Pitching and defense has been Shakamak’s bread and butter all season.
Just recently, the Lakers have added abundant and timely hitting as the meat to their winning sandwich.
To wit, No. 2-ranked Shakamak pounded out a combined 21 hits, accumulating 21 runs in winning both its Class A Morristown regional baseball games on Saturday, capping it off by defeating No. 6 Rising Sun 7-2 in the championship game Saturday night.
Shakamak (26-6) advances to the Class A semistate at either Jasper or Plainfield Saturday, the site and time of game to be determined today.
“The last two or three weeks, [the hitting] has been coming on,” Shakamak coach Chip Sweet said. “We said all along early in the season, the way we’ve been pitching and the way we’ve been playing defense, if our offense ever caught up we’d be tough to handle. We’re swinging the bats really well now.”
The hottest-hitting Lakers’ player has to be its No. 9 batter in the lineup, Robert Fowler.
Fowler was 3 for 4 with two runs scored, one double and two RBIs in the championship game.
On the day, the senior was a juggernaut, going 4 for 5 with five runs scored and four RBIs.
In the championship game, the Lakers tallied four runs in the second inning and never looked back.
Brett Yeryar led off with a single, followed by a walk and hit batsman to load the bases with one out. Fowler laced a single to left field, driving in two runs.
Brock Dowell followed with a single that drove in a third run, and should have driven in a fourth run, but Fowler stumbled and fell down rounding third base. He recovered to get back to third, but moments later scored on a wild pitch.
“When you get in the championship game like this, you get behind like that, it really, really puts the pressure on you … no doubt about it,” Sweet stated.
The score remained 4-0 until the fourth inning, when Fowler led off with a double, moved to third on a ground out, scoring on a wild pitch to put the Lakers up 5-0.
The Lakers plated unearned runs in both the fifth and seventh innings for insurance.
In the fifth, Brodie Crowe led off with a single. He was still at first when the second out was recorded, a fly ball to center field. But the Shiners’ centerfielder attempted to double off Crowe, the ball skipping away for an error, moving him to second. Christian Burris made them pay for that miscue with a two-out, RBI-single.
In the seventh, Luke Sweet doubled with one out, scoring on a Rising Sun fielding error. Sweet was 2 for 3 with two runs scored in the title tilt.
Yeryar (9-2) was the winning pitcher, tossing five shutout innings, allowing just two hit and two walks. He retired the last nine batters he faced in succession, including four via strikeouts — all those in succession too.
“I don’t think [Yeryar] was throwing as hard today as I’ve seen him in the past, but he’s going to go out there and have the ball around the plate and we’re going to have to make some plays for him,” Sweet noted. “He did what he had to do and I knew we had a couple guys ready to close things out.”
Rising Sun (21-6) fought to the end, pushing across single tallies in the sixth and seventh innings. But the Shiners could inflict no more damage thanks to a pair of sensational catches by Shakamak outfielders Brett Yeryar — he moved to rightfield in the sixth — and Kyler Fulford.
“I thought this might be the best outfield I’ve ever had,” Sweet said. “We’ve got kids that can really chase down the baseball. We pitch to contact … we’ve had our share of strikeouts this year … but our defense in the outfield has been extraordinary all year”.
Sweet also proved he’s not lost a step in avoiding “most” of the effects of an attempt by his players to empty the contents of the team’s water cooler on his person in the postgame celebration.
“For me it’s so unbelievable with each group of kids each year,” Sweet smiled. “It’s been a couple year, and we have a couple seniors here … they were part of something as freshmen when they were just on the team. It’s so rewarding to watch the enjoyment the kids get out of this.”
Pitching and defense has been Shakamak’s bread and butter all season.
- High School
Vikings win in extra innings at Rockville
West Vigo scored six runs in its first two innings Saturday, then needed a ninth-inning single by Lucas Fagg to escape with a 7-6 extra-inning win in nonconference high school baseball at Rockville.
