Terre Haute South’s bid for a sixth consecutive high school baseball sectional championship took a scary turn Monday afternoon.
But after right fielder Colton Rupska of the Braves was removed from the field in an ambulance on a backboard in the top of the sixth inning, his team weathered a Martinsville threat and hung on for a 4-2 win. South played Northview, a 5-4 winner over Terre Haute North in Monday morning’s game, for the championship later in the day.
The score was already 4-2 entering the sixth inning when Rupska lunged trying to haul in an opposite-field drive by Martinsville’s Ben Elliott. The ball got over Rupska’s head and he apparently landed on his back as Elliott wound up with a double. The way the ball was bouncing in that area of the field Monday, it probably wasn’t much different for Rupska than landing on concrete.
“[Rupska's] back was hurting him in batting practice this morning,” coach Kyle Kraemer of the Braves said after the game. “He landed on his back ... but [being taken to a hospital] was more precautionary than anything.”
The Braves hadn’t been threatened much by the Artesians to that point – both Martinsville runs were unearned, and Cody Brock allowed just five hits – but a walk following Elliott’s double had the tying runs on base.
South closer Pete Lannoo entered the game at that point, however, and did his job. He struck out the first batter he faced, who was trying to bunt the runners into scoring position, and then fielded a slow roller and started an inning-ending double play. Lannoo’s throw to second could have been better, but shortstop Jacob Johnson was able to keep his foot on the bag – at least that’s what the umpire said – and make the relay.
“I think I had my toe cleat on [the bag],” Johnson said sincerely afterward. “We wanted to win for [Rupska].”
“Their inability to get the bunt down hurt [the Artesians],” Kraemer said, “and that double play was huge.”
South had taken a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning when Johnson led off with a single – nearly decapitating Martinsville pitcher Mason Kutruff – and came around on a sacrifice, an error and Preston Tofaute’s fielder’s choice. Two South errors allowed Martinsville to tie the game immediately in the top of the second, however.
Brock and Spencer Whitlock singled to open the bottom of the second and were bunted to second and third by Brandon Joyner. Warren Rollings got the go-ahead RBI on another grounder, but an error kept the inning alive for Daniel Marlow to get a two-run triple thanks to an ill-advised dive by the Martinsville outfielder.
Needless to say, play hadn’t been flawless behind either Kutruff or Brock – the run that scored on Rollins’ grounder was the only earned one in the game – and Martinsville cut the lead to 4-2 in the top of the fourth on a double by David Elkins and a South throwing error.
“We knew [Martinsville] had improved tremendously offensively and we would have to make plays. We didn’t,” Kraemer said later. “We didn’t play very good defense ... that led directly to the two runs.”
Coach Scott McDonald of Northview had similar thoughts after the first game, but like the Braves the Knights were able to survive.
North had taken a 1-0 lead in the top of the second on a triple by Tony Rosselli and a sacrifice fly by Colton Pittman, then added a second run in the third on an RBI single by Nick Long. Adler Ingalsbe, who had pitched brilliantly on Wednesday in a first-round win over Plainfield, escaped a first-inning jam but was threatening to take command.
The bottom of the Northview batting order, which hadn’t been effective on Wednesday against Mooresville, started to make the difference in the bottom of the third, however. Devin Clark led off with a triple, scored on a double by Tanner Glenn, and a walk to T.J. Decker and a bunt single by Craig Peters loaded the bases.
Ingalsbe got one huge out, but Connor Pierce delivered a two-run single and Bryant Pestoff added a two-out RBI hit to give the Knights a sudden 4-2 lead.
North had a runner caught stealing to end its third inning, and had another thrown out at home on a relay from Tyler Wilson to Peters to Glenn to end the fourth. But with two out in the top of the fifth, Zach Milam beat out an infield hit, Long doubled and Cody Gardner delived a two-run single – on which he continued to third on an error.
Decker, who also had pitched very well in the first round of sectional play, got out of that inning with the score still tied and pitched around Nickohli Kimmel’s two-out double in the sixth. And the bottom of the Northview order delivered the winning run in the sixth, although without hitting the ball too hard – a leadoff infield hit by Connor Ganly, a sacrifice, back-to-back walks and a fielder’s-choice grounder by Peters.
