castle Manager Eric Gross said after the game. “We made a couple of errors here and there, and we need to shore our defense up against the next two teams we might play.”

New Castle was the guest on the scoreboard for Tuesday night’s contest, which didn’t start until 8:45 p.m., and plated three runs in the top of the first inning off Cambridge City starting pitcher Dustin Lunsford.

Cade Logston led off the contest by drawing a walk after five pitches and moved to third base on Joey Hannan’s single to centerfield. Hannan stole second base. Noah gross beat out an infield hit on which Logston scored and Hannan moved to third base.

Gannon Harris grounded out 1-3 but Hannan scored on the play. Garren Mefford lined a single to left field on which Gross scored for a 3-0 New Castle advantage.

Mefford moved to second base on Coy Adkins’ 6-3 groundout but was left standing there as Tylin Thrine grounded out 1-3 to end the inning.

Cambridge City threatened, but did not score, in the bottom of the first off New Castle starting pitcher Harris.

Leading off, Jacob Richardson walked after five pitches and took second base on a wild pitch. After the next batter fanned on a called third strike, Clayton Vickers singled to centerfield and Richardson went to third.

Richardson was caught in a run-down between third and home plate and was tagged for the second out as Vickers took second base. Vickers moved to third on a passed ball but was left standing there as Lunsford grounded out 5-3 to end the inning.

New Castle added a pair of runs in the top of the second inning. Vincent Farris led off with a single to centerfield and went to second base on a single to left field by Darin Reynolds. Both runners moved into scoring position on Logston’s groundout to the first baseman.

Hannan singled to centerfield to drive in Farris and Reynolds moved to third base. Reynolds crossed the plate on an RBI groundout by Gross for a 5-0 New Castle lead. The next batter grounded out 4-3 to end the inning.

Harris struck out the first two batters he faced in the bottom of the second and induced the next one to ground out to first baseman Farris to end the inning.

Evan Stuckey replaced Lunsford on the mound for Cambridge City in the top of the third inning after Lunsford had thrown 35 pitches. New Castle manufactured two more runs in the frame.

Leading off, Mefford beat out an infield hit to third base, moved to second base on a wild pitch, and to third on a passed ball. Adkins walked after five pitches. An error on Jacob Cole’s grounder enabled Mefford to score and Adkins to move to third base, but Cole was tagged at second base for the first out of the inning.

Adkins scored on Brayden Bullock’s 4-3 groundout for a 7-0 New Castle advantage. The next batter struck out to end the inning.

Cambridge City stranded a couple more runners without scoring in the last of the third. Leading off, Jack Patton walked on four pitches. The next batter struck out after five pitches before Richardson reached base on a fielding error and Patton went to second base.

But Harris fanned the next batter swinging after three pitches and the batter after that grounded out 4-3 to end the inning.

New Castle padded its lead to double digits in the top of the fourth inning. Logston led off with an infield hit. After the next batter struck out on three pitches, Logston took second on a wild pitch and reached third base on an infield hit by Gross.

Logston scored on a single to deep short by Harris and Mefford followed with a single to centerfield on which Gross crossed the plate and Harris moved to third. Mefford scored on Adkins’ RBI 1-3 groundout for a 10-0 New Castle advantage. The next batter struck out to end the inning.

Harris retired the first two Cambridge City batters in the bottom of the fourth on a groundout and a strikeout and left the mound after tossing 49 pitches. Bullock came in to take his place on the hill.

Bullock walked Braxton Dick on a 3-2 pitch and Dick scored on a double to right centerfield by William Cameron to pull Cambridge City to within 10-1. Cameron was out at third base trying to stretch the hit into a triple to retire the side.

New Castle left the bases loaded without scoring in the top of the fifth inning. With one away, Reynolds reached base on an error but was forced out at second base on Logston’s fielder’s choice grounder.

Logston moved to second base on Hannan’s infield hit, and all hands were safe on Gross’ fielder’s choice grounder on which no throw was made which filled the sacks. But the next batter popped up to the first baseman to end the inning.

Cambridge City plated three more runs in the last of the fifth to draw a bit closer. Bullock struck out the lead-off batter but Carson Hawk followed with a single to centerfield. Hawk was forced at second base for the second out of the inning on Richardson’s fielder’s choice grounder.

But Stuckey doubled to left field to drive in Richardson, Vickers got plunked by a Bullock pitch, and Lunsford reached base on an error, loading the bags.

Ben Bates’ fly ball to the outfield was dropped for a two-base error and Stuckey and Vickers crossed home plate to trim the New Castle lead to 10-4. Bullock then whiffed the next batter on a called third strike to retire the side, and Cambridge City stranded a pair of runners in scoring position.

“When you’re up by a bunch of runs, it’s 10 o’clock at night on a 90-degree day, and you have 12 year-old boys, a couple errors can be expected,” Manager Gross remarked.

New Castle added some insurance runs in the top of the sixth inning. Mefford led off with an infield hit and moved to second base on the play on a throwing error. Adkins’ single to right field moved Mefford over to third base and Adkins took second on the throw-in.

Cole’s single to centerfield plated Mefford and Adkins also scored after a delay for a 12-4 New Castle advantage. Thrine came in to run for Cole and the next batter struck out swinging with Thrine stealing second base after the strikeout.

Thrine moved to third base on a passed ball and scored on Reynolds’ triple to right field. Logston singled to right field and Reynolds crossed the plate. Logston moved to third base on a double down the left field line by Hannan.

Stuckey fanned Gross after four pitches, but a dropped third strike enabled Gross to reach first base safely and Logston scored on the play for a 15-4 New Castle lead. Hannan moved to third base with still only one out.

Vickers came to the mound for Cambridge City to replace Stuckey, who had tossed 75 pitches. Vickers induced Harris to line out hard to the shortstop, who then tossed the ball to the third baseman to catch Hannan off the bag for the inning-ending double play.

Gross came in to pitch for New Castle in the bottom of the sixth. Cameron led off with an infield hit but was forced out at second base on a rare play in which Patton lined the ball into left field but the throw to second base beat Cameron to the bag for the first out of the inning.

Patton reached third base after a two-base error on Hawk’s batted ball, and Patton scored on Richardson’s RBI 4-3 groundout. Stuckey walked after five pitches.

A throw in an attempt to catch Stuckey off the first base base went astray, and Hawk scored to pull Cambridge City to within 15-6 and Stuckey got all the way to third base.

But Gross struck out the next batter after five pitches to end the game at 10:29 p.m., a contest that took 1:44 of time to complete.

“We’ll come ready to play on Friday night,” Manager Gross added. “We hope we get a re-match with Delta and then see what we can do.”

The New Castle 11U All-Star Team will play host Delta in today’s opener of the 11U Indiana District 6 Tournament at 6 p.m. These are the only two teams in that tournament.