Noblesville slipped by North 2-1 to win the Class 4A IHSAA state championship baseball game before a record crowd of 4,91 fans.
North’s consolation was that Nathan Will received the Mental Attitude Award for Class 4A. Will was 1-for-4 at the plate and drove in the Patriots’ only run of the night while playing a stellar first base.
North matched the Noblesville with six hits, but never got the big one. The Patriots left 11 runners on base. Zach Milam and T.J. Collett led the Patriots’ seven-hit attack with two each. Jonathan Eilbracht had a double for North.
North’s Austin Hicks (8-4) limited the Millers to just two runs and six hits before giving way to Greg Hannum in the seventh inning.
After Hicks retired the Millers -- striking out two – in the first inning, North scored the first run of the game.
Milam lined a one-out single to left field, Collett was hit by a pitch and Will singled to bring in Milam, putting the Patriots on top 1-0. The Patriots still had two runners on base, but Noblesville turned a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.
Noblesville tied the game 1-1 in the top of the third with a North error, a base hit and a sacrifice fly to very deep right field that the Patriots’ Brett Herndon ran down.
Milam and Collett put together back to back hits in the bottom of the third inning. But once again the Millers got out of trouble with a double play.
North loaded the bases in the fifth inning. Eilbracht delivered the first extra-base hit of the game when he stretched a single into a double with alert base running. After a pitching change, Milam received a walk, bringing Collett to the plate.
After a wild pitch moved Milam to second and third bases, the Millers intentionally walked Collett, loading the bases with one out.
Noblesville’s Cory Conway struck out Will and Maloon to end the inning.
Noblesville took a 2-1 lead in the sixth inning when St. Pierre walked and Dax McLouchlin ripped a line drive over the center fielder’s head for a triple, scoring St. Pierre. North didn’t allow the third run to score though as Brock retired the side with a strike out, a fly ball to Nick Long in left field, who made a pin-point throw to home plate to keep the runner on third. Collett made a sliding catch of a foul ball to end the inning.
North loaded the bases with two out in the sixth inning when Brett Herndon, Chase Jones and Eilbracht received walks. But the Millers’ Trevor Salmon retired the side with a strike out.
Collett led off the seventh with a single, but Noblesville’s Salmon picked off the courtesy runner.