“We spent a lot of time this week working on trying to drive the ball the other way, and it worked out well,” McDonald said after the game. “The bottom of the order got that four-run inning started ... the effort was great for us, and it was a real gutty performance by T.J.”
“I thought our kids played hard and played well,” said Shawn Turner of the Patriots. “We gave up too many baserunners, but that’s on me.
“It was a good season,” Turner continued. “We knew going in we didn’t have quite the pitching or the experience you want, but we really played hard ... and those pitchers, against the teams we have to play, did a lot better than we expected. Give the credit to T.J. Decker today; he did a nice job.”
“We didn’t play very good defense,” McDonald concluded, “but we still got away with one.”
Northview 5, TH North 4
TH North ab r h bi Northview ab r h bi
Milam 3b 4 1 1 0 Decker p 2 1 2 0
Long rf 4 1 2 1 Peters ss 3 1 1 1
Gardner ss 4 0 1 2 Hull 1b 3 0 0 0
Rosselli cf 2 1 1 0 Pierce rf 2 0 1 2
Wolf 1b 3 0 0 0 Wilson lf 3 0 0 0
Pittman lf 2 0 0 1 Pestoff dh 3 0 1 1
Finzel dh 3 0 1 0 Moore 2b 0 0 0 0
Ingalsbe p 0 0 0 0 Ganly 3b 3 1 1 0
Kaufman p 0 0 0 0 Clark cf 2 1 1 0
Hicks p 0 0 0 0 Glenn c 2 1 1 1
Kimmel 2b 3 0 1 0 Ball pr 0 0 0 0
Schoffstall c 2 1 0 0
Totals 27 4 7 4 Totals 23 5 8 5
Terre Haute North 011 020 0 – 4
Northview 004 001 x – 5
E – Moore 2, Clark. LOB – THN 5, Northview 7. 2B – Decker, Glenn, Long, Kimmel. 3B – Rosselli, Clark. CS – Hull, Decker, Milam. SH – Clark. SF – Pittman.
Terre Haute North IP H R ER W K
Ingalsbe (L, 6-3) 5 1/3 8 5 5 3 2
Kaufman 0 0 0 0 2 0
Hicks 2/3 0 0 0 0 1
Northview IP H R ER W K
Decker (W, 6-1) 7 7 4 4 2 7
Kaufman pitched to 2 batters in 6th.
HBP – by Ingalsbe (Peters). PB – Schoffstall. T – 1:54.
Next – Northview (20-8) advanced to the championship game. North finished 18-13.
TH South 4, Martinsville 2
Martinsville ab r h bi TH South ab r h bi
Lavender 2b 4 0 0 0 Johnson ss 3 2 1 0
Abrams rf 2 0 0 0 Marlow 1b-3b 2 0 1 2
Milner ss 3 0 1 0 Lannoo dh-p 3 0 1 0
Elliott c 3 0 1 0 Shipley 3b-pr 0 0 0 0
Applegate cf 2 1 0 0 Olds p 0 0 0 0
Elkins 1b 3 1 2 0 Tofaute c 3 0 0 1
Tackett dh 3 0 0 0 Rupska rf 3 0 0 0
Kutruff p 0 0 0 0 Prevo rf 0 0 0 0
VanDyke 3b 3 0 1 0 Brock p-1b 3 1 2 0
Chandler lf 2 0 0 0 Whitlock cf 3 1 1 0
Walls ph 1 0 0 0 Joyner 2b 2 0 0 0
Rollings lf 2 0 0 1
Totals 26 2 5 0 Totals 24 4 6 4
Martinsville 010 100 0 – 2
Terre Haute South 130 000 x – 4
E – Lavender 2, Joyner, Rupska, VanDyke, Marlow. DP – THS 1. LOB – Martinsville 5, THS 4. 2B – Milner, Brock, Elkins, Elliott. 3B – Marlow. SH – Marlow, Joyner.
Martinsville IP H R ER W K
Kutruff (L, 2-6) 6 6 4 1 0 4
Terre Haute South IP H R ER W K
Brock (W, 7-0) 5 5 2 0 1 1
Olds 0 0 0 0 1 0
Lannoo (S, 4) 2 0 0 0 0 2
Brock pitched to 1 batter in 6th.
Olds pitched to 1 batter in 6th.
