Times Sports Editor
RILEY -- Whiteland rallied twice from two-run deficits and won its opener in the Cal Ripken nine-year old state baseball tourney 7-6 over Clay Youth League on Thursday night.
The Clay Youth League took a two-run lead in the top half of the seventh inning as Caden Canon was hit by a pitch to lead off the rally. Braden Nevins laid down a solid bunt and Whiteland's throw to first base sailed high to allow Canon to score and Nevins to reach third base. Trevor Cook then hit an RBI groundout to give the CYL a 6-4 lead in the first extra inning.
Whiteland wouldn't go away however as Tyler Wick drew a lead off walk from Cook and advanced to second base with Brayden Steele at the plate. Steele followed with an RBI groundout that preceded a ringing triple by No. 3 hitter, Alex Reed. He would come home to tie the contest on a passed ball with one out.
Cook bore down and got Riley McMahon to pop out for the second out of the inning. Garrison Pelfree walked before Luke Cline singled to drive in the winning run for Whiteland.
The CYL came out of the gates quickly with a four-run inning off of Whiteland starter, McMahon.
Clay Youth League's Timberman started the game on the mound and kept Whiteland off the board until the third frame when they clawed within 4-2 with two scores. An error, a passed ball and a wild pitch brought home Dalton Debaun and Steele walked and came around to score the second run for Whiteland.
Timberman kept Whiteland scoreless until the final regulation inning as McMahon led off with a single and advanced to third. Pelfree was hit-by-pitch and Timberman gave way to Cook on the mound.
Cook fell behind Cline 3-0 in the count before rallying to strike him out for the first out of the sixth inning. McMahon would score on a wild pitch to narrow the CYL lead to 6-5. Cook struck out Cameron Crick, but a wild pitch brought home the tying run to send the contest to extra innings where Whiteland earned the victory.
Timberman went five innings, allowing four runs, three hits, three walks and struckout three in the start for the CYL.
The CYL nine-year old squad continues pool play today with a 6 p.m. game against Connersville at 6 p.m. at Riley's fields.
WP -- Pelfree. LP -- Cook.
3B -- WH (Reed).