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New Castle White falls to Union County

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Producing a cloud of dust, Bentley Welch of the New Castle Little League Baseball White Team slides safely into third base against Union County during Sunday afternoon’s District 6 Tournament game in New Castle. Welch scored one of the New Castle runs, but an older and more experienced Union County squad prevailed 17-2 in 3 1/2 innings over the White team of mostly 7 year-olds.
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Jake Roseberry, a coach of the New Castle Little League Baseball White Team, tosses a pitch to one of his players as a Union County player on the mound watches during Sunday afternoon’s 8U District 6 Tournament game in New Castle. Facing an older and more experienced squad, New Castle fell to Union County 17-2 in 3 1/2 innings.

By DAVID RISLEY - drisley@thecouriertimes.com

The New Castle Little League Baseball White team, a squad of mostly seven year-olds, faced an older and more experienced Union County team in Sunday afternoon’s second game of the 8U District 6 Tournament and fell to the squad from Liberty 17-2 in 3 1/2 innings.

New Castle White finished 1-2 in pool play to conclude its season, while Union County ended with a 2-1 record in pool play (only loss to New Castle Green 25-24), and faced host Cambridge City in Monday night’s tournament semifinals.

Union County was the guest on the scoreboard and started hammering the ball from the outset in the top of the first inning. Jackson Hertel led off with a double, Hagen Hughes singled, and Talon Long singled and scored on the play after a couple New Castle miscues for a 3-0 advantage.

Noah Woeste was safe on a fielder’s choice, Holden Harvey’s liner was dropped, Cooper Gray singled to center, and all hands were safe on Grady Reister’s fielder’s choice grounder. Woeste and Harvey also scored in the inning for the maximum five runs allowed and a 5-0 Union County lead. With Coach Jake Roseberry pitching to his players, New Castle’s Henry Pratt led off the bottom of the first by reaching base on an error. After the next batter popped out, consecutive ground balls by Bennett and Wesley Eaton resulted in Pratt and Bennett being forced out at second base, and New Castle didn’t score.

Union County resumed the attack in the top of the second inning. Easton Stewart led off with a bloop hit to right field, Charlie Payne’s pop-up was dropped, and Easton Woeste singled to centerfield.

The New Castle defense then got Bentley Welch to Bennett forceouts at second base on balls hit by Dylan Wooley and Cason Hornung for two outs. But at the top of the order, Hertel doubled to centerfield and Hughes singled to center before the next batter grounded out to end the inning.

Stewart, Payne, Hornung, and Hertel scored runs in the frame to put Union County ahead 9-0.

New Castle got its first run in the last of the second. Welch led off by reaching second on a two-base error on his grounder. Preston Bowman singled to right field to move Welch to third base, and Welch scored on a fielder’s choice groundout by Wesson Smith to trim the Union County lead to 9-1.

The next two batters were retired by strikeout and force-out to end the inning.

Noah Woeste rounded the bases to score after singling to lead off the top of the third inning. Harvey reached second on a two-base error and Gray singled, but was out at second base on Reister’s fielder’s choice grounder.

The next batter lined out to second baseman Benjamin Pratt for the second out, but Payne circled the bases and scored after singling to centerfield. The next batter was retired for the third out, but Harvey and Reister also scored in the inning to boost the Union County advantage to 13-1.

New Castle got its second run in the bottom of the third inning. Kade Siewert led off with an infield hit, but was forced out at second base on Tryntin Keihn’s fielder’s choice grounder. Henry Pratt reached base on an error, but he was forced out at second on Benjamin Pratt’s fielder’s choice grounder as Keihn took third.

Keihn scored on a two-out bloop hit to centerfield by Bennett to trim the Union County advantage to 13-2. The next batter grounded out to end the inning.

In the top of the fourth, Wooley led off by reaching base on an error, Hornung singled to center, and Hertel tripled to centerfield. Hughes got an infield hit and Long singled to right field and took third base on a throwing error.

By that time, Wooley, Hornung, Hertel, and Hughes had scored to push the Union County lead to 17-2. Since the maximum number of runs New Castle could score in the bottom of the inning was five, that still would have been a 10-run deficit.

Based on that, Union County was declared the winner 17-2 on the 10-run rule after 38 minutes of action, but the teams agreed to play a bit longer just for fun and to get in more practice.