CEDAR LAKE | Hanover Central’s Riley Welch was looking to quench his thirst after Wednesday’s Porter County Conference battle with rival Boone Grove.
Welch held the cooler above his head and pressed the button to get some water in an unorthodox way, and that was kind of how the Times No. 5 Wildcats disposed of the visiting Wolves 11-8 to remain unbeaten in the PCC.
Hanover (11-3, 5-0) rallied from a 3-1 deficit, taking advantage of some Boone miscues in a big 7-run sixth inning.
“We came out a little flat,” said Welch, who went 2-3 with an RBI. “It was a nail-biter, and at the end they made a couple key errors.”
The Times No. 7 Wolves (12-4, 3-3) out-hit the Wildcats 11-8.
“They outplayed us for six and half innings,” Hanover coach Doug Nelson said. “Daniel Balich did a pretty good job of battling. He’d be the first to tell you he didn’t have his best stuff today.
“Too many errors — we’re not going to be able to beat good teams that way for what we’re trying to get done.”
Clinging to a 5-4 lead, Boone pitcher Chuck Kidd battled to get out of the sixth inning after Hanover loaded the bases with two outs.
Nick Myszkowski hit a smash up the middle that shortstop Jake Wright made a diving stop, got up and made a throw to third for the force. The throw just pulled the third baseman off the bag, allowing the tying run to score.
“That was 0-2 (count), so he did a good job stepping up,” Nelson said.
Jesse Wilkening followed with a deep fly ball to left that was dropped and, clearing the bases for an 8-5 Hanover lead. That led to three more runs in the big rally.
“The worst case scenario we come out of that inning 5-5,” said Boone coach Rollie Thill, whose team plated three runs in the top of the seventh. “We drop a big number on them at the end. I think we win if we make the catch, but you got to make catches. You got to make plays.”