Wagner

NOBLESVILLE - The Zionsville baseball team was focused on completing the task at hand on Wednesday night, no matter the adversity they had to face.

Whether it be a late deficit, a rain delay or a nerve-racking situation with the season on the line - the Eagles knew what they had to do.

And Wednesday night they delivered, overcoming every challenge they saw to beat Noblesville 5-4 in eight innings.

"I'm really proud of the guys," Zionsville head coach Jered Moore said. "They battled the whole game. Even when we lost the lead (in the middle innings) they believed they would find a way to get it done."

The Eagles struck first, with Brody Chrisman hitting a 2-out, 2-run single in the top of the third to give the Eagles a 2-0 lead.

But, Noblesville came back in their half of the third, scoring three times to make it 3-2 in favor of the Millers.

An inning later, the rain started to pick up and the teams went into a lengthy rain delay. Moore said the Eagles didn't talk about much during the break.

"I'm big on making sure we have fun and stay relaxed," Moore said. "We didn't want to put extra pressure on anything. We asked Drew (Dickson) how he felt on the mound to see if we would send him back out, but other than that we just wanted the kids to stay relaxed. They knew what they needed to do."

Dickson came back out after the rain delay and put up two more 0s for the Eagles.

He struck out 11 in six innings, allowing three runs on three hits.

"Drew is a tremendous leader and competitor," Moore said. "He wants the ball in those big moments. He did a great job for us tonight."

While Dickson was keeping the Millers quiet outside the third, the Eagles were running out of outs offensively to tie the game.

Still down 3-2 with two outs in the top of the sixth, the Eagles got the big hit they were looking for when Nash Wagner bombed a 1-1 pitch over the fence in left to tie the game at 3.

"Nash has been hitting the ball really well lately," Moore said. "He got a pitch he could drive and didn't miss it - it actually looked like some of the balls he was hitting in BP yesterday. That was a huge AB for the team."

Neither team could do anything in the seventh and the game went to extras.

The Eagles but the pressure on the Millers in the top of the eighth, loading the bases with no outs on a walk to Colin Price, a single by Chrisman and a walk to Caleb Everson.

After a strikeout, Max Bond drove a ball to center that the centerfielder lost in the lights, allowing two runs to score on a double to give the Eagles a 5-3 lead.

"We were a little fortunate with him losing the ball, but we would have gotten a run on the sac fly," Moore said. "It was a great AB from Max, just to get the ball in play. We have had a lot of kids coming up clutch at the plate the last few weeks, so I was pretty confident we would get a run there."

The Millers wouldn't go down quietly in the bottom of the eighth.

Two walks and an error loaded the bases with no outs. A wild pitch allowed a run to score, making it 5-4 with the tying run on third and the winning run on second.

The Eagles turned to Chase Wagner, and the sophomore hurler delivered.

After an intentional walk reloaded the bases, Wagner forced a pop out, then got a force at home on an attempted squeeze.

Down 3-1 in the count to the next hitter, Wagner battled back and got a game-clinching strike out.

"Chase really bared down there," Moore said. "We knew that they struggled hitting curves, and that is one of Chase's best pitches. I felt really good with him in that situation. He did a great job, and Max (Bond) did a great job behind the plate making sure none of those curveballs got past."

Chrisman was 2-for-3 for the Eagles.

Zionsville will face the winner for HSE and Westfield. If it's HSE, the game will be at 5:30 on Friday. If it is Westfield, the game will be Saturday.

"We have a deep pitching staff, and I trust all our guys to go out there and do a good job," Moore said. "Regardless of who it is, it is going to be a tough, close game. Our guys will be ready."

Will Willems is the Sports Editor of the Lebanon Reporter. Follow him on Twitter @Will_Willems.

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