GREENSBURG – The Batesville offense exploded for nine runs in the bottom of the fifth inning against Rushville in the baseball sectional title game. The eruption broke open a tight 2-1 game and gave the Bulldogs the sectional crown, 11-1.
Rushville took the early lead 1-0 in the top of the second inning. Brad Busald drew a walk and stole second base. With one out, Busald went to third on the single by Caleb Wiles. A fielder’s choice off the bat of Michael Tague allowed Busald to score on a close play at the plate. Spenser Wilson added a single in the inning and Andrew Rice was inserted as the courtesy runner. With the bases loaded and one out, Batesville starter Ben Wilson got a strike out and foul out to the catcher to end the Rushville threat.
The Bulldogs tied the game in the bottom of the third. Zach Britton started the inning with a single and went to second on a wild pitch. Bryan Hoeing’s ground ball was fielded by Nick Sprinkle, who threw to Wiles to get Britton at third. Hoeing then stole second and third and with two outs, scored on a passed ball.
The Bulldogs took the lead in the fourth. Nick Kirschner singled up the middle to start the inning. He reached second on a throwing error, stole third and scored on another Rushville error.
The Lions got a two-out hit by Chase Hamilton in the fifth, but could not scratch across any runs.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Bulldogs and the rain clouds let loose. Through a down pour, rain delay and another down pour, the Bulldogs put together a 9-run fifth to seal the victory. Britton and Hoeing singled to lead off the inning. Wes McKinney and Austin Westerfeld both walked. After a sacrifice fly by Connor Schuck, Kirschner doubled two score two runs. Noah Gausman followed with an RBI double. After a fly out to right, Kassidy Kase singled in a run. Britton doubled to put runners on second and third. Hoeing hit one off the left field fence to score two and make it 10-1. A fly ball off the bat of McKinney was aided by the rain and wet conditions as the ball fell safely in left field to score Hoeing with the game winning run.
Busald started and went four innings for the Lions, allowing two runs and three hits with nine strikeouts and five walks. Mitchell Wagoner pitched 2/3 of inning allowing nine runs on eight hits and two walks.
The Lions had four players with singles in the game – Wiles, Wilson, Busald and Hamilton.
Batesville advances to the Jasper Regional to face Gibson Southern (21-7) Saturday.
Contact: Aaron Kirchoff at 765-932-2222, ext. 114