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Indians follow Pirate lead in minors

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While the Pirates still dominate league standings, the Indians have reclaimed second place by overtaking the Yankees to start the final week of the season. Early last week the Indians took a pair of games from the Yankees, beginning with a 14–10 win on Monday, July 14. Fisher Lewis and Liam Creighton both went three for three and scored three runs each, while Nathan Hardman and Theron Orme each scored twice. Despite their loss, Yankee Joe Thorp also went three for three and scored three runs, including a home run, with Ian Chick and Chandler Holmes each scoring twice.

On Monday the Indians won again, 7–6. The Indians took an early lead on runs from Hardman, Liam Creighton and Fielding Lewis, all of whom scored again in the third, along with Grant Reigelsperger. The Yankees pulled within two by adding three runs by Ben Croft, Ian Chick and Joe Thorp. After holding the Indians scoreless in the fourth, the Yankees narrowed the lead to only one in the final inning with a run from Kenny McKinley, but the Indians’ infield defense was too strong.

The Cubs defeated the Reds 9–6 on Tuesday, July 15. The Reds led 3–1 in the first after runs from J.T. Clark, April Riddell and Christian Werner, while the Cubs scored off doubles by Evan Pace and Kaner Butler. The Cubs were held scoreless in the third, but then exploded with four runs in the last two innings. Sage HaleWolfe, Kennedy Harshaw, Cameron Haught, and Sulayman Chappelle all crossed the plate in the fourth, while Harshaw, Haught, Sawyer HaleWolfe and Ethan Perkins all scored in the fifth.

Other games last week saw the league-leading Pirates take the first of two games from the Reds, one on Wednesday, July 16, by an 11–1 margin. Nathan Miller, Jared Scarfpin, Isaiah Taylor, Jacob Whetsel and Joey Plumer all scored twice for the Pirates, with Augie Knemeyer and Aaron Sherwood each adding a run. The Pirate defense started with Scarfpin’s first inning fly ball catch and then his throwing out a runner at first. The Reds’ J.T. Clark hit a triple and then scored the team’s only run when he was knocked in by Tom Amrhein’s single.

Wednesday’s other game saw the Yankees defeat the Cubs 8–3. Ben Croft, Ian Chick, Joe Thorp, Liam Weigand and Evelyn Greene all scored early and often. The Cubs rallied in the fourth when Kennedy Harshaw knocked in brother Kaner Butler, then scored on Evan Pace’s double. Defensively, Sulayman Chappelle stole the show by catching a pair of foul tips.

It was a different story on Thursday when the Pirates overpowered the Yankees 17–5 in a make-up game. The Pirates’ offense dominated with six runs in the first, including a hard-hit line drive down the third base line for a three-run home run by Nate Gillman-Baggett. The Yankees, short several key players, had runs by Chandler Holmes, Tyler Restau and Joe Thorp.

A last inning rally by the Reds fell just short, and the Indians escaped with a 9–7 victory under the lights on Friday, July 18. The Reds’ J.T. Clark smacked a first-inning triple that scored Christian Werner, April Riddell and Ethan DeWine, with Clark then scoring off Keanan Onfroy-Curley’s sacrifice. Fisher Lewis led off the Indians half of the inning with a home run that was followed by runs from Nathan Hardman, Liam Creighton and Fielding Lewis. The Indians jumped out front to stay in the fourth, but Jakob Woodburn began a last inning Reds rally that sealed the win.

The full slate of games on Saturday, July 19, began with the Dragons pulling it all together to defeat the Yankees 7–2. The Yankees sent the first three Dragon batters back to the dugout, followed by Ian Chick’s early home run. But the Dragons roared back in the second inning when Jake Savage and Tony Marinelli scored on a triple by Olivia Greco, who then scored on Desiree’ Clark’s single. Danny Grote’s double and a sacrifice grounder from Kylie Arnett also knocked in two. The Yankees, several players short, managed just one run on Liam Weigand’s double.

Also on Saturday the Pirates took their second game of the week from the Reds 10–2. Aaron Sherwood, Nathan Miller, Joey Plumer and Jasmine Davidson all scored twice, with Davidson hitting her first-ever triple. Jared Scarfpin and Isaiah Taylor had the two other Pirate runs. The Reds’ April Riddell and Ethan DeWine each scored in the first.

Back to back first-inning home runs from Liam Creighton and Fielding Lewis powered the Indians to a 10–4 win over the Cubs in Saturday’s final contest. The Cubs tied it up in the bottom of the first when Evan Pace scored on Kennedy Harshaw’s double. The Cubs took a second-inning lead when Sulayman Chappelle scored off Yousef Reed’s double. The Indians added a run in the second when Grant Reigelsperger knocked in Maya Creighton. Edward Johnson added a run for the Indians, while Liam Creighton scored four runs total and knocked in two others. And Fielding and Fisher Lewis each finished the game with a home run, two singles and a double.

The season wraps up on Saturday, July 26, with a post-season tournament with at least two games for each team. See the league Web site at for more information.


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