Jun. 18—Wayne Newton Post 346 entered the bottom of the ninth — in other words, the second extra inning — trailing Kokomo Post 6 by one run in pool-play action of the John E. Hayes Best of the Midwest Invitational American Legion baseball tournament Thursday night at Terre Haute North High School.
With one out, Alex Karr and Logan Harrison were plunked by Avery Fields pitches to give the Terre Haute team hope for a comeback. With two outs, lead-off man Cade Moore stepped up to bat against the lanky left-hander.
On a 0-2 count, Moore lashed a liner down the left-field line. Karr was destined to score for sure, but a strange thing happened on that play.
The left fielder didn't go after the ball, evidently thinking Karr's run was the game-winner. In reality, it was the tying run. Seeing no play on the ball, Harrison followed Karr home with the winning run in an exciting 8-7 victory for Post 346.
Moore ended up with a triple.
"I wanted to get a basehit up the middle," he told the Tribune-Star afterward. "I guess [the Kokomo left fielder] had a brain fart."
His father and manager, Scott Moore, was pleased with the end result as well.
"We had the top of the order up and [Cade] usually does a good job of putting the ball in play," the elder Moore reflected. "He hit the ball hard. . . . I think [the Kokomo left fielder] thought that first run was the winning run. We'll take it."
In the top of the ninth frame, Kokomo broke a 6-6 tie that had lasted since the top of the seventh with a run. It came on a delayed double steal where Dailen Reece touched home plate before the throw arrived.
Wayne Newton scored twice on a two-run triple by Caleb Stultz in the first. Kokomo answered with a four-spot in the top of the second. Its big blows were an RBI single by Drew Servies, a two-run double by Taylor Duncan and an RBI single by Kendall Lanning.
The Terre Haute squad catapulted ahead 5-4 with three runs in the third. Gavin Morris led off with a home run to left-center field. Jayson Cottrell doubled, later advanced to third on a passed ball and came home on Caden Mason's RBI grounder, which allowed him to reach on an error. Mason eventually scored on Gage Manuel's single.
A run by Kokomo in the fourth tied the score at 5-5. Post 346 tallied its sixth run when Mason led off the fifth with a single and, two outs later, raced home on an RBI infield single by Tyler Will.
Stultz picked up the pitching victory, going the final four innings in relief.
Earlier Thursday, Post 346 routed Crawfordsville 14-1 in six innings. Morris and Harrison pitched for the winners, while Harrison and Kade Kline each provided three hits and Mason, Cade Moore and Cottrell each had two hits. The Kentucky Wesleyan-bound Moore also knocked in four runs, Cottrell knocked in three and Mason had two runs batted in.
Thursday night's triumph over Kokomo improved Wayne Newton's pool-play record to 2-0 and season mark to 5-1.
"I'm seeing guys in different situations and seeing how they respond," Scott Moore noted about his first season at the helm.
"We're getting there," Cade Moore added. "But we definitely haven't reached our full potential as a team."