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Anderson County jumped on Gallatin County for three runs in the first inning, then broke things open in the second with five more on the way to an 11-1 win in the semifinal round of the Eighth Region Tournament held at the Shelby County Athletic Complex. Anderson is now one win from successfully defending the regional title it won last year, a feat no program in a single-class sport has done in the 60-year history of the school.
The game was called after five innings because of the “mercy rule.” Gallatin went through three different pitchers in trying to slow Anderson's attack.
Anderson, ranked 19th in the state coaches' poll, improved to 25-10. Gallatin closed out at 15-10.
Jacob Russell had two-run singles in both of the early uprisings and the Bearcats took advantage of six Gallatin errors. There was no looking ahead to arch-rival Shelby County, which had beaten Carroll County in the first semifinal game.
“Russell had a great game,” said Anderson coach L. W. Barnes. “Our guys were focused. They have come together and have the one goal to get to Applebee's Park (for the state tournament.)”
Daniel Dadisman scattered five hits and walked one in going the distance for the win.
“Daniel threw well,” said Anderson pitching coach Chris Copenhaver. “He gave up only one walk and that is what you want.
The Bearcats will be going for their fourth regional title and have now advanced to the regional final for the seventh time since 2000. They will be playing Shelby for the fourth time in such a contest. Shelby has a 2-1 lead over Anderson in regional championship games but the teams have not met in the final since 2002.
This year, the teams have played twice with Anderson winning 9-4 at home on April 14, then romping 13-4 last Wednesday in the 30th District final at Shelby.
Barnes is unsure of who Shelby (19-12) might be throwing at the Bearcats. “They might go with (Ben) Glassner, the kid they threw at us at our place,” he said.
In that game, Glassner gave up three runs, one unearned, in three-plus innings of work. He struck out three. Glassner pitched a perfect sixth inning, fanning all three batters, in Monday's regional tournament win over Grant County.
As for the Bearcats, Barnes laughed, “Who do you think I am going to pitch?”
Left-hander Jacob Brown, who struck out 14 and gave up two earned runs against the Rockets a week ago will most likely get the call. “There are no secrets now,” Barnes said.
Anderson will have its entire pitching staff, except for Dadisman, available to throw Wednesday night.
Anderson and Shelby played for the regional basketball championship and now the schools are meeting again on the baseball diamond 10 weeks later for a berth in the state tournament. A large crowd is expected, and the Bearcats hope that their fans, who have filled the Shelby Athletic Complex during the district and regional tournaments, come through again.
“We have the best high school fans in America,” said senior Jordan Alves. “I want to see those stands filled with red tomorrow night.”
First pitch is set for 7 p.m. Check back for more information and a closer look at the regional final on Wednesday at www.theandersonnews.com.