By Andy Krutsinger,
Mt. Pleasant News
NEW LONDON ? The ninth-ranked New London boys will at least share the South Division in 2018. The Tiger baseball team knocked off Van Buren 9-4 on Wednesday night to clinch part of the SEISC South Division title and move one win away from clinching the championship outright.
The Tigers had to come back after a day-one rain delay, but the offense stayed red hot and put up five more runs to win their 10th-straight game.
The Tigers stretched their lead to 5-2 with a run in the bottom of the fourth inning. Van Buren came back with two of their own in the fifth to cut the lead to 5-4, but New London loaded the bases in the bottom of the fifth and cashed in with four insurance runs.
Isaac McSorley started the game on Tuesday but was unable to pitch on Wednesday because of pitch count rules. McSorley did earn the win, throwing one and two-thirds innings and giving up two runs (one earned) on three hits, while striking out one batter.
Javis Krieger stepped in to pitch three and a third innings, giving up two earned runs on four hits and one walk, while striking out three. Darius Whaley threw two shutout innings to close the game out. He walked one and struckout one.
McSorley led the offense, going 2-3 with a home run, two RBIs and two runs scored. The homer was his third in four games after having just one long ball up to that point.
Keontae Luckett went 2-3 with two RBIs and two runs scored. Sam Loyd was 2-3 with two RBIs and a run scored. Shae Summerfield went 2-3 with an RBI, and Jaxon Allen had one RBI of his own.
The Tigers stole five bases on the night. McSorley, Loyd, Whaley, Luckett and Summerfield each swiped one.
After the game, head coach Brad Helmerson talked about how much the conference crown means to his team.
?It means a lot,? Helmerson said. ?We talk about playing our best at the end of the year, and anything that happens in between is just working towards the postseason. It?s been a long time since we?ve been in the conference fight.?
The Tigers need just one more conference win to take the conference crown. They?ll play on the road against West Burlington-Notre Dame tonight (Wednesday) and host Central Lee on Thursday, July 5.