Korey Sexton and Logan Barnes pitched complete games to lead Taylor’s baseball team to a doubleheader sweep of Tippecanoe Valley on Saturday at TV. The Titans took a 3-2 win in the opener and another 3-2 win in the closer.
Sexton made his first varsity start in the opener. He allowed one earned run on four hits and two walks. He struck out 13. Barnes followed with a strong performance of his own. He allowed two runs on seven hits and one walk. He struck out two.
“Korey Sexton and Logan Barnes came up huge for us on the mound,” Taylor coach Brent Owens said. “Neither one of them had pitched more than an inning through the first eight games. We really needed to rest Cameron Clark, Nick Hoover, Drew Hansen and Allen Stout as the four of them had thrown a lot of innings in the previous seven days. We really wanted all four of those pitchers fresh as we start [Mid-Indiana] Conference play [Tuesday].
“Sexton came out and threw an unbelievable game that included striking out 13 of the TV’s 21 outs. Barnes then pitched a very efficient game where he only threw 80 pitches in seven innings. I am just so proud of those two for stepping up and helping us continue our winning ways.”
Taylor has won seven straight games.
In the opener, Stout went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI singles and Trevor Marler went 2-for-3.
In the second game, Hansen had an RBI triple and Barnes had an RBI single and three stolen bases. In the sixth inning, Barnes broke a 1-all tie with a bunt single that scored Sexton. Barnes later stole home on a double steal for the Titans’ final run.
Taylor is 7-3 — and all 10 of its games have been decided by two runs or less.
“I haven’t seen anything like that as a coach or as a player,” Owens said. “Usually in a 10-game stretch, somebody blows out somebody. Every single one of our games this year has been tight.”
NW 2, North Miami 1
NW 10, Clinton Central 2
Northwestern (8-3) bounced back from a pair of losses earlier in the week to win a pair on Saturday.
In the game against North Miami, Conner Milligan hit a two-run double in the fourth inning to give Northwestern the lead. James Herrington was the winning pitcher. He pitched the first four innings, allowing one earned run on three hits, three walks and a hit batsman, while striking out four. Milligan pitched the final three innings, allowing no runs on one hit. He struck out six.
In the game against Clinton Central, Northwestern scored three runs in the third and four runs in the fourth inning to seize control.
Trenton Brazel and Loren Gonzalez each had two singles in leading Northwestern. Gonzalez drove in two runs and Brazel scored two runs. Craten Brown contributed a triple.
Trevor Richmond was the winning pitcher. He went five innings, giving up two earned runs on six hits and four walks. He struck out four.
“We needed to get back on the winning track after losing two games [to Kokomo and Delphi],” NW coach Mike Brazel said. “We had good pitching performances again, and our bats are coming alive.”’
Plainfield 10, Western 7
Western 8, Plainfield 7, 8 inn.
The Panthers split with the visiting Quakers to move to 5-5 on the season.
In the opener, Plainfield put the hosts in an early 4-0 hole in the first inning, but Western gradually clawed back to tie the game 7-7 in the sixth. The Quakers rallied for three in the seventh to pick up the victory.
Adam Bolen took the loss in relief, working two innings. He allowed three runs on four hits, a walk and a hit batsman.
Bolen and Drew Bellus both had two hits for the Panthers, with Bellus driving in a pair of runs. Marcus Pingleton swatted a solo home run in the first inning.
In Game 2, Western held a 7-4 lead heading into the seventh, when the Quakers rallied to tie the score before Nathan Kirk took over on the hill and notched a strikeout to help the Panthers escape a bases-loaded jam.
Kirk got the win, striking out two in 1 1-3 innings of work. He held Plainfield’s bats silent in the eighth, giving the Western offense another opportunity to seize victory.
Kyle Ennis led off the eighth with a single. Zach Huffman followed and was plunked. Pingleton laid down a bunt on the ensuing play and appeared to be on his way to a bunt single. The throw to first squirted into the outfield, allowing the winning run to score and the Panthers salvaged a split.
Pingleton added two hits and two RBIs in the nightcap, while Devin Eaker added a pair of singles.
Austin Dukes drew the start in Game 2, and struck out seven in 6 2/3 innings. He walked six, including three in the seventh, and yielded six hits.
“We still have [Evan] Warden out with mono[nucleosis], but some kids are getting experience,” Western coach Ty Calloway said. “We’ve been getting better pitching, but our hitting and defense need a little work. If we get those two things right we’ll be solid.”
Western opens MIC play Tuesday at Taylor.
