MT. CARMEL — Olney appeared stunned when a game-tying run in the bottom of the sixth inning was taken off the board and turned into a second out instead.
Because of what the Tiger 12-year-olds did next, Mt. Carmel was left with that same stunned feeling after absorbing an 8-7 District 1 tournament loss at Ed Walter Park.
Kaleb Foster hit a 3-run home run which appeared to have tied the game at 7-7. But, umpires ruled that he missed first base on his way around the bases, and when Mt. Carmel appealed, was ruled out, wiping out the tying run and leaving the Tigers trailing 7-6, now down to their last out.
Gavin Mays, however, immediately responded with a solo home run to re-tie the game.
Olney didn’t stop there. Emboldened by the Mays shot, the next two batters reached before Brayden Flanagan won the game with an RBI single which scored Seth Ingram.
Olney coach Chris Miller has taken Tiger teams to the state tournament four years in a row. Still, he called this “the greatest victory I have ever been associated with.”
For Mt. Carmel coach Dave Stoneberger, it was quite the opposite reaction after the Aces 12s let a 7-2 lead slip away.
“That one stung,” Stoneberger said. “Olney is a very good team. They did not give up.”
The loss spoiled a solid performance by Logan Durham. As a pitcher, he gave up two runs on only two hits in four innings of work on the mound, while striking out seven. At the plate, he drilled a grand slam home run in the third that gave Mt. Carmel its first lead at 4-2 after Olney jumped on top with two unearned runs in the second.
“He had a very good night,” said Stoneberger of Durham, who was 3-for-3 at the plate with a walk. “He pitched really well and hit the grand slam.”
In the third, Trevor Peterson drew a one-out walk. Clayton Halbig walked one out later, then Bret Doan singled to load them up for Durham.
Doan was 2-for-3, while a first-inning single by Adam Stoneberger rounded out Mt. Carmel’s 6-hit attack.
The visitors on the scoreboard after losing the pre-game coin flip, Mt. Carmel scored three unearned runs in the fifth to take a 7-2 lead. Halbig and Doan scored on wild pitches and Durham came in on a throwing error.
Mt. Carmel must now fight its way back through the loser’s bracket. The Aces 12s face Lawrence Co. Thursday (tonight) at 7 p.m., with the winner advancing to the championship round against Olney Friday at 7 p.m.
“We need to come back and take this one game at a time. We can do this,” Stoneberger said.
Olney routed Lawrence Co., 22-1, in the tournament opener Tuesday. That is why Miller expects to see Mt. Carmel again.
“I’m sure we’ll face them again,” he said. “We are not going to overlook them by any means.”
Mt. Carmel would have to defeat Olney two straight times to steal the crown away. The ‘if necessary’ game would be Saturday at 7 p.m.