Baseball

Grand slam helps keep Lexington team alive in Little League regional

Eastern Little League players wish 12-year-old All-Stars good luck with a song

The Lexington Eastern Little League 12-year-old All-Stars were sent an encouraging message from other players in the league as they rode on a bus to cheer the All-Stars on in Westfield, Ind.
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The Lexington Eastern Little League 12-year-old All-Stars were sent an encouraging message from other players in the league as they rode on a bus to cheer the All-Stars on in Westfield, Ind.

A grand slam by Joey Howard in the top of the sixth inning helped keep Lexington’s Eastern Little League Baseball 12-year-old All-Stars alive in the Great Lakes Regional Tournament in Westfield, Ind.

Eastern defeated Wausau (Wis.) National 10-5 in the elimination bracket of the double-elimination tournament on Tuesday morning.

After giving up the tying run in the bottom of the fifth inning on a wild pitch that made it 5-5, Eastern mounted the game-winning rally on consecutive one-out singles by Grady Johnson, Ty Bryant and Max DeGraff.

Johnson scored the go-ahead run on DeGraff’s poke to left field when Wausau’s catcher couldn’t corral the throw home. Harrison Tibe was hit by the next pitch, loading the bases for Howard.

Eastern, looking to become the first baseball team from Lexington to play in the Little League World Series since 1978, will next play at 5 p.m. Thursday against the winner of Tuesday evening’s game between New Albany (Ind.) and Grosse Pointe Woods-Shores (Mich.). Thursday’s game will be televised live nationally on ESPN.

The tournament winner will represent the Great Lakes Region later this month at the Little League World Series.

Little League Baseball Great Lakes Regional

When: Through Sunday

Where: Grand Park sports complex in Westfield, Ind.

Results so far: Eastern Little League of Lexington has defeated Indiana 1-0, lost to Illinois 5-2 and beaten Wisconsin 10-5.

Next up: Eastern Little League faces Tuesday night’s Indiana-Michigan winner on Thursday at 5 p.m. in a game that will be televised nationally on ESPN.

At stake: The Great Lakes Regional winner advances to the Little League Baseball World Series in Williamsport, Pa.

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