Senior T.J. Weir hurled a three-hit complete game with eight strikeouts, and the Class 4A No. 6-ranked Kokomo Wildkats clinched at least a share of the North Central Conference baseball title with a 5-1 road win over Huntington North Thursday.
“We set some goals at the beginning of every season, and you always want to win your conference, but we set goals bigger than that,” Kokomo coach Steve Edwards said. “We are starting to get everyone where we need to be pitching-wise. We’ve played in some games the last four that will get us ready for the tournament. We still need to finish strong this weekend [against New Castle].
“We are trying to build for the tournament, and our pitching and defense are where they need to be. We still need to step up our hitting. We’re ready for the tournament, we just want to clean up some things.”
Weir had struggled with some muscle soreness earlier in the year, but seems to be returning to form.
“He’s getting closer,” Edwards said. “He threw well, had nice command, and his curveball was working well. To only give up three hits to a team like Huntington North was impressive. His offspeed pitches are getting sharper and sharper every time out.
“We’re getting closer to the T.J. we’re used to seeing. I’d throw him out there against anyone. He’s just a competitor, and is tough as nails. He’s willing to accept any challenge we throw at him.”
Weir also swatted a two-run homer in the sixth to help his own cause. It was his 10th bomb of the year, setting a new single-season record for the Wildkats (22-3, 11-1 NCC).
Casey Shipley slapped a two-RBI single in the second, and Nick Franklin drove in a run in the fifth with a base hit.
Franklin went 3-for-4, Shipley added a 2-for-4 night, and Devin Schacht went 2-for-2 with a pair of walks.
Eastern 10, Southwood 2
The Comets honored seniors Tyler Harnish, Michael Moreno, Brandon Hainlen, Ian Beachy, Lee Beachy, Nathan Courter and Johnathan Keith with the win on senior night.
“The seniors have meant so much to this program,” Eastern coach Steve Swinson said. “It was a nice senior night, and I was proud of how they played and how they have matured. Those seniors have meant so much for our program in the last four years, and they have been a huge part of the turn around of Eastern baseball. All seven of them have left a true stamp on Eastern baseball for years to come.”
Hainlen and Moreno provided five of Eastern’s 10 hits, and Harnish and Moreno combined to pitch the seven innings against the Knights.
Hainlen led Eastern (16-6) with a double, two singles and drove in three runs. Moreno had a solo home run in the fourth and a two-RBI double, and he pitched the sixth and seventh inning, allowing one earned run on four hits with three strike outs. Harnish was the starting pitcher. He allowed one earned run on six hits and four walks, striking out four.
Maconaquah 10, Taylor 4
Taylor had a 4-1 lead, before Maconaquah scored eight runs in the fifth inning to take a 9-4 lead. Taylor finished the MIC with a 3-4 record, and 17-7 overall.
“We made two costly errors that extended the inning for them,” Taylor coach Jeremy Luna said. “Maconaquah hit it between the second baseman and the right fielder, and [a fly ball] bounced off the heel of the glove that tied the game. Maconaquah scored three runs after that error. It was a tough day and a tough game.”
Spencer McQueary was the main offense for Taylor. McQueary hit a solo homer in the fourth inning, and a two run shot in the fifth inning. Dalton Tinsley, Matt Brankle and Seth Vautaw each had a single and double for the Titans.
Tri-Central 2, Alexandria 0
Josh Copp pitched a two-hit shutout for Tri-Central. Copp struck out 13 and walked three in his seven innings of work.
“He was dominant,” Tri-Central coach Sean Swan said. “Copp has had good outings in the last three or four starts. This is what you want to see at sectional time.”
Austin Horn hit a solo home run in the fourth inning, and Blaine Pyke had two singles and drove in a run for the Trojans.
Peru 16, Caston 5, 6 innings
Peru (10-13) showed its power against Caston with five home runs on senior night.
Seniors Justin Engel, Evan Laudenschlager and Joe Bockover, who hit two, each had at least one home run. The Tigers’ Hunter Bartel also hit a home run.
“It is nice to see your seniors do well on senior night,” Peru coach Rob Hileman said. “Defensively, Laudenschlager did a good job of scattering hits.”
Laudenschlager went the full six innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on six hits with three walks and struck out two.
Bockover and Engel led Peru with three hits apiece. Bockover had two home runs, a single and two RBIs. Engel added a home run, single and double. Laudenschlager piled up a home run and single. Seniors Shannon Garretson and Derek McKinney and underclassman Jake Hensley each had two singles. Hunter Bartel had the home run, and senior Brandt Manriquez added a double.
Cass 9, Carroll 2
The Kings improved to 13-7 with the win in Flora.
Keegen Key, Jake Stover and Andrew Troutman combined on a two-hitter for the Kings. Key got the win and improved to 6-0.
