By JIM METCALFE
DHI Media Sports Editor
FORT JENNINGS — Both games needed an extra inning.
On a cool and breezy Tuesday afternoon/evening at the Little League diamond behind Fort Jennings High School, the Delphos Pirates and the Delphos Braves earned trips to tonight’s Tri-County Little League title game at the Delphos Stadium Park LL Diamond.
In the nightcap, the Pirates scored with two outs in the bottom of the seventh to sneak past the Delphos Reds 8-7.
In the opener, the Braves scored twice in the top of the seventh to evict the Van Wert Treece Landscaping Rockhounds 4-2.
In the nightcap, tied at 7-7 entering the bottom half of the seventh, Jaylen Jefferson was plunked in the chest (attempting a bunt) by third Reds hurler Brady Grothouse (2 2/3 innings pitched, 3 hits, 1 unearned run, 1 base-on-balls, 2 strikeouts). He advanced on a passed ball and reached third on an error on Hunter Haehn’s pop-up. After Haehn stole second, an out later, Logan Hubert bounced to third baseman Ashton Moore, who threw home and Jefferson was called out on the tag. Haehn stood on third afterward and scored as Cole Binkley (4-for-4, 3 runs batted in, 2 runs scored) grounded a single up the gut to end the game.
The Reds drew first blood in the top of the first against Pirates starter Haehn (2 1/3 IPs, 5 hits, 4 earned runs, 3 BBs, 4 Ks) on a leadoff swat to center by Jacon Wrasman (3-for-4, 3 runs), a wild pitch and 1-out back-to-back knocks by Grothouse (4-for-4) and Logan Gallmeier. However, they were stranded, becoming two of the 12 they left on base.
The Pirates batted around (10 men) in the home second, going up 6-1. Brady Parrish and Logan Hubert walked and Binkley doubled to right center to score both. Blake Fischbach (2-for-3) ripped a hit up the middle to finish Moore and bring Logan Gallmeier (3 IPs, 4 hits 2 unearned runs, 2 Ks) to toe the rubber. Brady Zalar singled to left to get Binkley home for a 3-1 lead. Zalar beat the throw to second on Derek Haggard’s bouncer to second sacker Devin Lindeman, scoring Fischbach; an error on the play allowed runners to move up a base. Trent Lindeman’s bounceout to third plated Zalar and an error on Scalf’s bouncer got Haggard in for the sixth run.