It wouldn’t be a rivalry game between Jeffersonville and New Albany without a little extra drama, and the visiting Bulldogs made it interesting in the top of the seventh inning before falling to the Red Devils 5-2 in a Hoosier Hills Conference baseball game Wednesday night.
Mark Meyer (3-1) had been untouchable through five innings as the Red Devils built a four-run lead. It was 5-1 going to the seventh, when the Bulldogs put together a rally that fell short.
Garrett Sherrell started it with a hustling infield hit. AJ Nixon followed with a single that sent Sherrell to third, and he scored on a wild pitch to make it 5-2. Meyer then walked Shane Robison to put runners at first and second with none out, ending his night on the mound.
Chandler Dale took over with the tying run at the plate and proceeded to strike out Dylan Cook and Tanner Robison. But Dale walked Jarius McClure to load the bases, setting up the real drama.
New Albany leadoff hitter Tucker Marcum hit a screaming liner down the third-base line, only to see the potential extra-base hit snared by third baseman Josh Burke to end a game that turned out much closer than the final score indicated.
“Josh was in the right spot,” Jeff coach Derek Ellis said.
Early on it was a pitchers’ duel as New Albany starter Sherrell (1-2) and Meyer notched three strikeouts each through three scoreless innings.
But Sherrell found trouble in the fourth. Drew Ellis led off with a double off the right-center-field wall, and Trent Astle followed with an RBI double off of the left-field fence for a 1-0 lead.
“Getting the first run took some of the pressure off,” Coach Ellis said.
With one out, Casey Gibson singled to left field, sending Astle to third, and Sherrell walked Nolan Fertig to load the bases.
Sherrell’s troubles continued when he walked Burke to force home a run. After a strikeout, Sherrell walked Dallas Bott to make it 3-0 before getting another strikeout to end the inning without any more damage.
Meyer carried a no-hitter through the fifth and was backed up by another run in the bottom of the inning.
Ellis led off the inning with a single, and Sherrell walked Astle and Dale to load the bases. Reliever Tanner Robison came in and shut the Red Devils down, giving up just a sacrifice fly to Fertig that made it 4-0 going to the sixth.
New Albany (6-4) finally got to Meyer in the sixth. Dylan Cook got the Bulldogs started with a leadoff single, and Sheldon Miller-Embry followed with a walk to give New Albany its first runner in scoring position. Meyer settled down to get two outs before Logan Striegel singled over the third-base bag, scoring Cook from second to make it 4-1. Meyer struck out Jack Shine to end the inning.
“He was throwing very, very well,” Coach Ellis said. “He did a phenomenal job.”
The Red Devils (6-3) got the run back in the bottom of the sixth when Nick Gallagher crushed a two-out home run over the 320-foot right-field wall. That made it 5-1, setting up the dramatic seventh.
New Albany…000 001 1 – 2 4 1
Jeffersonville…000 311 x – 5 5 0
W – Meyer (3-1). L – Sherrell (1-2). Sv – Dale. 2B – Ellis (J), Astle (J). HR – Gallagher (J). Records – Jeffersonville 6-3, New Albany 6-4.