T – 2:08 (includes 20 minutes stopped by injury).
Next – South (22-8) advanced to the championship game. Martinsville finished 13-13.
Terre Haute South’s bid for a sixth consecutive high school baseball sectional championship took a scary turn Monday afternoon.
- High School
Goatee, Bertoli ran away with Spring Athlete of the Year
When honoring athletes after a season of excellence, the phrase “what might have been” doesn’t usually come up.
But in the case of Terre Haute South’s Jackson Bertoli and Terre Haute North’s TaPring Goatee – the Tribune-Star’s Athletes of the Year for spring sports – there’s an air of unfinished business despite obvious recent successes.
Post 346 opens tournament with two victories
Preston Tofaute got on base enough to score three runs, Cody Thornton smashed a two-run triple in the first inning and pitcher Pete Lannoo scattered four hits over a seven-inning complete game.
All of that helped Wayne Newton Post 346 down Lafayette Post 11 by a 7-2 score in the opener of the Terre Haute Inviatational tournament for American Legion baseball Thursday afternoon at Terre Haute North High School.
North boys move up to 13th in golf state finals
Early Wednesday morning, Terre Haute North senior Ryan Baker and coach Abe Nasser headed out to the Legends of Indiana Golf Course for a range session.
Baker wasn’t happy with the 85 he shot in Tuesday’s first round of the IHSAA boys golf state finals.
“He was frustrated,” Nasser said.
Problem solved. Baker bounced back with a 2-over 74 Wednesday, helping the Patriots improve their team score by seven strokes.
The Patriots shot 304 as a team Wednesday, giving them a two-day score of 615, good for 13th place in the 15-team field.
Big hill to climb for North golf
Terre Haute North boys golf is 21 strokes behind leaders at IHSAA boys golf tourney.
Top of her game
There are a lot of surprising facts about blossoming volleyball prodigy Caitlyn Newton, including that shape-shifting thing she can apparently do, but maybe one of them stands out the most. She may only be scratching the surface.
Camp, Howe win, then lose in state tennis tourney
Miranda Camp and Nicole Howe of Terre Haute South won their first match of high school tennis Friday at the state individual doubles finals, then won the first set against a powerful Park Tudor team before falling in three sets.
Terre Haute North heading back to state finals in boys golf
Terre Haute North is going back to the state finals in boys high school golf for the first time in more than 10 years. The Patriots qualified for a trip to The Legends Course next week by tying for third in the Washington Regional at Country Oaks Golf Club and advancing with the better fifth score.
North, South, Sullivan to compete at golf regional
Boys high school golf teams from the Wabash Valley will compete in the Washington Regional on Thursday, seeking a spot in the state finals to be played next week.
Terre Haute North falls 6-1 to Brownsburg in opening game of Class 4A Regional
Terre Haute North coach Shawn Turner told the Patriots to raise their heads. He wanted to see their eyes at the close of their 24-7 high school baseball season.
Terre Haute North girls shine on dreary day at track state finals
Led by a record setting 3,200-meter relay team and Keirra Porter’s long jump, Terre Haute North turned in its best finish ever in the 40th annual IHSAA Girls Track & Field Championships on Saturday at Indiana University in Bloomington.
Valley teams will have to wait until Monday for baseball regionals
Rain and the threat of more rain caused postponements of high school baseball regionals involving Terre Haute North, West Vigo and Shakamak on Saturday.
Rockville's season ends at Lafayette Central Catholic
Lafayette Central Catholic ended Rockville’s tourney run in high school baseball Saturday, defeating the Rox 8-0 in the first game of the LCC Class A Regional.
IHSAA boys state track finals: Standing alone
It hadn’t been a particularly good day for Wabash Valley track and field Friday, and it wasn’t looking like a good one for Jackson Bertoli either.
Terre Haute North, West Vigo return to baseball regionals
Terre Haute North’s baseball team hasn’t participated in an IHSAA regional since 2006. West Vigo’s wait hasn’t been as long, but it was 2010 when the Vikings last advanced from a sectional.
Patriots girls take aim at state track title
Terre Haute North’s girls have several potential state champions today at Indiana University.
