1A State Championship: Daleville Takes Second Championship in Three Seasons

Steve Krah
PBR Indiana Correspondent

INDIANAPOLIS — Everyone sweated for nine innings and 3 hours, 34 minutes before one team finally won the right to hoist the trophy.

Fifth-ranked Daleville topped No. 1 University 4-2 Saturday, June 16 at sunny and humid Victory Field in Indianapolis for the Broncos’ second IHSAA Class 1A state baseball championship in three years.

“To win it in extra innings is just awesome,” said Daleville coach Terry Turner,  who saw his team best Lanesville 4-0 for the 2016 state crown. “It’s indescribable right now. I have so many different feelings.”

Both teams used three pitchers — sophomore right-hander Ethan Etchison (7 innings, 2 runs, 5 hits, 5 walks, 9 strikeouts), freshman left-hander Cayden Gothrup (1/3 inning, 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 0 trikeouts) and junior right-hander Peyton Smith (1-3; 1 2/3 innings,

0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 1 strikeout) for the Broncos and senior right-hander Cade Carlson (6 innings, 2 runs, 5 hits, 5 walks, 9 strikeouts), senior right-hander Garrett Hill (3-1; 2 1/3 innings, 2 runs, 2 hits, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts) and junior right-hander Brock Moore (2/3 innings, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts) for the Trailblazers.

Designated visitor Daleville (22-9) scored two runs in the top of the ninth to go ahead 4-2.

Sophomore Max Stecher drew a lead-off walk and stole second base.

With Stecher running on the play, senior Ryan Hale drove him in with a single to right.

“I was just trying to put the bat on the ball and move the runner,”

said Hale. “That was my only concern. “It’s an awesome feeling going out my senior year with a win.”

Sophomore Jared Waltermire’s one-out single to right plated Hale with the inning’s second run.

Moore took Hill’s place on the mound for University (28-7).

Hale advanced to second base then third base on two wild pitches.

Moore then fanned the next two hitters to end the uprising.

University left a runner at second base in the bottom of the ninth inning.

With two outs, Moore reached on an error and moved to second base on a wild pitch.

The title-sealing final out was a liner caught by shortstop Stecher.

University made the third out at home in the bottom of a scoreless eighth.

Gothrup relieved Etchison to begin the inning. Etchison wound up his seven-inning stint with 119 pitches — one short of the single-day limit.

“Etch kept us in it long enough to get it done,” said Turner.

Freshman Ben Ewer was hit by a pitch before freshman Asher Thompson popped up a bunt to third baseman Waltermire for the first out.

Junior Nate Shatkowski followed by spanking a single into left.

That’s when Smith relieved Gothrup. He got junior Kolton Stevens to fly out to center for the second out.

“I knew Peyton wanted to be in that situation,” said Turner. “I had no problem making that move.”

Senior Ryan Williams, the L.V. Phillips Mental Attitude Award recipient, then singled off sophomore second baseman Ayden Wilson, first baseman Etchison picked up the loose ball and fired to junior catcher Ethan Pittsford who tagged out Ewer at the plate for the third out.

“We made a bunch of plays to stay in it. Wow!,” said Turner. “I’m going to tell you right now, the MVP of the game was Ayden Wilson. If he doesn’t knocked that ball down and it gets through, they win.

“Etch was alert and made a great play to the plate.”

The Broncos went down in order against Hill in the top of a score-free eighth with a groundout, strikeout and fly-out.

The Trailblazers left runners at first and second base in the bottom of a scoreless seventh.

Etchison struck out the first hitter then walked junior Dawson Estep.

Hill reached on a fielder’s choice as Estep was forced out at second base.

A steal of second base by Hill (his third stolen of the game) came before Moore was intentionally walked.

Freshman Tyler Galyean was retired for the third out and the game went to extra innings when sophomore first baseman Jimmy Bowen scooped a throw by shortstop Stecher out of the dirt.

