Crawford threw well, too. Coming off a three-hit, 5-1 win against North Cedar in the semifinals, he allowed just two hits to Northeast. But the Rebels combined the long ball with small ball to bunch together three runs in the bottom of the fourth inning.
First came the long ball. Tevin Stoecker led off the fourth with a high drive to right-center field.
“I didn’t think I got it out, but the ball kept going, then I saw the umpire give the home run signal and I was all smiles,” Stoecker said. “It feels good. It got our team going. It was just big. It got us rolling.”
It was just the sixth home run of the year for the Rebels, and Stoecker’s fourth.
“It’s all timing,” he said. “Whenever we need one somebody will step up, and tonight just happened to be me.”
Dickey was on deck when Stoecker connected, and nobody appreciated the run more than he did.
“That was a huge confidence boost for me,” Dickey said. “I was just in shock there. It gave me tons and tons of confidence. That one run — then as you could tell it just added on for everyone else. The rest of the team just kind of fed off it and we added a couple more that inning.”
Dickey followed with a walk, then it was time for small ball to pay off as it did Tuesday, when three consecutive bunts led to the three runs against Shaffer.
“Put the pressure on teams and good things happen,” Howe said.
Michael Hartung laid down a bunt trying to advance courtesy runner Jarret Sterk to second base, but Sterk got much farther than that. Wilton catcher Todd Carter pounced on the bunt but threw low to first base. As the ball skipped past and down the line, Sterk raced home and Hartung made it to second base. Hartung took third on a wild pitch and scored the third run on Ketzalli Dondiego’s groundout to second base.