Taylor’s baseball team held on to beat Tipton 3-2 Wednesday evening in the opening game of the Class 2A Eastern Sectional at CFD Investments Stadium in Highland Park.
Taylor took a quick 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first on an RBI groundout by Hunter Williams and a runner scoring on a passed ball. Tipton tied the game with single runs in the third and fourth innings, but Taylor came back in the bottom of the fourth inning to score the winning run on an RBI single by Justin Doty.
“It was great seeing Justin Doty come up with a big hit,” Taylor coach Kris Dill said. He explained that Doty had broken a foot early in the season and had taken a while to get productive again once he came back. “Really, the last couple weeks he’s been doing a little better. Obviously, we don’t win that game if he doesn’t hit that ball.”
Williams then took care of the rest. Entering in the top of the fifth as the fourth Taylor pitcher, Williams threw three shutout, no-hit innings for the save with a walk and two strikeouts. Zach Landis, who pitched the fourth, was the winning pitcher.
“Our pitchers did a great job, from Zeke [Lamberson] to Kien [Sullivan] to Zach to Hunter,” Dill said. “Defensively, we did our job. We had a couple mistakes but other than that it was really all about our pitching. They came in, threw strikes and let the defense play. We only had three strikeouts as a pitching staff.
“I’m super proud of Hunter Williams. He came in the last three innings — they didn’t get a hit off him, and we knew we wanted to end the game with him on the mound. Once again our upperclassmen led us.
Micah Irwin had two singles for the Titans (8-14), who advance to Saturday’s semifinal action to face Madison-Grant at 5 p.m.
Tipton finished with a 3-16 record.
WESTERN 2, N. MONT. 0
Western ace Mitchell Dean fired a four-hitter, second baseman Mitchell Knepley made a run-saving catch and the No. 4-ranked Panthers beat North Montgomery in the Class 3A Northwestern Sectional opener.
Dean struck out 12 and walked two in his latest dominant performance. The Indiana All-Star improved to 8-0 and lowered his ERA to 0.58. In 48.1 innings, he has 99 strikeouts against just 18 walks.
Western (23-4) scored single runs in the second and fifth innings. Knepley made a diving catch up the middle to end the fourth inning. North Montgomery (16-13) had a runner on second and the runner was on the move.
“It was a close game as expected. We’ll take the win and advance,” Western coach Ryan Berryman said. “[Jarrod] Kirsch for North Montgomery was as advertised and did a good job keeping our hitters off balance, but Mitchell Dean pounded the zone and attacked their hitters all night. He did a great job making two runs hold up.”
The Panthers took the lead in the second when Christian Pownall, Bret Echelbarger and Cade Epp strung together singles. In the seventh, Deaglan Pleak singled, Cayden McClure drew a walk and Knepley dropped a bunt single to load the bases. Pleak then scored on a wild pitch.
Pleak finished 2 for 2, Echelbarger was 2 for 3 with a triple and Pownall also was 2 for 3.
“The bottom of our lineup was excellent,” Berryman said. “They put the pressure on, saw a lot of pitches, and led our offense.”
Western advances to face Twin Lakes in a semifinal game at 5 p.m. today. Twin Lakes beat West Lafayette 6-5 in 10 innings in Wednesday’s second game, which ended around 10:40 p.m.
PERU 7, OAK HILL 6
The Bengal Tigers won the opening game of the Class 3A Oak Hill Sectional by putting up a couple big innings against the host squad.
Peru took a 3-0 lead after one inning, Oak Hill led 4-2 after the top of the fourth, but Peru responded with four runs in the bottom of the frame for a 7-4 lead, and held on after Oak Hill scored a run in the fifth and another in the seventh.
Gavin Eldridge and Logan Gatliff each had a hit, each drove in a pair of runs for Peru and Eldridge scored twice. The Bengals advance to Saturday’s noon semifinal against Norwell, which beat Mississinewa 4-1 in Wednesday’s second game.
CARROLL 4, SEEGER 3, 10 INNINGS
Carroll scored a run in the top of the 10th inning to edge Seeger in the opening game of the Class 2A Delphi Sectional.
Eli Harshbarger was 2 for 4 with an RBI and Owen Duff doubled and had an RBI for the Cougars (15-9), who advance to play either Benton Central or Cass at 5 p.m. today in a semifinal game. The Cougars had just four hits. Carroll’s Eli Harshbarger threw 4.1 innings for the win with just one hit, no walks, no hits and four strikeouts.
DELPHI 8, CARROLL 2
Delphi racked up an 8-0 lead after the top of the sixth to take the championship game of the Class 2A Delphi Sectional.
Emily Justice went 2 for 3 with a double and two RBI to lead Carroll, which ended the season 18-7.
SW 176, EASTERN 204, WABASH 211
Bryce Baker led Eastern with a 44 in a three-team meet with Southwood and Wabash. Sam Torivo was next for the Comets with a 47, Cohen Johnson shot 55 and Kailin Cook 58.
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