TH South beats Northview in Big Four makeup baseball game
Terre Haute South wrapped up a share of the MIC baseball title and finished up the Big Four Classic with an 8-1 victory over Northview in less than 24 hours on Saturday morning.
Olds pitches South to share of MIC baseball title
Friday night, winning the second game 5-0 and earning a share of the Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference high school baseball title.
Damon Olds was dominant on the mound for the Braves, striking out 14 and walking just one while pitching a three-hit shutout.
South wins first half of doubleheader against Lawrence North
Host Terre Haute South kept its Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference high school baseball title hopes alive — and clinched no worse than second place in the process — by downing Lawrence North 4-1 in the first game of a doubleheader Friday night.
The second game, which started after Senior Night festivities between games, ended past the Tribune-Star deadline.
PREP ROUNDUP: Calleja pitches West Vigo past South Vermillion
Brandon Calleja had 13 strikeouts to lead West Vigo to a 5-1 victory against South Vermillion in high school baseball Friday.
Brandon Behringer went 2 for 4 with two RBI for the Vikings, who secured second place in the Western Indiana Conference.
Kaden Lawson had double for South Vermillion (15-7), which finished 4-2 in the WIC.
Seibert returns from injury to win three events as Braves win sectional crown
His baseball equivalent might be Rick Sutcliffe of the 1984 Chicago Cubs.
When Tyler Seibert returned to the Terre Haute South track and field lineup Thursday for sectional action at Terre Haute North, it was like the midseason trade the Cubs made for Sutcliffe that earned them a playoff spot.
South switches up lineup to defeat North in tennis sectional
Terre Haute South coach Bill Blankenbaker said two weeks ago that he would change the Braves’ lineup after the 3-2 dual-meet loss to Terre Haute North.
The Patriots knew it was coming, but they couldn’t do anything to stop it.
PREP ROUNDUP: North slips past Northview in eight-inning baseball game
Colton Pittman drew a bases-loaded walk to score Zach Milam with the winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning as host Terre Haute North edged Northview 8-7 in high school baseball Thursday at Jennings Field.
PREP ROUNDUP: North and South to face off for tennis sectional title
The winner of the Terre Haute sectional for girls high school tennis will come down to Terre Haute North and Terre Haute South.
Terre Haute North gets 10 event victories to claim 12th straight sectional crown
Terre Haute North won 10 events Tuesday night while winning the Indiana High School Athletic Association girls track and field section at South Putnam High School for the 12th straight year.
North, South to meet in first round of baseball sectional
The Indiana High School Athletic Association announced pairings for the baseball state tournament Tuesday and the draw offered up a Vigo County battle in the opening game.
PREP ROUNDUP: West Vigo softball clinches share of WIC title
West Vigo clinched at least a share of the Western Indiana Conference softball title with a 6-4 victory over Edgewood on Tuesday.
Jacy McClain and Bailee Waters had RBI singles in the fourth inning to break the game open for the Vikings.
Track sectional titles on the line
Expect one heck of a high school dual track meet Thursday night when Wabash Valley boys visit Terre Haute North for sectional action.
Prep report: Patriots, Braves favored to advance from tennis sectional 1st round
Persons attending this week’s girls tennis sectional championship match at Terre Haute North might want to pack a lunch.
Local ADs happy to see spring come to a close
Brian Mancuso is the most experienced of the high school athletic directors in Vigo County — and that’s a very relative term — but even he wasn’t quite ready for the headaches that have accompanied spring sports the last few weeks thanks to rain, rain and more rain.
South baseball remains in first-place tie with Center Grove
Heading into Saturday’s Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference baseball doubleheader against Center Grove, coach Kyle Kraemer of Terre Haute South wasn’t completely optimistic.
Kehrt Award goes to Emily Bell, Lee Davis
Emily Bell of Terre Haute South and Lee Davis of Terre Haute North are the 2013 recipients of the Willard M. Kehrt Mental Attitude Award.
