Tue May 29, 2012
Bloomington, IN – In town rivals Columbus East and Columbus North faced off in the first semifinal of Sectional 14. Columbus East sent sophomore Peyton Gray to the mound to face off against Senior Hunter McIntosh (Alabama State). McIntosh would be the story of the game however. On the mound he was dominant. His fastball sat at 86-88 during the game and he showed a sharp breaking curve that CE’s hitters could not handle. Through the first three innings he had faced the minimum number of batters, striking out four.
Gray held down the CN’s offense for the first two innings, but in the third a costly error and a clutch hit brought in the first runs. In the third the first batter reached on an error and after a fielder’s choice, strike out, and hit batter Freshman Devin Mann came up with runners on first and third and two outs. Mann took a fastball and drove it the left field wall bringing home two runs and giving CN a 2-0 lead.
Those would be the only runs that Gray would allow the rest of his time on the mound. Through 5+ innings of work he allowed four hits, two unearned runs, two walks, and striking out four. Gray is a sophomore worth keeping an eye on he was 80-83 with his fastball and showed a curve that he can throw for a strike.
In the seventh CN tacked on a couple of insurance runs with a RBI singles from Mann and Senior Mickey Bell.
Four runs were more than enough for McIntosh. During the game he struggled with the heat, but gutted out a great performance on the mound. The sixth was the only inning that he had to work out of trouble. After getting the leadoff hitter out McIntosh hit the next batter and walked the following one. The next batter reached on an error loading the bases. McIntosh settled down though and got the next batter to pop out and struck out the final batter of the inning to end any threat.
In the seventh he shut the door on the game. He struck out the first two batters than induced a weak ground ball to end the game. McIntosh wound up throwing a no hitter with 11 strikeouts and four walks to advance Columbus North to the sectional final.
Final: Columbus North 4 Columbus East 0
Bloomington, IN – The second semifinal of Sectional 14 again faced off two in town rivals with Bloomington North and Bloomington South squaring off. North sent Colby Stratten (2013) to the mound against South’s Jake Kelzer (Indiana). Stratten was impressive on the mound mixing his pitches well and keeping South from hitting any balls hard. Kelzer threw just two and a third innings allowing no earned runs.
In the second innings after Kelzer retired the first two batters he gave up a single, walk, and another single to load the bases. With the bases loaded Kelzer got Jacob Clark (2013) to hit a ground ball to second, but the ball got through the second baseman’s legs allowing two runs to come home.
In the third North looked to be threatening again after Michael Oliphant (2012) singled with one out and Baron Ryan (2013) doubled after that. The double would end the day for Kelzer and South brought in Senior Caleb Baechtold. Baechtold shut down the potential rally getting the first batter to pop out and striking out the next batter.
In the fifth North was able to add an insurance run when Brice Stratton (2012) hit a line drive double down the left field line bringing home Oliphant and giving North a 3-0 lead.
South would not go down without a fight though. In the sixth Stratton gave up a leadoff single and was replaced by Oliphant. Oliphant came in and walked the first batter he saw. Issac Barrow (2014) then laid down a perfect bunt that loaded the bases and Cody Workman (2012) followed that with a RBI singled to cut the deficit to 3-1 and keep the bases loaded with no outs. Oliphant would settle down after that and got the next batter to pop out, then a ground ball to third baseman Tyler Hurt (2012) who got the force out home. With the bases loaded and two out Nolan Rogers (2013, Duke) stepped up and hit a hard ground ball back to the pitcher to end the threat.
In the seventh South would threaten again. Gage Rogers (2014) and Baechtold singled to start the inning. Kelzer came up next and hit a deep fly ball to center to get the first out of the inning and Oliphant struck out the next batter. Barrow would come up as the winning run and drove a slider deep to right field about two feet short of the fence for the final out of the game.
Stratton picked up the win on the mound sitting 79-82 showing good command of all his pitches. He allowed just five hits, one run, and walked none in the win.
Final: Bloomington North 3 Bloomington South 1
Bloomington, IN – Columbus North and Bloomington North met for the sectional championship. Columbus North sent Western Michigan commit Daniel Ayers to the mound and Bloomington North sent Junior Adam Cornwell.
After two innings of scoreless baseball Columbus North got on the board in the bottom of the third. With the bases loaded and two outs Braden Pelley (Thomas Moore) drew a walk to bring in the first run of the game. Senior CJ Dennis then stepped up and drove a line drive down the left field line for a double bringing home two more runs, putting CN up 3-0. That would end the day for Cornwell, who sat 82-83 with his fastball. Sophomore Dylan Stutsman came in and worked out of the jam getting a ground ball to end the inning.
BN was able to get two runs back in the top of the 4th though. After a walk and a double, Bryce Aldridge stepped up to the plate with two outs. Aldridge drove a fastball to the centerfield fence for a two out two run double, cutting the deficit to 3-2.
The big play of the game came in the sixth inning. After Baron Ryan (2013) reached on an error Brice Stratton (Franklin) attempted a sac bunt. He missed the ball and the ball got passed the catcher, Will Bowman (2012). Bowman thought the umpire had called foul ball and did not go pick up the baseball, Ryan took advantage and moved from first to third on the passed ball. Ayers would strike out Stratton for the first out. With a runner on third Colby Stratten (2013) stepped up and made the mistake hurt. Stratten laid down a perfect suicide squeeze scoring Ryan easily to tie the game.
After neither teams could push a run across the plate in the 7th. The two teams headed for extra baseball. In the top of the 8th Oliphant and Ryan singled to begin the inning. Hunter McIntosh entered the game, after throwing a no hitter earlier in the day. McIntosh struck out the first batter and got a pop out from the next batter to get two outs. Aldridge would draw a walk next to load the bases. With the bases loaded a wild pitch from McIntosh brought home a run and put BN up 4-3. McIntosh would get a strikeout to end the frame though.
In the bottom of the inning McIntosh would get hit by a pitch to start the inning. After Oliphant got the next two batters out Devin Mann singled to right and Dennis Brumfield (2013) got hit with an 0-2 slider to load the bases. Mickey Bell stepped up and drew a full count walk to tie the game. That would be all CN would get though and the game headed to the ninth.
In the ninth BN loaded the bases with two outs and Brice Stratton stepped up to the plate. He drove a pitch to left field bringing home one run, but the runner from second got thrown out at the plate to end the inning with BN up 5-4. Oliphant came out for the ninth getting the first out, but then walking the next two batters. Oliphant struck out the next batter on a full count and induced a weak ground ball to second to end the game and give Bloomington North the championship.
Final: Bloomington North 5 Columbus North 4 F/9