Niles forces second title gamePublished 9:03am Wednesday, July 22, 2009
The Niles Senior All-Stars forced a second Michigan District 15 championship game as it defeated visiting Vicksburg 8-4 at Thomas Stadium Tuesday night.
Niles, which defeated Constantine 2-1 in the consolation finals, scored four runs in the third inning to erase a 3-0 Vicksburg advantage.
The All-Stars then scored two runs in the fourth and two in the fifth to secure the victory.
Vicksburg’s final run came in the top of the seventh.
Trailing 3-0, Brian Exner led off the bottom of the third with a single.
Rashad Harris drew a walk and then Dustin Bell unloaded on an offering from Alex LaPorte for a three-run dinger to knot the game at 3-3.
Riley Robson followed with a double and came around to score with two outs on a passed ball.
In the fourth inning, Niles extended its lead to 6-3 with a pair of runs.
Back-to-back walks to Exner and Harris set the table for Bell, whose sacrifice plated Exner to make it a 5-3 contest.
One out later, John Carey delivered a RBI single to give the All-Stars a three-run advantage.
Niles scored its final two runs in the fifth inning as Kelvin Tweedy singled and would eventually score and Exner, who reached base on a fielder’s choice, also came around to score.
Bell finished with two hits and four RBIs, while Zimmerman had a pair of hits. Exner, Carey, Nate Oates and Tyler Fisher also had singles.
On the mound, Bell was dominant and well as he tossed a four-hitter with 11 strikeouts.
LaPorte took the loss for Vicksburg, giving up four runs on six hits in just three innings of work.
Niles and Vicksburg will tangle again tonight at 6 p.m. at Thomas Stadium for the right to advance to the Sectionals at South Portage.