The McPike Astros continued their tear through the David A. Kasey Memorial Youth Baseball Tournament on Tuesday night.
The UCT regular-season champions whipped Russiaville squad Mike’s Italian Grill 10-0 in four innings in an Elite Eight game at Russiaville’s Robert M. Waddell Memorial Park. Justin Hurlock and Gavin Wallace combined on a one-hit shutout and Hurlock rocked a grand slam.
McPike is in the Final Four for the third time in four years. The Astros (19-4) face Russiaville squad Stout and Son at 6 p.m. today at UCT. The other Final Four matchup is an all-Russiaville matchup pitting regular-season champion Hollingsworth Lumber vs. Martin Brothers at 8 p.m. at Taylor Southeast.
The Astros won the Kokomo Tribune-sponsored Howard County major league tournament in 2011 and again in ‘12, but they’re making this tournament run with just two holdovers. Hurlock played on both title teams and Jacob Moore played on the ‘12 team.
“When we started [the season], the coaches were thinking, ‘We have work to do,’” McPike skipper Jason Hurlock said. “We drafted six new kids this year and five of them came from minors. They have stepped up and done great. To make the Final Four, they’re achieving more than I originally thought would happen.”
The Astros have outscored their three tournament opponents by a combined score of 38-6.
“They’re coming together at the right time,” Jason Hurlock said.
Justin Hurlock and Wallace are McPike’s Nos. 1 and 2 pitchers and they dominated against Mike’s. Hurlock pitched the first two innings, allowed one hit, struck out five and walked one. Wallace pitched the final two innings and struck out three and walked three.
“Going four innings was crucial,” Jason Hurlock said. “The plan was three [innings apiece], but when there’s a chance to get out of here in four, you roll the dice. Hopefully it worked out.”