By TRIBUNE SPORTS STAFF
---- — 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.”
Pitchers are allowed six innings over two games meaning Justin Hurlock and Wallace can pitch four innings apiece in today’s game.
McPike took control early against Mike’s. After Justin Hurlock struck out the side in the top of the first, McPike scored two runs without a hit in the bottom of the first.
The Astros broke the game open with six runs in the second inning. Dalton Jones, Brendon Partlow and Mitchell Dean drew walks to load the bases with one out. Wallace followed with an RBI single up the middle, then Hurlock cracked a grand slam to right-center field. Jones added an RBI single later in the inning.
The Astros tacked on single runs in the third and fourth innings. Jones’ RBI groundout in the fourth ended the game on the 10-run mercy rule.
McPike received contributions from several different players. Eight of the nine starters reached base at least one time with seven recording hits. Mitchell Dean, the No. 2 hitter in the order, was 1 for 1 with two walks. Jones, the No. 8 hitter, was 1 for 2 with a walk and two RBI.
Palmer Harrell had Mike’s lone hit.
STOUT AND SON (R) 6, KING’S (UCT) 3
Three Stout and Son hurlers combined to strike out a dozen King’s batters at Northside and carry the Russiaville squad past the defending champions.
Gavin White started and threw the first, third and fifth innings, notching seven strikeouts. Avery Hayes threw the second and part of the sixth inning, notching two whiffs. And Collin Rassel threw the fourth and part of the sixth, with three more strikeouts.
At the plate for Stout and Son (16-8), Hayden Shepherd singled and scored twice, Hayes had an RBI single, and White and Micah Gremelspacher both singled and scored.
Hayden Shepherd singled and scored twice. Hayes singled in a run. White singled and scored a run. And Micah Gremelspacher singled and scored.
For King’s, Matt Arcari had a two-run single.
HOLL. LUMBER (R) 4, MCGAVIC (TSE) 3, 7 INNINGS
Russiaville regular-season champion Hollingsworth Lumber rallied to beat McGavic Outdoor Power 4-3 in an extra inning at Eastside.
The Lumber boys tied the game in the bottom of the sixth when Nathaniel Liddell scored on a passed ball. Then in the seventh, leadoff hitter Josh Rush was hit by a pitch and Luke Hopwood hit a double to put runners on second and third. After McGavic cut down a runner at the plate on a fielder’s choice for the first out of the inning, Payton Irwin put down a perfect bunt single to load the bases. Liddell then hit a deep sacrifice fly to score Hopwood for the walk-off win.
Hopwood finished with two doubles. Also for Hollingsworth, Luke Lechner had a double and a single and Cullen Dalpoas and Alex Jackson had two singles apiece. Liddell was the winning pitcher.
Jake Isaacs smacked a homer for McGavic. Logan Bass took the loss.
MARTIN BROTHERS (R) 5, WHITE’S MEAT (TSE) 3
Daniel Wright threw all six innings to get the win for for Martin Brothers (13-10) in Greentown. He allowed four hits and struck out nine to pitch the Russiaville squad into the semifinals.
Alex Kirk doubled, singled twice and knocked in two runs to lead Martin Brothers. Rylan Morgan added a run-scoring single.
For Taylor Southeast champion White’s Meat Market, Richard Taper drove in a run with a single. Matt Harrison took the loss.
TODAY'S GAMES AT UCT 6 p.m. -- McPike (UCT) vs. Stout and Son (R) AT TAYLOR SE 8 p.m. -- Holl. Lumber (R) vs. Martin Brothers (R)