Fri June 1, 2012
In game two of the LaPorte Regional this Saturday, No. 1 Lake Central will take on No. 8 Elkhart Central in what has the makings to be the game of the year in Indiana high school baseball. Lake Central (28-1) is coming off a dominating sectional championship performance, going 3-0 and outscoring their opponents 23-3. Elkhart Central (24-5) was equally as dominant in their sectional championship run, going 2-0 and outscoring their opponents 20-3.
This Saturday Lake Central will be looking for revenge against the Blue Blazers. In last year’s Regional semi-final, Elkhart Central knocked off LC’s Jimmy McNamara, undefeated at the time, 8-3. McNamara (PBR #19, 2012) returns to the mound for the Indians, along with fellow ace Taylor Lehnert (PBR #12, 2012), both of which are heading to Central Michigan this fall. McNamara is 8-1 on the year with 102 strikeouts and a 0.72 ERA. Lehnert is undefeated at 9-0 with 96 strikeouts and a 0.77 ERA.
The Blue Blazer’s ace is LHP Tanner Tully (PBR #7, 2013). Tully, who had a tired left arm earlier this season, appears to be back at full strength. He is 6-1 on the year and possesses a 0.18 ERA along with 57 strikeouts. Elkhart’s pitching doesn’t end with Tully. They have two solid pitchers in juniors Cory Malcom (PBR #30) and Riley Futterknecht (PBR #53). Malcom is 4-1 on the year with a 1.46 ERA and Futterknecht is 8-2 with 77 strikeouts.
With both teams having superb starters on the mound and solid number two’s, this game will most likely come down to which offense can out hit the other. As a team Lake Central is batting .354 and is led by senior Chase Fieldhouse (PBR #26). Fieldhouse is batting .439 with 9 doubles, 3 HR, and 33 RBI. Nick Kellams is second on the team in batting average, hitting .412 with 11 doubles, 2 HR, and 16 RBI. Adam Fulk and Ryan Burvan (PBR #71, 2013) will also be key contributors to the Indians offense.
Elkhart Central is hitting .345 as a team and is led by junior Kaleb Defreese and his .432 batting average. Tanner Tully leads the team in homeruns with 6, to go along with 28 RBI. Jack Bernacchi (PBR #95, 2012), Matthew Eppers (PBR #27, 2013), and Adam Raifsnider (PBR #68, 2012) should also be key contributors to the Blue Blazers offense.
The winner of Lake Central vs. Elkhart Central will take on the winner of game one’s Penn (21-10) vs. Valparaiso (20-10) matchup at 7 pm for the LaPorte Regional championship.