Damon Foreman homered and added a pair of singles for Cass. Brody Edgerly doubled twice and added a single. Caleb Comoglio had a double and single, and Troutman added two singles.
Cass hosts Northwestern Monday for a makeup game to conclude the regular season.
Western 3, N’western 2, 9 innings
Maeghan Grove drove in Katie Daine in the bottom of the ninth to give Western the Mid-Indiana Conference win. The Panthers improved to 4-3 in the conference and 12-8 overall.
Daine, who doubled, was on base when Grove hit an RBI single with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning for the winning run.
The Panthers scored first with a run in the second inning. Northwestern tied it up at 1-1 in the fourth, and the Tigers took the lead 2-1 in the top of the seventh. Western’s Brooke Pingleton hit an RBI triple to tie it at 2-2 in the bottom of the seventh to send it into extra innings.
“This was an important game for us to win,” Western coach Jim Clouse said. “It was a tight game with a lot of tense moments. Northwestern had pressure on us in every inning of the game. Pingleton and defense did a good job of coming up with plays to get us out of innings.”
Pingleton was the winning pitcher. She allowed two unearned runs on eight hits with five walks and five strike outs in the complete game win.
Taylor 18, Maconaquah 15
The Titans held a 13-1 lead going into bottom of fourth, and gave up eight runs, six unearned, before holding on to pick up their first MIC win of the season.
“We made a lot of mistakes that kept letting them back in the game,” Taylor coach Brian Weeks said. “We hit the ball pretty well, both teams committed some errors, but we were able to come out and score every inning, and it was good to continue to stay on top and get the win.”
Caitlyn Arnold and Kylie Weeks both went 4-for-5 at the dish to lead Taylor (8-15, 1-5 MIC). Arnold had three singles and a double and drove in two, while Weeks added three base hits, a home run and had three RBIs.
Lisa Duncan also had a pair of hits and an RBI in the victory.
Cass 10, Pioneer 0
Kelsey Ullom tossed a two-hit shutout and the Kings improved to 17-6 with the win in Walton.
Kourtney Mayhill had three hits, three stolen bases and three runs scored to lead Cass’ offensive attack. Claire Pullen doubled and had two RBIs and Mallory Cummings added a double and an RBI. Ellie Cain had a single and two RBIs.
Cass won at No. 1 and 2 singles and was up a set in two other matches against Logansport before the semifinal match was postponed because of rain. It will resume at 4:45 p.m. today.
Tiffany Skarda won 6-0, 6-2 at No. 1 singles and Jaclyn Hyman won 6-1, 6-2 at No. 2 singles to put the Kings at a 2-0 advantage. Abby Ropes and Ashley Johnson lead their match 6-4, 2-1 at No. 1 doubles, and Casey Robertson and Jillian Bower lead 7-5, 3-3 at No. 2 doubles. Sharaya Woodmansee trails 6-3, 4-3 at No. 3 singles.
Delphi is up 2-0 and one set in another match against Twin Lakes in the other semifinal. The final is set to take place tonight following the conclusion of the semifinals.
The Peru Tigers are up 4-0 over Maconaquah with the No. 1 singles match still going on when the match was suspended do to rain.
Peru’s Lauren Conner and Maconaquah’s Rachel Hammond will resume play at 4 p.m. today.
Peru will play Southwood in the semifinal round. Southwood defeated defending sectional champion Wabash 5-0.
Western 160, Westfield 161, Hamilton Heights 188
Kenton Williams of Western and Ben Resler of Westfield shared medalist honors with rounds of two-over 38 at Pebble Brook G.C. in Noblesville.
The Panthers bunched together several solid scores as Casey Cyr shot 39, Andrew Lindley shot 41 and Ben Constable shot 42.
“I’m pretty happy with our score,” Western coach Steve Hoppes said. He called the course a “very nice course to score on. The kids scored well. Having all the scores together, 38, 39, 41, 42, that’s the way to do it.”
Tipton 145, Muncie C. 167, Anderson 172
Freshman Mike Crawford fired 33 for medalist honors in leading the Blue Devils at Tipton Municipal Golf Course.
Other scores for Tipton were Robert Brown (36), Micah Voorhis (37), and Jake Henry (39).
Tipton coach Kenny Day was pleased with the scores.
“With it kind of being a sluggish night, the boys played really well,” Day said. “I was happy with the score. Crawford had four birdies and two bogeys, and I am also proud of Voorhis and Brown battling it out for the fifth spot.”
Twin Lakes 168, Cass 169, Clinton Prairie 201
Cass freshman David Watterson was the medalist, firing a 1-over 37 on the back nine at Logansport Golf Club.
Watterson was followed by Dillon Mund (38), Jake Rush (46) and Brandon Weaver (48).
• Pedro Velazco, Josh Sigler, Kenny Hetzler and Beau Wicker contributed to this report