HAMMOND | Wheeler was down a run before a pitch was even thrown Thursday.
The Bearcats' reunion with Bishop Noll to finish a game that began May 1 started with the Times No. 6 Warriors up 3-2 in the third inning.
But No. 8 Wheeler clawed its way back to win a 6-5 Greater South Shore Conference nail-biter.
"It's nerve-racking. We kind of lost our composure (in the seventh inning)," starting pitcher Jesse Kellar said. "It was a big inning. But we got it back it back in the end."
After allowing only three base runners in his first four innings Thursday, Kellar gave up three hits and two runs in the final frame.
The big blow came off the bat of Kody Alayon, who doubled to left field to bring in both tallies.
Kellar struck out Danny Pobereyko and Cody Moskovsky back-to-back to end the game.
"It's not every day that I have all four of my pitches working," Kellar said. "Plus, they were making some great plays behind me."
Coach Josh Long agreed that the Bearcat defense was due credit. Wheeler was sure-handed with the glove all day, making every routine play.
"We've been playing some really outstanding defense all year," Long said. "It's not always just one guy. It's usually our whole team that makes us have success."
The runs Keller allowed in the prequel were all unearned, Long said. So, he didn't allow an earned run until the seventh inning.
"He's been really good all year," Long said. "He just continues to do well and pitch well."
Nick Naspinski had a pair of base hits to go with a pair of RBIs in the fourth and sixth innings for Wheeler.
"They outplayed us and we didn't do what we needed to," Noll coach Paul Wirtz said. "It wasn't just the end of the game. It was all five innings today."