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Despite losing a 4-0 lead, the Hillsboro Indians came up with clutch hits when they needed it, going extra innings to beat Unioto 6-5 for the Division 2 District Baseball Championship at V.A. Memorial Stadium.
The championship is the first for the Indians in 19 years.
Hillsboro got out of the gates quickly, with a Zach Humphries RBI single in the first for a 1-0 lead. Brayden Hisling’s RBI double in the second inning made it 2-0, with two more runs being notched on the scoreboard in the fourth inning on a two run single by Ryan Scott, who was also the starting Indians pitcher. That made it 4-0 Hillsboro.
Scott was sailing along on the mound until Unioto’s Cameron DeBord led-off with a fourth inning triple, then scored when Carson DeBord singled his brother home making it 4-1.
That’s the way it remained until the bottom of the sixth, when the Tanks added two runs to cut the deficit to 4-3, with a double off the bat of Carson DeBord followed by a Landyn Patterson RBI triple and a D.C. Dailey run scoring double.
Heading into the last at-bat in regulation innings for the Shermans, the bottom of the 7th inning provided Unioto the opportunity to tie the game at 4-4, with an Ashton Crace single to get things started. But hopes seemed to be dashed as the next two Unioto hitters were retired, but Carson DeBord evened the score with an RBI single before the inning ended and went into the 8th.
Hillsboro put a two-spot on the scoreboard in the top of the 8th inning, starting with Ryan Scott’s RBI hit for a 5-4 lead, then another run was added for a 6-4 lead, which again put the Shermans on the brink. With Hillsboro reliever Brad Miller retiring two Unioto batters with a man on, a controversial play put the game in jeopardy for the Indians.
Ashton Crace lifted a shallow fly to right center with two Hillsboro outfielders diving for the ball, but the second base umpire motioned the catch was made, which would have ended the game as a Hillsboro win. But, after a conference between the three umpires, that call was changed to say the ball was trapped, making the score 6-5 and putting Unioto runners on first and second base.
But, Miller struck-out the next batter to end the game and propel the Indians into the D-2 Regional Semis next week.
Miller was credited with the win for his 1.3 innings of work.
Multiple hit games came from Hillsboro’s Korbin Adams at 2/3 and Unioto’s Carson DeBord’s 3/4.
(23-6) Hillsboro now faces the East District winner at 5pm June 3rd at Teays Valley High School.
Unioto’s closes at (24-6).