Warsaw 5, Kokomo 3
Warsaw 5, Kokomo 3
The Wildkats fell behind early in both contests, and after battling back to get within striking distance, couldn’t get over the hump.
The Tigers built a 4-0 lead early in Game 1. Kokomo answered with three runs in the fourth before Warsaw shut the door to hold off the Kats.
A pair of runs scored on a two-base error in the fourth after Luke Alexander, Jake McMain and Preston Emmons led off the Kokomo fourth with three straight singles. Drew Sawyer added an RBI double in the frame for the Kats.
Drew Sale suffered the loss on the bump in the opener, allowing five runs — three earned — on six hits and two walks in 3 1-3 innings of labor. He struck out one.
Sawyer, Emmons and Jesse Broomfield all had two hits in Game 1.
In the nightcap, Warsaw took an early 2-0 lead, but Kokomo answered with the help of a Channing Webster RBI double, scoring two in the sixth to tie the game. The Tigers responded with three runs in the bottom half of the inning, and Chase Hatfield’s RBI single in the seventh was not enough of a rally for the Kats (3-7) to stay alive.
McMain suffered the loss on the hill in Game 2. He lasted two innings with three runs crossing on his watch, but none were earned. He allowed two hits, walked none and stuck out three.
“Warsaw is quite a program, and this was their eighth win in a row so they are playing well,” Kokomo coach Tim Weeks said. “We had our chances in both games. We battled back and played well, but just had some errors in crucial spots. I’m not much into moral victories. We played well enough to win but didn’t.”
Richmond 4, Kokomo 1
Richmond 6, Kokomo 4
Kokomo dropped a pair of games to host Richmond to fall to 4-4-4 overall and 0-1 in the North Central Conference.
In the first game, which was the conference game, Christine Skaggs provided Kokomo’s only offense with a solo home run in the first inning. Richmond came back with a run in the bottom of the inning and the game stayed 1-1 until the Red Devils scored three runs in the sixth.
“It was a good game until the sixth inning,” Kokomo coach Lisa Tate said. “The girl who got the triple struck out twice in her two previous at bats. Other than that, we held them. We left too many runners on base. We didn’t string our hits together.”
Skaggs suffered the loss. She pitched the full seven innings, allowing four runs (two earned) on four hits and two walks with nine strikeouts.
In the non-conference game, Kokomo jumped to a 4-0 lead after two innings only to see Richmond score two runs in the third and three runs in the fourth to take a 5-4 lead.
Allison Cook suffered the loss. She pitched the first four innings, giving up four unearned runs on five hits and two walks with two strikeouts. Kami Sharp pitched the final three innings and allowed no runs on three hits and two walks with two strikeouts.
Kokomo committed seven errors in the game.
“[The second game] came down to errors,” Tate explained. “We were trying to move players around, and do things with a couple of pitchers, and I don’t know if our confidence was shot when our catcher got hurt in the first game. But, Ashley Frayer did a great job [behind the plate].”
Samantha Johnson, Miranda Ogle and Frayer each had two singles for Kokomo in the second game. Ogle drove in two runs. Skaggs had a double.
Eastern 9, Shenandoah 1
Eastern 4, Cl. Prairie 0
The Comets finally got some timely hitting to go with their dominant pitching, cruising to victories over the Raiders and Gophers in a three-team event in Greentown.
In Eastern’s opener, Abby Oyer tossed a five-hitter with four strikeouts two walks to lead the Comets to victory.
Quinlyn Hochstedler belted a two-RBI double in Eastern’s three-run second inning, while Hayley Mavrick added a two-RBI double in the third. Ally Oyler and Kelsey Russell both added doubles, as well.
The Comets managed nine runs on eight hits while stranding five.
“That was the way you’d like to see the offense produce,” Eastern coach Jerry Haines said, “because we’ve been getting 10 to 12 hits per game but only scoring one or two runs.”
In the nightcap, freshman Alyssa Haalck combined with Abby Oyler to pitch a shutout. In her first varsity appearance in the circle, Haalck allowed one hit in three innings of work while fanning three and walking one. Abby Oyler went the rest of the way, allowing four hits and a walk while striking out six.
Russell had an RBI single in the second for the Comets (8-3). Hayley Mavrick added another two-RBI double in the third, while Colby Marner’s RBI single in the same frame was more than enough run support for the Comets.
“Our pitching was strong [Saturday],” Haines said. “We wanted Alyssa to get through the lineup one time and she did a great job with only one hit and one walk. Our defense was good. We played error-free with a lot of chances to get in trouble. Hopefully this will get us lined up good to get into the start of conference play next week.”
