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Ben Baker had struggled with the bat all day, but it was the Bellmont senior catcher who singled in the winning run in the last of the fifth inning Saturday night that sent the Braves to a 5-4 victory over Hamilton Heights and a 3A Regional championship before a large crowd on the BHS diamond.
The Braves will face Western -- the team they defeated for a football Sectional championship last fall -- at 1 p.m. Saturday at Kokomo. The winner of that contest moves into the state championship game the following weekend at Victory Field in Indianapolis.
The Braves roughed up Leo's 21-2 Taylor Horn in Saturday's first game, knocking him out in the fourth inning en route to a convincing 10-2 triumph. It was Brooks Faurote's two-run home run which drove the Leo lefthander off the mound. Brian Hakes contribued three hits and three RBI for Bellmont.
Senior Phillip Bauman won both games for the Braves. He tossed a complet game in the opener, then came on in relieft of starter Matt Chronister to toss the last three innings of the nightcap. The Braves contribute several outstanding defensive plays in the opener.
Hamilton Heights defeated Tipp Valley in the other afternoon game.