TERRE HAUTE —
Terre Haute North’s 11- and 12-year-old all-stars won the District Four Little League baseball championship Friday night with smoke and power.
Colten Panaranto was throwing smoke from the pitcher’s mound and Tristan Elder provided the power in a 12-hit offense and a 9-0 victory over Clinton at North’s field.
The victory sends Terre Haute North into the Indiana Little League state tournament at Fort Wayne, beginning July 20.
“It’s been a team effort [throughout the tournament], Everybody has been contributing top to bottom and that’s a good sign when that happens,” North manager Dave Elder said.
Clinton finished its Little League season 15-2.
“It’s been a great year. This all-star squad only lost two games all year, both to this North squad,” Clinton manager Brian McLeish said.
Panaranto struck out 15 batters while pitching a two-hit shutout and did not give up a walk. He gave up a double to Bryce McLeish in the first inning and a single to Cooper Terry in the third.
“I felt like I was really ready for this game,” Panaranto said.
“[Panaranto’s] a good pitcher and when he’s on, he’s tough to beat,” Dave Elder said.
Brian McLeish pointed out Panaranto was only part of the challenge Clinton faced.
“[Panaranto’s] a good piece, but every one of their kids from top to bottle can hit the ball,” the Clinton manager said.
North got hits from eight different players and seven players scored runs.
Tristan Elder led all hitters with a home run, triple and single. He put North on top with a solo homer in the first inning, his first of the season.
“I was excited. I was just trying to help my team out. I did all I could today,” the North first baseman said.
North broke the game open with a six-run, two-out rally in the second. Braden Edington’s one-out single started the rally, then catcher Bryce McLeish made a diving catch of a foul ball for the second out.
Braden Atterson kept the inning going with a hit. Drew Bishop singled to score Edington and Adam Craig followed with another hit to chase home Atterson and Bishop. Elder kept the frame going with a hit that plated Craig and made the score 5-0.
Panaranto doubled to drive in Elder and came around to score himself on a throwing error.
Kyler Hudson made it 8-0 in the third when he singled and scored on an error off Cayman Hayes’ single.
North’s ninth run came in the fifth inning when Edington connected for his second single of the game, moved to second on a passed ball and scored on a single by Bishop.
Clinton 000 000 — 0 2 2
Terre Haute North 161 01x — 9 12 0
W — Panaranto. L — Vicars. LOB — Clinton 2, THN 5. HR — THN: Elder.
Highlights — For Terre Haute North, Colten Panaranto pitched a 2-hit shutout and struck out 15 batters. Tristan Elder led North’s 12-hit offense with a home run, triple and single and Drew Bishop and Braden Edington each had 2 hits.
Next — Terre Haute North plays in the Little League state tournament at Fort Wayne, beginning July 20.