South, North track athletes looking for big performances at state finals
Terre Haute South’s distance trio of Jackson Bertoli, Logan Hambrock and Riley Stohler appear to be the favorites to crack all-state status among Wabash Valley competitors today in the IHSAA boys track and field state finals at Indiana University.
- Internet site keeps area prep teams on airwaves
- PREP ROUNDUP: Locals to take part in Hoosiers All-Star Game
South Vermillion softball can't overcome errors, Tri-West
Uncharacteristic errors led to eight unearned runs and hard-luck hitting made that impossible to overcome for South Vermillion, which fell 8-0 to Tri-West in Class 3A regional play.
Clay City softball comes up short against Lutheran
Clay City closed its high school softball season Tuesday night with the best record ever for the program at 21-9.
The Eels wanted to add another win, the school’s first regional title, but they came up short.
PREP ROUNDUP: Rockville wins baseball sectional
Rockville won its own Class A sectional in high school baseball Tuesday, defeating Covington 10-4 in the rain-delayed championship game.
Class 4A Terre Haute South Sectional:The wait is over
Three minutes into an interview with various media members, Terre Haute North baseball coach Shawn Turner couldn’t react fast enough to avoid a bucket of ice water being dumped over his head from behind by his giddy players. The soaking-wet Turner could shake it off with a smile, however, because his Patriots had just won the IHSAA Class 4A Terre Haute South Sectional championship with a 13-3 six-inning triumph over Plainfield on Monday evening.
Class 4A Terre Haute South Sectional: TH North, Plainfield win squeakers
The high school baseball teams of Terre Haute North and Plainfield proved Monday that what a batter does early in the game is not necessarily indicative of what he will do in the late innings.
Class 2A Linton Sectional: Eastern rains on Sullivan parade
Mother Nature put Sullivan’s quest for a high school baseball sectional championship on hold Monday night at Linton-Stockton High School. Sullivan (14-15) and Eastern Greene (16-7) will resume play in the Class 2A Sectional 47 championship game at 5 p.m. Tuesday at Linton’s Roy Herndon Field.
Opening Day: Terre Haute Rex host Quincy
In his first season at the helm, first-year Terre Haute Rex manager Ronnie Prettyman is going to be surrounded by men he knows and trusts.
Class A Shakamak Sectional: Stout pitching leads Union, Shakamak to final
Trey Bedwell and Patrick Green made sure their respective high school baseball teams would meet for the championship of the Class A Shakamak Sectional by pitching shutouts in semifinal contests Monday afternoon.
Class A Rockville Sectional: Covington, Rockville title game postponed
Rockville and Covington won semifinal high school baseball games Monday to advance to the championship game of the Rockville Class A Sectional. Due to rain, the championship game was postponed. A decision was expected this morning whether the game will be played today or Wednesday.
South Vermillion, Linton, Clay City look to stay alive in softball
There might have been as many reasons to think they wouldn’t be winning sectionals this spring as evidence to show they would, but high school softball teams from South Vermillion, Linton and Clay City will be playing one-game regionals Tuesday with the chance to keep defying the odds.
West Vigo back on top of Class 3A baseball sectional
West Vigo won its sectional with a 6-4 victory over South Vermillion on a rainy night at Dick Ballinger Field.
South runs into ‘buzzsaw’ at girls tennis semistate
Postmatch interviews don’t often begin with a coach and a reporter ready to blurt out the same word, but that was the case for Bill Blankenbaker and his interviewer Saturday morning after the Center Grove Semistate for girls high school tennis.
Unfortunately for Blankenbaker’s Terre Haute South team, that word was “buzzsaw.”
Greenwood’s Kawamoto twins made quick work of the top of the Braves’ singles lineup, so despite stellar efforts by both South doubles teams the Woodmen’s 3-2 victory didn’t seem all that close.
Greenwood moves on to Fishers, where it plays Floyd Central or Jasper on Friday in the state quarterfinals.
Also playing Friday, but at Park Tudor, will be South’s Miranda Camp and Nicole Howe, who reached the individual doubles finals for the second straight season by virtue of their 6-4, 6-2 win over the Greenwood team of Taylor Hudnall and Brittany Toney.
“It’s really exciting,” said Howe of the prospect of a second straight finals trip, “but I wish our team could’ve gone with us.”
- More High School Headlines
- Goatee, Bertoli ran away with Spring Athlete of the Year