Big Inning Wins It: Bulldogs survive shootout for tournament title

White Hall scored five runs in the sixth inning and survived a last-inning rally by Harrison to win the Billy Bock Classic with a 12-10 victory over the Goblins Saturday night at Taylor Field.

In the bottom of the seventh, Harrison scored four runs to nearly rally from a six-run deficit. White Hall used three pitchers in the inning, including junior Daniel Gray, who earned the save after a fly ball out to deep left ended the game.

“(Daniel) Sprinkle was up in his pitch count and its early in the year, so we didn’t want to hurt him,” White Hall head coach Skip Carr said. “Garrett (Keedy) had been throwing well, but he was a little tight and couldn’t get out of it.

“So Daniel (Gray) came in, threw strikes and we finally made a play.”

Harrison’s Jenner Jones reached first on a hit-by-pitch with one out. After Keedy replaced Sprinkle on the mound, Nathan Kane followed with a walk and Logan Murray reached on a walk to load the bases with two outs.

A walk to Silas Husky forced a run in.

After Gray replaced Keedy for White Hall, an error throw from third to first allowed two more runs to score for Harrison.

With the winning run at the plate, Gray forced pinch-hitter Baker Wilson to fly out to the corner in left field.

Gray pitched one-third of an inning and allowed just one hit.

White Hall scored five runs in the top of the sixth inning to take its first lead of the game.

“We did that with two outs and nobody on,” Carr said. “The guys didn’t quit.

“They kept battling up there, and nobody wanted to make the last out.”

After the first two batters struck out, Landon Reed, Austin Lewis and Justin McCarty all hit singles. McCarty’s singled plated one run and Tyler Zuber followed with an infield hit.

White Hall sophomore Kirk Baugh hit a two-run triple to plate McCarty and Zuber. Baugh scored on the play thanks to an error.

Hidden in all the scoring in the game was the relief effort of Sprinkle, a sophomore. Trailing 4-0 after two innings, Sprinkle was brought in and was able to calm the storm.

“As a sophomore, he did a really good job,” Carr said. “He threw a little for us last year.

“He just got out of basketball and his arm is not in shape yet, so we are just kind of slowly progressing him.”

Sprinkle was credited with the win after working 4 1/3 innings, allowing three runs (all earned) on seven hits with a walk and a strikeout.

Carr took him out in the seventh inning after his pitch count started to get a bit high. Carr said he is not sure if Sprinkle could be moved to a starting role.

“We will just have to see how it goes,” Carr said.

White Hall tied the game in fourth inning thanks to a grand slam by junior Aaron Johnston.

“That was big,” Carr said. “He has played sparingly for us but he did a great job.

“He had two strikes on him, but he got a pitch he liked and hit it well.”

Trailing 4-0 in the top of the fourth inning, White Hall led off with a pair of singles by Zuber and Baugh. A walk to Connor Clemons loaded the bases with one out.

Johnston hit his slam over the left field wall to tie the game. He had an opportunity for a repeat performance in the fifth, but he struck out. Johnston finished the game 1 of 3 with four RBIs and a run scored.

After Harrison scored a run in the bottom of the fourth, Baugh hit a RBI single in the fifth to tie the game again.

White Hall also scored a pair of runs in the top of the seventh thanks to a two-run double from Zuber.

Zuber finished the game 3 of 4 with a walk, two RBIs and two runs scored. He and Lewis were awarded as all-tourney players.

Reed earned tournament MVP. He finished Saturday with two hits and three runs scored. Reed finished the tournament 6 of 12 with six runs scored and three RBIs.