Morgan Andrews and Noah Redmon teamed up for a dominating performance of the Angola Hornets as the Heritage Patriots teamed up for a late-night victory in their sectional opener at Garrett High School Thursday night.
After both teams scored a run in the first inning, which started after 8 pm due to Leo’s marathon win over Dwenger, Angola took the lead in the third and led 2-1 after four.
The Patriots took the lead for good with a big fifth inning and held on for a 4-3 victory with Redmon on the mound. The result sets up Redmon to go after Leo Saturday or to wait for a potential championship game appearance on Memorial Day. Heritage and Leo, old ACAC rivals, did not meet this year in the regular season.
The key play in the game came in the bottom of the fifth with Redmon, the Patriots’ ace on the mound in relief. Playing with a one-run lead and with the tying run on third base, Redmon caught Payton Fulton off the bag at third, forcing him to run home, where he was gunned down by third baseman Andrew Mirelez.
Redmon drove in runs on two separate occasions to lead the Patriots at the plate. His groundout to short scored Mirelez in the first inning. The speedy third baseman took two bases on a passed ball and dropped third strike and then hustled home to score the game’s first run.
Andrews nearly got out of the first unscathed, but the Hornets scored on a wild pitch to knot the game at 1-1. The senior allowed five hits and was hampered by four walks, but six strikeouts made up for much of it. More than anything, his job was to get the ball into the hands of Redmon later in the game with a chance to win.
Redmon came up again with runners on base with two outs in the third. Mirelez was on third after walking and Caleb Abbott stole second, but Micah Steury induced a groundout to short and the game remained 1-1.
With runners on first and third, the Hornets used a double steal to score their second run with nobody out, but Andrews answered back with a strikeout and Cameron Rauner turned a double play on a line drive to get out of the inning.
The fateful fifth inning for Heritage began with a walk to Mason Abbott and a single by Rauner. After Steury retired Miralez via strikeout, Landon Lybarger (courtesy runner for catcher Abbott) scored on a passed ball. Angola committed an error on a groundball off the bat of Caleb Abbott, allowing Rauner to score.
Redmon put his team up 4-2 with a single to right after Abbott stole second and then took the mound in the fifth after Andrews walked the first two batters of the inning.
In a show of respect for the Heritage pitcher, Angola sacrificed their No. 2 hitter, Korbin Roan, to advance the runners to second and third. Kenton Conrad knocked in a run with a sac fly to right and the inning ended with Redmon’s pick-off.
In the final two innings, Redmon struck out four and gave up just one two-out hit to cruise to the victory.
The Patriots will play Leo Saturday at Garrett with the winner advancing to the sectional finals against the winner of Woodlan and Concordia.