Mealer leads Mudcats to title
Early 7-0 deficit turns to 10-9 Babe Ruth win!
Nichirin came to play Wednesday night, seemingly on its way to win over unbeaten Clint's Air Care (CAC) and a chance at stealing the Marshall County Babe Ruth League title.
But CAC, also called the Mudcats had other ideas, turning an upset loss into a 10-9 comeback win at the Jonathan D. Hollingsworth Memorial Babe Ruth Field at Lewisburg.
The Mudcats (8-0) got stuck in some deep muck early as Nichirin jumped on CAC starting pitcher Dylan Eady.
Eady came into the contest as the league leader in earned run average, but lasted just one third of inning.
Nichirin scored six runs in the top of the first inning off Eady, who walked two batters in the frame, hit one and was not helped by two errors in the field.
Jacob Harris had a big two-run double for Nichirin that opened the floodgates, while Joseph Freeland and Kolton Fitch added RBI base knocks.
Ethan Mealer came on for Eady with two outs in the first inning and from there, Mealer was outstanding, surrendering one earned run the rest of the way to pick up the win on the mound.
Mealer gave up two hits, walked four and struck out four Nichirin batters.
Mealer walked three consecutive Nichirin batters in the top of the second inning before Harris made it a 7-0 ballgame with a sacrifice fly RBI.
Mealer got out of the jam and the Mudcats chipped away at the Nichirin lead, posting one run in the second, third, and fourth innings, making it a 7-3 contest.
Nichirin tacked on an unearned run in the fifth inning to take a five-run lead.
A Dustin Brashear RBI double in the bottom of the fifth inning made it 8-4, but Nichirin quickly re-claimed the run on two more Mudcats' errors in the top of the sixth inning.
Hunter Huarez was sailing along on the mound for Nichirin, striking out the first Mudcats' batter in the final inning before things fell apart.
Chase Karaczewski drew a 3-2 walk, Cody Bluthardt beat out an infield single and Lane Allen walked to load the sacks for CAC.
Huarez beaned Jay Lyons to make it 9-5, but Huarez got out No. 2 on an infield fly rule out.
Jaylen Smith and Brashear both walked to make it 9-7 before Mealer drilled a base clearing double to win the game and give CAC the title.
Nichirin 610 011-9 6 5
CAC 011 116-10 10 5
Nichirin: Jacob Autry 2-for-3, Blake Distelow 1-for-4, Jacob Harris 1-for-2, Kolton Fitch 1-for-3, Joseph Freeland 1-for-3.
RBI: Harris 3, Fitch 1, Freeland 1.
CAC: Dustin Brashear 2-for-3, Dylan Eady 2-for-3, Coby Bluthardt 2-for-3, Jaylen Smith 1-for-2, Ethan Mealer 1-for-2, Jarvis Lyttle 1-for-2, Lane Allen 1-for-2.
RBI: Mealer 3, Brashear 2, Smith 2, Jay Lyons 1, Eady 1, Bluthardt 1.
WP: Ethan Mealer
LP: Hunter Huarez