Latta — It took eight innings to decide the outcome of the first game of the 2013 Latta Invitational Tournament.
Asher’s Tim Johnson hit a two-out, solo home run in the top of the eight to give the Indians an exciting 7-6 win over the host Panthers Thursday afternoon.
Latta got a base runner on in both the seventh and eighth but could not plate a run.
Latta will play the Dale-Rock Creek loser today at 2:30 p.m., and Asher will advance to the semifinals to face the winner of that game at 7 p.m. tonight.
Asher got on the scoreboard first in the top of the second inning. Tanner Andrews led off the inning with a single and Trucker Lee walked. Phillip Leon then hit a hard line drive that Latta’s Parker Henderson snagged and threw to second to record a double play when Andrews strayed too far off the bag. Corey Holman then reached on catcher interference to put runners at first and second. Ryan Pybas singled to left to load the bases before George Merchain singled and knocked in Lee for a 1-0 Asher lead.
Holman scored the second run of the inning on a wild pitch to give the Indians an early 2-0 advantage.
In the bottom half of the inning, Henderson hit a solo home run — his first round-tripper of the fall — over left to cut the Latta deficit in half at 2-1.
Asher added to its lead in the top of the third. Johnson singled, advanced to second on a passed ball and went to third on a wild pitch. Andrews then walked to put runners at the corners. Lee doubled and knocked in Johnson and Andrews for a 4-1 lead. Lee then moved to third on a passed ball and scored on a sacrifice fly by Holman to put the Indians on top 5-1..