Leopards Baseball Claims First NBC Title Since 2011
Louisville 7, Alliance 5
The Louisville Leopards Varsity Baseball Team rallied for a 7-5 road win over the Alliance Aviators Wednesday Evening at Craven Field. With the victory, Louisville finishes the 2017 campaign with an overall record of 21-7. The Leopards also end their league schedule with an 11-3 mark to clinch at least a share of their first NBC Title since 2011.
Brendan Hoffman batted 2-for-4 with 3 RBIs and a run scored to lead the Leopards. With the game knotted at 5-5, Hoffman delivered a 2-run single on a line drive to center that brought home Corey White for the go-ahead run and Davis Burick for an insurance run.
The hit proved to be the game-winner as Louisville Pitcher Jordan Shearer retired 9 of the next 10 Alliance batters to end the game. He pitched a complete game, gave up 2 earned runs on 5 hits, and matched his season high with 6 strikeouts. Shearer finishes tied with Carson Davis for the most wins on the team with a record of 5-1.
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The Aviators took their first lead when they scored 3 runs in the bottom of the second. Anthony Thomas scored on a wild pitch for their first run. Then Seth Scott cracked a 2-run double to left to plate both Trevor Strata and Dillon McCurdy.
The see-saw battled continued in the fourth inning as Louisville recaptured the lead with a pair of 2-out runs. Jack Davis belted a double to right field and then came home via a single by Hoffman. After a walk, Adams singled home Hoffman from second to put the Leopards up 4-3.
Alliance took the lead back in the fourth inning by adding two more runs. The Aviators managed to manufacture the game-tying run without putting the ball into play. Strata walked and advanced to second when McCurdy also drew a walk. He then claimed third on a passed ball and scored on an error. That sequence of events was followed by Scott hitting his second straight RBI double to drive in McCurdy from second base to put them ahead 5-4.
Alliance would manage just one base runner after that and Louisville rallied in the fifth on their way to victory. The Aviators drop below .500 at 13-14 on the season and also fall to 7-6 in the NBC. Alliance will have one more chance to play spoiler when they host West Branch at Craven Field on Thursday. If the Warriors prevail, West Branch will be league co-champions with Louisville. If the Aviators pull off the upset, the Leopards would take the NBC Outright.
Louisville is now tied with Marlington for the second most NBC Championships with 6. Canton South has the most all-time with 8. This is also the Leopards 10th league title in their history counting their 4 Federal League Crowns in 1976, 1977, 1978, and 1988.
Picture Courtesy of Bob Burick
VARSITY BOX SCORE
LEOPARDS 7, AVIATORS 5
LOUISVILLE LEOPARDS VARSITY BATTING
LOUISVILLE LEOPARDS VARSITY PITCHING
ALLIANCE AVIATORS VARSITY BATTING
ALLIANCE AVIATORS VARSITY PITCHING
Records: Louisville 21-7, 11-3; Alliance 13-14, 7-6