Taylor 11, Caston 0, 5 inn.
Cl. Central 7, Taylor 1
Kelsey Gordon fanned 11 on her way to a no-hitter in a rout of Caston in the opening round of the four-team Taylor Invitational.
Gordon allowed just one walk to help keep the Comets off the board.
McKenna Deckard had an RBI single in the third, and Jacquelyn Rhoades added a two-RBI single to give the Titans an early lead.
Caitlyn Arnold added a two-RBI single in Taylor’s six-run fifth inning. Katelyn Duncan had an RBI single in the frame as well.
Arnold and Rhoades both finished with two hits in the win, while Ashley Till added a double.
After beating Southwood in the opening round, Clinton Central downed Taylor 7-1 to take the invitational title. Taylor moved to 2-9 on the season.
Till connected for an RBI single for the Titans’ lone run in the nightcap.
Gordon took the loss in the title game, allowing two earned runs on 10 hits and two walks while fanning four.
“We’ve been working out the kinks early in the season, so we have Kelsey in a rotation and aren’t throwing her in every game to try to limit her pitch count,” Taylor coach Shane Arnold said. “Kelsey was phenomenal [Saturday], and we are very blessed to have her. She’s starting to hit her spots better and is picking up some velocity and movement.”
• Taylor fell to North Miami 14-1 Friday in six innings. Duncan had two hits for the Titans.
Kokomo took top honors, posting a score of 113 to better Muncie Central (102) and defending champion Huntington North (64).
Kokomo won three individual events. Taylor Killings won the 300 hurdles in a season-best time of 41.90 seconds. Waylon Coulter tied his season best of 13-0 in winning the pole vault. And, Darrion McAlister was tops in the discus with a throw of 140-0.
The Wildkats also won three relay events. Killings, Bryson Sparks, Armon Bridgeforth and Harvey Lenoir won the 4x100 in a season-best time of :44.40. Troy Solomon, Waylon Coulter, Tyler Pigg and Tony Moses won the 4x400 in a season-best time of 3:34.00. And, Killings, Sparks, Lenoir and Moses won the sprint medley relay (100, 100, 200, 400) in 1:34.50.
Also for the Kats, Avery Barrett took second in the pole vault (11-0), Bridgeforth took second in the long jump (20-1.75) and Phil Heilman, Pigg, Coulter and Jeremy Breedlove took second in the distance medley relay with Breedlove posting a personal-best split of 4:41 in the 1,600.
The Comets excelled in the field and distance events to hold off sectional-rival Oak Hill, 152-146, to win their fourth straight title in the 30th-annual running of the event. Bluffton (57.5), Pioneer (32.5), Blackford and Taylor (tie, 24 apiece) and Southern Wells (19) rounded out the field.
Lewis Duke paced the Comets as a triple winner. He topped the field in the 1,600 in a time of 4:47.65, then teamed up to be part of two winning relays. Duke, K.J. Myers, Damon Byers and Joshua Sommers were tops in the 4x800 relay in 8:38.22, while Duke, Sommers, Myers and Micah Marx won the distance medley relay.
Josiah Price led a field-event contingent which scored 58 points with a pair of first-place finishes. He was tops in the discus with a heave of 135-3, and re-broke his own school record in the shot put for the third time this season with a put of 55-5.
Gatlin Hinesley won the pole vault at 11-0, while Porter, Marner, Riley Haupert and Blake Thomas joined to win the 4x100 relay in :45.55.
Grant Cole was named the meet MVP. He won the 110 hurdles in :15.1, took second in the long jump and shuttle hurdle relay, and finished third in the high jump as he went on to score more points in the meet than any other individual.
“Oak Hill was strong in the sprints and we were strong in the distance and field events,” Eastern coach Paul Nicholson said. “For the field event guys to score 58 points — that’s unheard of. That was the deciding factor in this meet. We placed two people in every event but the pole vault. It was a nervous meet as a coach. That’s how I know I still love it.”
Kalob Bitner finished third in the shot put for Taylor with a heave of 45-10.
The Comets managed four first-place finishes in the absence of juniors Bethany and Brittany Neeley, taking second in their own invitational behind the champion Golden Eagles, 154-104. The Neeleys were on a college visit.
Southern Wells (82), Pioneer (43), Taylor (38), Blackford (15) and Bluffton (13) rounded out the field.
