Niles gets the hitting it wanted to open Babe Ruth regional play, but gives up too many runs in a loss

Published 9:18 pm Friday, July 30, 2004

By By ADAM FISHER / Niles Daily Star
When the Niles 13-year-old Babe Ruth All-Stars lost to Grosse Pointe South twice in the state finals, manager Dave Hopper said it was lack of offensive that did his team in.
In Thursday night's Ohio Valley Regional at Thomas Memorial Stadium, the All-Stars finally got their bats moving against Grosse Pointe, scoring eight runs, four times as many as the first two games combined.
But where Niles' hitting succeed, its defense failed. Walks and errors led to Grosse Pointe scoring more than twice as many runs as the host team and winning the opening round game 17-8.
Hopper said that his team played defense well during the Michigan tournament. Thursday was a different story, he said.
In the first two games between the teams this post-season, Grosse Pointe South scored most of its runs early. Hopper tried to stop this trend by starting his pitching ace, Buddy Williams.
Williams got roughed up in the first two innings, however, as Grosse Pointe grabbed a 9-0 lead. After the top of the third, the visitors were ahead 15-1.
Niles picked it up offensively in the bottom of the third. The All-Stars used four hits, three walks and four stolen bases to score six runs and pull within 15-7.
Niles' pitching began to settle down in the fourh as reliever Tyler Jackson gave up just two runs in the final four innings. Over the last four innings, Niles outscored Grosse Pointe 8-2.
Williams led Niles' batters, going 1-for-2 with two walks. He also collected two RBIs and scored two runs.
Josh Eaves also went 1-for-2, scoring a run and knocking in an RBI. Cody Udell had one hit for an RBI and also scored a run. Tyler Jackson had a hit and scored two runs for Niles. Chris Brady also had an RBI.
Niles now faces the loser of today's South Indiana/Wisconsin matchup. The two teams will play at 10:30 a.m. Saturday.
In the first game of the regional, the only other game Thursday, Illinois lost to Western Kentucky 8-7.