WHITING | River Forest and Bishop Noll picked up wins Friday night and will face each other in the championship game of the Class 2A Whiting Sectional.
In the opener, River Forest (10-13) took advantage of a plethora of defensive miscues by Boone Grove en route to an 8-3 upset win.
In the nightcap, Bishop Noll scored a pair of runs in the eighth inning on RBI singles by Evan Peirce and Jaylen Yarbrough in a 7-5 win over the host Oilers.
Bishop Noll and River Forest play for the championship at 6 p.m. Monday.
The Wolves made six errors, including three in the second and two on one play in the fourth. The errors resulted in four unearned runs.
Boone Grove led 2-0 after the first. Jake Gholston hit a leadoff home run and the second run game home on an Ingots' throwing error.
River Forest scored three unearned runs to take the lead. Chris Lauderback’s sac fly in the fifth plated the Ingots’ first earned run.
“It was very important,” River Forest coach Mark Zimmerle said of the unearned runs. “It changed the momentum. The kids started believing that we could hit, and it gave them confidence. It just took off from there.”
Boone Grove (14-7) answered with a run in the bottom of the fifth on a Jake Morris RBI double to cut the deficit to one, but another Wolves error in the top of the sixth led to a big inning for River Forest.
With one out and a runner on, a liner to the outfield which might have resulted in an inning-ending double play was dropped. The Ingots went on to score four runs in the inning, taking the wind out of Boone Grove sails.
“The momentum gets going and the guys are excited,” Zimmerle said. “(The Wolves) got a little flat, and we took advantage of them.”
Ryan Slavey was 2 for 4, including a two-run double in the four-run sixth. He also went the distance for the Ingots, allowing two earned runs on seven hits with two walks and eight strikeouts.
“These kids are confident and I believe in them 100 percent,” Zimmerle said. “I’ve been telling them that.”
In the second semifinal, the Oilers (13-14) tied the game with two outs in the bottom of the seventh on Ryan Veloz’s RBI single and two Noll errors. Whiting stranded the possible game-winning run at third.
Indiana recruit Larry Crisler went 3-for-4 for Bishop Noll (21-7) with a three-run homer, double and two runs scored.