Avery Ewing was a double winner for Eastern, taking top honors in the 1,600-meter run in 5:46 before teaming with Sarah Wagner, Breann Donson and Elyssa DeAngulo to win the distance medley relay, an event with four legs which includes runs of 1,600, 1,200, 800 and 400 meters.
Demi Shafer won the pole vault at 9-0 for the Comets, while the co-ed 800-meter relay team of Hannah Broo, Elena White, Will Porter and Clay Marner took top honors in 1:45.83.
“I’m very pleased with Demi in the pole vault,” Eastern coach Michael Goodspeed said. “She went 9-2 for the school record earlier this week, and came back with another 9-0 [Saturday], so she is headed to higher heights as the season progresses.”
For Taylor, Lauran Reece won the shot put with a heave of 30-6.
After having its chances at a championship washed away by rain last season, Eastern returned to Richmond Saturday with an entirely different lineup, but was able to pick up where it left off by claiming the crown in an eight-team, individual-style invitational. Shenandoah took second.
Claire Holkenbrink went 3-0 at No. 3 singles to claim a division championship. The No. 1 doubles tandem of Amanda Alexander and Charissa Richards went 2-1 and took second place. Courtney Clark (No. 1 singles) and the duo of Marie Holkenbrink and Makayla Sargent (No. 2 doubles) both went 2-1 and finished in third place, while No. 2 singles player Riley Kanable rebounded from a loss in her first match to go 2-1 and finish fifth after winning the consolation bracket.
“It was a great feeling and the girls were so excited to win,” Eastern coach Pat Rice said. “We waited around to see who the winner was while they tallied up the scores, so there was a little anticipation there. I’m so happy for this group of girls. We’re a very young team and only had one varsity player that had experienced playing in this tournament before. This is a huge momentum boost going into next week.”
Tipton shot a 323 as team and had two of the field’s top three golfers to edge the host Bengal Tigers by three strokes at Peru Municipal G.C.
Peru’s Travis Smith shot an even-par 72 to take medalist honors, but Mike Crawford carded a 76 and Keegan Gray added a 77 for the Blue Devils to second and third overall, respectively.
Western (335), Northwestern (342), Maconaquah (354), North Miami (354), Eastern (354), Kokomo (357), Caston (388), Tri-Central (424), Peru B (426) and Taylor (459) rounded out the field. Maconaquah, North Miami and Eastern finished third, fourth and fifth respectively on tie-breakers.
Blake Hoover and Tanner Maxey both added 85s for Tipton.
Miles Plothow carded an 82 for Peru, while Isaac Badry added an 83 and Cameron Smith an 89 for the runner-up Tigers.
“This was kind of disappointing,” Peru coach Doug Muzzillo said. “Unofficially, we were up nine strikes at the turn and Tipton made it all up on the back nine, so give them credit. We’re a young team and this was a nice preview for the conference meet in a few weeks [at Peru Municipal] with Maconaquah as the host.
“Travis had an outstanding round. He signed to play basketball at Bethel College this week, and I think that took some pressure off of him, and he went out and played well.”
Tyler White led Western with a 79. Brennan Raines added an 82, while Ben Constable and Austin Smith both carded 87s for the Panthers.
Nathan Edwards also fired a 79 to lead Northwestern, while Jeff Blankenberger’s 86, Matt Mervis’ 88 and Kyle Condon’s 89 rounded out the Purple Tigers’ card.
Brady Rowlette shot an 82 to lead Maconaquah. Matt Wylie also finished with an 82 to lead Eastern, while Andrew Kerner’s 84, Kane Roush’s 89 and Michael Lamb’s 99 rounded out the Comets’ card.
Kokomo was led by Blake Brutus’ 87 and Jake Hopkins’ 88. Tanner Guyer added a 90 and Prajin Sravastan a 92 for the Wildkats.
“We had way too many putts on what I would describe as the fastest greens we’ve seen this year,” Kokomo coach Jay Davis said. “One of our guys had 42 putts. We scored about like we did in our first two matches after improving a little bit [in Friday’s win over Indianapolis North Central]. We played average golf [Saturday], nothing really bad but nothing really good either.”
Jack Lipchick fired a 94 to lead Taylor, while Fred Durham added a 112, Evan Hewitt a 122 and Nick Denman a 131.
“I told the boys not to get discouraged,” Taylor coach Justin Palmer said. “We played the best we could and know we need work, especially two of my kids who have never played before. It was a definitely an eye opener for them, and I am proud of them.”
Austin Finicle carded a 94 to lead Peru B and Clay Smith and Brandon Whitehead both carded 99s to lead TC.