Bell and Davis were nominated by their schools and chosen in a vote by the Kehrt Award panel. Both will be recognized at awards assemblies later in the month at the schools.
Bell played varsity basketball four years at South and is competing in track this season, running the 800 and two relays. “I wanted something to do my senior year,” Bell said.
She plans to attend DePauw University and play basketball. DePauw is the reigning NCAA Division III champ in women's basketball.
Bell tore an AÇL playing in a basketball tournament the summer after her sophomore season. She missed most of her junior season but came back to play her senior year and was second leading scorer and leading rebounder her final season.
Bell also was leading rebounder her sophomore year.
South softball's power display earns Braves share of MIC
The fun that the Terre Haute South high school softball team had Saturday — including those five home runs — was all the result of the hard work the Braves had put in before the game, coach Dwayne Stout said after the game.
Pirtle takes medalist, leads Sullivan to WIC title
Sullivan took team and individual honors in the Western Indiana Conference boys high school golf championships played Saturday at Idle Creek.
Prep roundup: Patriots drop doubleheader to Carmel baseball
Host Terre Haute North saw its Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference baseball championship hopes suffer what was probably a fatal blow on Saturday as the Patriots lost a doubleheader to Carmel by scores of 8-7 and 11-8.
Timely hits: After slow start, Terre Haute North rallies to beat Mooresville
No-hit through three innings, Terre Haute North’s bats came alive — especially Sam Wolf’s — just in time to rally for a 4-2 home victory over Mooresville in high school baseball Friday evening at Jennings Field.
Linton’s Weber to coach at BNL
Bedford North Lawrence High School has announced that Steve Weber will be the Stars’ head coach for the 2013 season.
Freshman group adds to Big Four teams' baseball tradition
The Terre Haute North-Terre Haute South high school baseball series wasn’t an inning old last week before T.J. Collett of the Patriots lashed a run-scoring single.
That hit helped the Patriots take a 2-0 lead, but in the top of the second inning a three-run double by Justin Jenkins sparked the visiting Braves to a four-run inning.
North tied the score in the bottom of the second inning, Collett driving in another run. And just before rain caused the game to be suspended, South called Logan Ames in from its bullpen for some solid pitching.
Not bad for a trio of freshmen. And the weekend hadn’t even started yet.
Pairings drawn for high school softball sectionals
The IHSAA announced Thursday its pairings for the 2013 sectional softball tournament slated for May 20-25.
Regionals will take place May 28.
North boys make it three consecutive Vigo County golf titles
Terre Haute North made it three in a row in Vigo County boys high school golf championship action Wednesday at Hulman Links.
The Patriots shot 161 to edge Terre Haute South with 165. West Vigo carded 222.
PREP ROUNDUP: Wolf homers as North baseball wins 16th game
Terre Haute North erupted for seven runs in the third inning on its way to routing visiting White River Valley 14-1 in 41⁄2 innings of high school baseball Wednesday afternoon at Don Jennings Field.
Northview's Carter strikes out 19 in 10-inning win against South Vermillion
Northview’s Taylor Carter and South Vermillion’s Daphne Dunegan locked into a 10-inning all-star softball pitching duel Tuesday night at Northview High School.
Unfortunately, one of them had to lose.
PREP BASEBALL ROUNDUP: South Vermillion 4-0 in WIC after 4-3 win at Northview
Jordan Branz won his ninth game of the season, scattering six hits over eight innings to lead South Vermillion to a 4-3 victory at Northview in a Western Indiana Conference battle.
Thompson going into Indiana High School Football Hall of Fame
Former Terre Haute North High School standout Anthony Thompson is the newest member of the Indiana High School Football Hall of Fame.
PREP ROUNDUP: South tennis wins against Oldenburg Academy
Playing on Ben Davis’ courts, Terre Haute South pulled out a 4-1 victory over Oldenburg Academy in girls high school tennis Tuesday.
- More High School Headlines
- Vikings win in extra innings at Rockville