All three LaGrange County entries in the 2012 NECC baseball tournament were sidelined this week.
Westview made it to the quarterfinal round before falling to Hamilton, 8-4 Tuesday night in Emma. The Marines took a 3-0 lead in the first inning and never relinquished it, tacking on a single marker in the fifth, three more tallies in the sixth and one in the seventh.
Aaron Kelly knocked in four of the eight Hamilton runs with a pair of homers. Suede Schiffli lined a couple of singles and plated two runs, Carson Dick doubled home a run and Daine Johnson cracked an RBI single.
Austin Schlabach went 4-4 with a double and scored twice in sparking the Warrior offense. Brant Yoder poked three singles, Adrian Brandenberger socked a double and a single, Luke Miller slapped two singles and Damon Miller legged out a double.
Schiffli went the distance on the mound for Hamilton, striking out seven and walking one. Jamar Weaver pitched the first five frames for Westview, whiffing 10 and walking three. Schlabach finished up on the hill for the Warriors.
Westview rallied to beat county rival Lakeland, 13-8 in the first round of the tourney Monday evening in Emma. Trailing 7-4 entering the bottom of the fourth, the Warriors tallied nine runs over their final three at bats to pull out the win.
Judah Zickafoose’s two-run single in the fourth began the Westview comeback. Singles by Brandenberger, Yoder, Weaver and Tarrin Beachy, along with a costly Laker error, resulted in a five-run fifth for the hosts, staking them to an 11-7 lead.
Westview completed its rally in the sixth when Yoder rocked a two-out, two-run homer. The Lakers got one of the runs back in the seventh when Nick Byler scored on a fielder’s choice grounder off the bat of Dustin Cunningham, but Zickafoose ended the Lakeland threat by inducing William Kelly to hit a fly ball to left for the final out.
Yoder finished with four hits and four runs. Weaver, Zickafoose and Brandenberger each collected two safeties, while Luke Miller wound up with four RBI.
Lacing two hits apiece for Lakeland were Kelly, Dalton Schmidt and Byler.
Brandenberger, who relieved Damon Miller on the mound in the third, tossed four innings to garner the victory. Kelly took the loss for the Lakers.
Central Noble whipped Prairie Heights, 12-2 in another first-round game Monday in Albion.
The Cougars busted open a tight game with a six-run fifth inning. Jacob Wagner’s grand-slam homer was the big hit of the frame.
Prairie Heights scored both of its runs in the first inning on RBI singles by Ryan Day and Jacob Heller.