Local Wyoming District 9 may be the host for the Central States Region of the 2016 Big League Baseball Tournament, but their pitching staff has been anything but friendly. Bennett Norry and southpaw Cade Cintorino combined to throw another gem in a 2-0 win over Indiana District 10 last night. The shutout marked the third straight for District 9 and earned the host team a spot in the championship on Thursday at 5:30pm.
With Cornerstone University’s DeWitt Field as a backdrop, the semifinal game was a pitchers duel at its finest. Indiana starter Brock Hinton gave up two unearned runs on just four hits over five and two-third innings, but took the loss. In the other dugout, Norry gave up only three hits and struck out seven in his six and two-third innings. The only thing preventing him from a complete game was the 105 pitch count which is the maximum allowed in the tournament.
Cintorino came on to give up a triple to pitcher David Keating, but struck out pinch hitter Deyonne Hunter to get the save and preserve the shutout.
District 9 got off to an early lead by scoring a run in the first inning as lead-off hitter Christian Falicki singled to start the game and advanced to second on a perfectly executed sacrifice bunt by second baseman Austin Anderson. He then scored on a hard hit ball by left fielder Jace Beatty that went through the legs of Indiana first baseman Stephan Walker.
The only other marker came in the fifth inning as third baseman Elijah Spencer reached second base to start the inning when his ground ball deep in the hole to Indiana second baseman Korrie Griggs was thrown wild and into his teams dugout. He advanced to third on another well executed sacrifice bunt by center fielder Jarod Nickel and was brought home on an infield ground out to second by Anderson.
That was more than enough for Norry, as Indiana got runners into scoring position only two times while he was on the mound. Indiana’s best chance to score came in the sixth with runners on first and second and no outs as a result of a hit batsman and a walk, but catcher John Corey gunned down his fellow catcher from Indiana, Bailey Sheldon at third as the lead runner in an attempted double steal. Norry then got Walker to strike out swinging and closed the inning by getting left fielder Kyler Doran to fly out to Nickel.
District 9 gets Wednesday off as they wait to see the results of which team comes out of the losers bracket. Illinois will play Ohio at 5 pm and the winner of that game will play Indiana at 7:30 pm with that winner getting to the championship game on Thursday night against District 9 at 5:30 pm with a game to follow if District 9 were to lose.
The champion will then head to Easley, South Carolina to compete against four other USA regions along with four International regions for the Big League World Series Championship taking place between July 26 and August 2.