Mon June 11, 2012
Kokomo, IN---Many people said this should be the state championship game. Of course they were talking about Saturday’s 4A Semi State matchup between No. 1 Lake Central and No. 9 Zionsville. Lake Central entered the game having to beat two of the state’s top arms including; Penn’s Chad Whitmer and Elkhart Central’s Tanner Tully. In order to advance to the state championship they would again have to beat a top arm in Zionsville’s Parker Dunshee (PBR #11, 2013).
Lake Central’s Chase Fieldhouse (2012, uncommitted) brought home the first run of the game in the top of the first when he doubled off Dunshee bringing home junior Nick Kellams for the early 1-0 lead. Zionsville quickly answered with a run of their own in the bottom half of the first after Dunshee’s RBI single.
The scoring quickly came to a halt for both teams through the next three innings. Both starting pitchers found their rhythm and began piling up strikeouts. LC’s Jimmy McNamara (Central Michigan) sat at 82-85 with his fastball and had five strikeouts through four innings of work. Dunshee (uncommitted) was 85-87 with his fastball, touching 88 on several pitches, and also had five strikeouts through four innings.
With the score still tied heading into the bottom of the fifth, McNamara found himself in some trouble for really the first time during this year’s post season. After plunking Nick Barrientos to start the inning, he got two quick outs on a strike out and an infield pop out. Barrientos would steal second base to give Zionsville the go ahead run in scoring position. Drew Small (Butler) then singled in Barrientos to give the Eagles a 2-1 lead and advanced to second on error in the outfield. After another RBI single, McNamara was taken out of the game and replaced by LC’s second ace Taylor Lehnert (Central Michigan). Lehnert was able to get a quick pop out, keeping LC’s deficit at two runs.
Lehnert was very impressive, displaying a consistent 87-90 mph fastball and touching 91 on several occasions. In less than five innings of work Lehnert struck out 8 Zionsville batters.
Zionsville held on to the 3-1 lead going into the top of the seventh. Lake Central, however would tie the game off two Eagles’ errors. The go ahead run was thrown out at the plate to end the inning.
In the top of the eighth, Dunshee struck out the side. Zionsville was unable to produce any offense as Lehnert struck out the first two hitters and got the third out on a fly out to right field. Dunshee’s day was done after eight complete innings and a total of 11 strikeouts.
Senior Mic Richey came in to pitch in the top of the ninth for Zionsville. LC’s Kellams led off the inning with a base hit. Richey then struck out the next batter to give Zionsville their first out. With Fieldhouse coming up, Zionsville intentionally walked him for the third straight time. This strategy had worked all day for Zionsville however this time it backfired as Richey plunked Austen Wagoner to load the bases, with still only one out. With the pressure mounting, Richey again hit a batter, this time Ryan Pachowicz, which brought in the go ahead run.
With Zionsville down to their last at bats down 4-3, Trewartha led off the inning with a walk. Barrientos hit into a fielder’s choice to give LC their first out. With a runner at first, Richey came to the plate with hopes of extending the game. With two strikes, Barrientos took off from first trying to steal second. Richey swung through the pitch for strike three and Barrientos was thrown out at second for a strike out-throw out double play to end the game.
Lake Central has now beat three of the top pitchers in the state, and is one game away from making one of the most impressive runs in history to a state title. Lake Central will face Roncalli in the 4A State Championship at Victory Field in downtown Indianapolis on Saturday at 7 pm eastern.
Probable starters are Jimmy McNamara for Lake Central (Central Michigan) and Colin Hawk for Roncalli (Cincinnati).