Monday, June 22, 2009

It's not over 'til ...

June 20, 2009 - Indianapolis, Ind. - Spencer Anderson, lower left, reacts after safely sliding across home plate to score the game-winning run, as the Panthers and their fans erupt in celebration, to beat the Westfield Shamrocks 3-2 in the bottom of the eighth inning of the Class 4A state championship game on Saturday at Victory Field in Indianapolis.
Photo by Chad Ryan.

It's not over until it's over!

It's an old saying with may variations, and in the game of baseball it's just as true today as the first day it was said. Saturday, I covered the Indiana Class 4A state championship game between the Snider Panthers and the Westfield Shamrocks at Victory Field in Indianapolis.

Through the first six and two-thirds innings Westfield pitcher Kyle Kramp, a 45th round draftee of the San Francisco Giants, dominated. He allowed two hits and Snider didn't get its first hit until the fifth inning. But with two outs in the final inning, Indiana high school teams play seven innings, Snider found a way to get a run in. Then still holding a 2-1 lead, Kramp had Snider's Tom Zumbaugh down on an 0-2 count. But he hung a pitch over the plate just enough for Zumbaugh to make contact and it got through the infield for an RBI single to score the tying run. Kramp got out of the inning, but the game moved on to an extra frame.

Snider took advantage. Spencer Anderson hit a lead-off double on relief pitcher Nick Crouse then moved to third on a wild pitch. Westfield loaded the bases on two intentional walks with no outs. Snider catcher Alex Mitchell stepped up and delivered a sacrifice fly ball to right field that gave Anderson enough room to dive into home plate for the game-winner.

Through this tournament, Snider came back from late deficits, as much as six and seven runs, in the three games previous, but they looked like the gas was out of the tank throughout this game. This one looked like the final inning was just a formality, but Snider found a way ... again.

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