Chip Sweet was happy not to have to make the decision.
When Patrick Green gobbled up Jordan Yale’s high bouncer and gunned the ball to first base for the final out of the Class A Jasper Semistate high school baseball game Saturday afternoon, it not only finished Shakamak’s 8-5 win over South Central (Elizabeth), it also left Jason Boston — the potential winning run, had Yale beaten the throw to first — in the on-deck circle.
And every Shakamak fan at Alvin C. Ruxer Field was aware of that fact.
Shakamak never trailed Saturday in earning its fifth trip to Victory Field in nine years — and its third meeting there with Lafayette Central Catholic, as it turns out — but Boston and his Rebel teammates made things more than interesting after Sweet’s Laker team had threatened to run away with the game early.
With Shakamak leading 6-0 in the bottom of the third inning, Boston came up with Yale on first base and launched a towering two-run homer to left-center. Now it was a game instead of a runaway.
The Lakers answered with two runs of their own in the top of the fourth, rebuilding their six-run lead on RBI singles by Brock Dowell and Dylan Collins.
After two quick outs in the bottom of the fourth, a walk and a single brought Boston to the plate again. This time his towering drive went to right-center, not deep enough to leave the park but deep enough to force Dowell to make a tumbling, over-the-shoulder catch to end the inning.
“[The Rebels] hadn’t burnt me yet, so I thought I’d come in [shallower],” the Shakamak center fielder said later. “I was fortunate to get a good enough jump.”
Boston had gone to the mound for the Rebels to shut down Shakamak’s fourth-inning rally, and he held the Lakers in check the rest of the way — although the Lakers did leave the bases loaded in both the fourth and fifth. And in the bottom of the sixth, an error and a walk put two on with two out for Boston, who this time homered to straightaway left field — several feet out of reach of a leaping Luke Sweet — to cut the lead to three runs.
“He’s a player,” said Green of Boston afterward. “[The Rebels are] fighters, that’s all you can say.”
“They really battled,” Luke Sweet said of the Rebels. “They really came out to play after the first couple innings.”
“It never was [one-sided],” said Dowell. “It never felt easy. All the credit to them. They kept battling, and they had a chance at the end.”
After a scoreless first inning, the Lakers got on the board quickly in the top of the second. Brodie Crowe dropped a soft single over second base, Brett Yeryar doubled to the left-center gap and Luke Sweet yanked a two-run double down the left-field line. A single by Christian Burris and Robert Fowler’s fielder’s choice brought in Sweet for the third run against South Central ace left-hander Alex Wiseman.
“We practiced against [left-handed] curveballs all week,” said Luke Sweet, “and we really jumped on it today.”
Green, who had survived a leadoff single in the bottom of the first by retiring the next three South Central batters — including Boston, who hit a popup almost as impressive in its height as the two homers were in length — was appreciative of the lead.
“It was huge,” he said after the game. “[My teammates] have been doing that all year.”
South Central threatened immediately in the bottom of the second as a walk and a double by Matt Veith that fell just beyond Kyler Fulford’s dive in right field put runners at second and third with nobody out. Green retired the next two batters on a strikeout and a tap to the mound, issued another walk that loaded the bases, then slipped a called third strike past dangerous Austin Knear to end the inning.
Walks to Dowell and Collins opened the top of the third, and South Central coach Nick Tremain decided it wasn’t Wiseman’s day. Veith came to the mound to face Green.
“I knew he was coming in [with a pitch] to get ahead of me,” Green said after the game, “and he put it right in my wheelhouse.” The first-pitch result was a towering monster home run that came down somewhere in a small stand of trees beyond the flagpole just outside the center-field fence. Now it was 6-0.
“[Green’s] hit a few like that this year,” said Chip Sweet, who like most people in attendance said he never did see Green’s big fly come back to earth. “I was just watching the runners go around the bases … getting those runs with one swing was nice, and Luke got a big hit early that was really, really important. In a big game like this, you don’t want to have to play from behind.”
“You get to this stage, everybody’s nervous,” Green added.
Green had needed 80 pitches to get through the first four innings, so Yeryar relieved him and got a quick fifth inning thanks to the second line-drive double play in the game by the Lakers — both hit to Green by Mark O’Connor to double Spencer Ray off first base. After the three unearned runs in the sixth, however, coach Sweet made another move.
“In the sixth inning, when we came in to bat, coach asked me if I wanted to close it out,” said Dowell, who took the mound for the seventh. “I wanted the ball in my hand; I knew my teammates would make plays behind me, and they did.”
A hit and an error after Boston’s sixth-inning homer had threatened to turn the South Central batting over again, however; after Dowell got a popup on his first pitch, an infield hit by Jack Turner and a walk to No. 9 hitter Matt Fox put two runners on base, put the Rebels at the top of their order again, and brought the tying run to the plate.
Dowell struck out Knear on a full-count fastball on the outside corner. With Boston lurking, Dowell got two strikes on Yale, who then fouled off three straight pitches before grounding out — and all through that at-bat, the Shakamak coach was thinking.
“I told one of our coaches, if [Boston] comes up with the bases loaded, you might see something for the first time,” Chip Sweet said, referring to a bases-loaded intentional walk. “I wasn’t going to walk him,” the coach continued, “but having to pitch to him would not have been an easy thing to do.”
Shakamak wins Class A Jasper Semistate
Chip Sweet was happy not to have to make the decision.
- High School
Softball sectionals up for grabs
All three Vigo County high schools and Northview appear to have a realistic chance of winning sectional championships in softball this week.
West Vigo softball holds off nemesis Edgewood in softball sectional
Ice cream was enough of a reward Monday night after the West Vigo Vikings beat eight-time defending champion Edgewood 6-2 in extra innings in the opening game of the Class 3A softball sectional at Edgewood High School. But that’s not what Vikings want.
Terre Haute South, Northview vie for tennis regional title
Terre Haute South and Northview take respective records of 10-5 and 11-5 into the Greencastle Regional today.
Coach Bill Blankenbaker’s Braves will play Seeger at 4:30 p.m., while coach Emily Goff’s Knights will take on Crawfordsville about 6 p.m.
Terre Haute North offense unable to get going in loss to Mooresville
Jack Kirchner chose to give credit Monday night to Mooresville pitcher Taylor Chitwood, not to the Greg Maddux-size strike zone she seemed to enjoy.
But if there were no excuses forthcoming from Kirchner and his Terre Haute North High School softball team, it wouldn’t have been hard to find a spectator or two to come up with extenuating circumstances about the Patriots’ 4-1 loss at the Class 4A Martinsville Sectional.
Terre Haute North looking strong going into girls track regional
Terre Haute North might need an off night for anyone to catch them in the girls track regional at Evansville Central.
The Patriots are as well-rounded as they’ve ever been, and two relay teams are state contenders with times ranking No. 2 in Indiana among times recorded all spring.
Terre Haute South, Northview and Sullivan have athletes among the contenders in multiple events as well.
PREP ROUNDUP: Shakamak's Green hits two homers in win over West Vigo
Shakamak improved to 22-3 on the season behind a complete-game effort from Brett Yeryar, and Patrick Green hit two solo home runs in a high school baseball game Monday.
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.
- More High School Headlines
- Softball sectionals up for grabs