RUSSELLVILLE -- The New Bloomfield Wildcats earned their biggest victory against the largest school they've faced this season.
In its first pool play game of the Russellville Baseball Tournament, New Bloomfield won 11-10 against Class 5 Kansas City (the city, not a suburb) school Pembroke Hill Raiders in eight innings Friday at Russellville High School.
The Wildcats went on top first in the bottom of the first inning. Brendon Carter scored as Braden Jackson grounded out to first base.
New Bloomfield tacked on three runs to its lead in the second. Carter drove in Chase Bailey on his sacrifice fly to center field, then Matthew Killian scored on a passed ball before Eli Bailey hit an RBI double to center.
In the fourth, the Wildcats increased their lead to 5-0 when Jackson lined an RBI single to left.
Pembroke Hill plated its first two runs in the fifth to make it a 5-2 game. Eli Sitzer lined an RBI double to left, and Harry Falk V drilled an RBI double to center in the next at-bat.
New Bloomfield tallied three runs in the sixth, extending its advantage to 8-2. Carter scored as Jackson grounded into a fielder's choice at second, Gavin Thomas smacked an RBI single to left and Jackson reached home on Chase's fielder's choice to short.
The Raiders matched the Wildcats' run total up to the seventh when they scored eight runs and went up 10-8 in the seventh. Langston Smith smashed a grand slam to right, Nicolas Chiu scored on Maxwell Washington's bases-loaded walk, Brendan Sotta reached home on Josiah Stigger's RBI sacrifice fly to center and Washington and Austin Soulis scored on Sitzer's single to center.
New Bloomfield clawed back, recording two runs in the bottom half of the seventh to tie the game at 10 while sending the contest to extra innings. Andrew Fouch scored as Thomas was hit by a pitch and Carter reached home on a wild pitch during Wyatt Jordan's at-bat.
In just the first inning of extras, New Bloomfield walked it off in the eighth when Dorian Meyer scored as Brayden Carroll reached on his bunt that Pembroke Hills' pitcher misfielded.
Thomas led the recorded a game-high three hits for the Wildcats (two doubles and a single), while Jackson had a team-high three RBI.
Eli earned the win on the bump for New Bloomfield. Tossing the final two innings, he allowed five runs (one earned) on four hits and two walks while striking out two.
Sitzer registered a team-high two hits for the Raiders (two singles), and Smith's grand slam gave him a game-high four RBI.
Brendan Sotta took the loss for Pembroke Hill. Throwing the last ⅔ inning, the sophomore allowed one unearned run on no hits and two walks while striking out two.
With the result, New Bloomfield improved to 7-10, while Pembroke Hill fell to 6-14.
"Really proud of my guys for the heart and gut it took to come out on top of that game!" New Bloomfield coach Justin Forsythe said. "A really bad inning hit us in the face in the seventh, but we battled back to tie! Then just get execution on bunts to win in the eighth.
"Brendon Carter threw a great game, and I thought Gavin Thomas came in and gave us what we wanted on the bump. Eli Bailey gutted out a tough seventh and eighth to give us a chance to win! Great job by our arms tonight.
"That's a great team win tonight against a Class 5 school."
The Wildcats will wrap up pool play when they face host, district/conference opponent Class 2 No. 1 Russellville (19-5) at 9:30 a.m. today. If New Bloomfield wins, it'll play in the championship game at 3:15 p.m., while a loss would send the Wildcats to the third-place game at 6 p.m. today.