Daleville left runners at second and third base in the top of scoreless seventh.

Hill relieved Carlson to open the inning. Carlson threw 105 pitches during his six-inning stint.

Hill struck out the first batter he faced and issued a one-out to Smith. Junior pinch-runner Derrick Lawrence (running for Smith) advanced to second base on a balk.

Waltermire walked and Hill got the next hitter to watch the third strike for the second out.

Lawrence stole third base then Waltermire swiped second base.

A groundout to second baseman Thompson got University out of the jam.

University went down in order with three strikeouts against Etchison in the bottom of the sixth.

Etchison delivered 105 pitches through six innings.

The Broncos left the bases loaded against Carlson in the top of score-free sixth.

Junior pinch-hitter Blaine Tighe led off with a walk.

With one out, Etchison singled to left and was replaced on basepaths by courtesy runner Lawrence.

Bowen reached on a fielder’s choice as Lawrence was forced at second base and Tighe moved to third base.

Junior Josh Price walked to load the bases before Carlson ended the inning on a come-backer to the mound.

The Blazers tallied one run against Etchison in the bottom of the fifth to forge a 2-2 tie.

Hill ripped a one-out single to center, stole second base and moved to third base on Moore’s deep fly to left.

After a walk, Hill scored on a throwing error as Galyean (who walked) stole second base.

The inning ended when Etchison coerced a groundout.

Daleville scored one run in the top of the fifth to take a 2-1 lead.

Stecher drilled a lead-off double to left.

Hale followed with an RBI double off an 0-2 Carlson pitch against the wall in left to drive in Stecher with the go-ahead run.

The inning ended with a double play — third baseman Hill to first baseman Moore to second baseman Thompson, catching Hale off the bag.

University scored one two-out run against Etchison in the bottom of the fourth and tied the game a 1-all.

With one out, Thompson walked and stole second base.

After Etchison’s second strikeout of the inning, Stevens socked a single to center plating Thompson with the tying run.

Junior courtesy runner Ben Westerkamm (running for Stevens) stole second and Etchison coaxed an inning-ending foul pop.

The Broncos stranded a runner at second base against Carlson in the top of a scoreless fourth.

Etchison lashed a one-out single to center and courtesy runner Tighe moved to second on a groundout.

Carlson had two strikeouts in the inning and came through four frames with 72 pitches.

The Blazers came up empty against Etchison in the bottom of the third.

After an inning-opening error, there were two fielder’s choices and walk and a frame-closing groundout.

Daleville went down in order against Carlson in the top of the third.

University second baseman Thompson made a leaping catch of Waltermire’s line drive for the second out.

Carlson fanned the first and third batters and finished his first three frames with 57 pitches.

The Blazers’ rally was stymied in the bottom of a scoreless bottom of the second.

Ewer rapped a lead-off double to right and moved to third base on a passed ball.

Etchison whiffed the next two hitters and got the third to pop out to end the threat.

Daleville left the bases loaded against Carlson in the bottom of a score-free top of the second second.

With one out, Etchison walked and was spelled by courtesy runner Tighe and Bowen singled to left.

Price reached on an error to load the bases before Carlson racked up a caught-looking strikeout for the second out and a swinging-K for the third out.

University left a runner at second base in the bottom of a scoreless first.

Lead-off man Dawson Estep singled to center and advanced to second base on a passed ball.

Broncos shortstop Stecher  urned a line drive off Hill’s bat into a double play when he stabbed a liner and ran to the second base bag to double off Estep.

Moore followed with a double to center, but Etchison struck out the next hitter for the third out.

Daleville tallied the game’s first run without a hit in the top of the first.

Lead-off hitter Price reached on a third-strike wild pitch, moved to second base on Stecher’s sacrifice bunt and to third base on a wild pitch.

Hale walked and stole second base. Smith then walked to load the bases.

Price scored on Waltermire’s fielder’s choice.

On the road to the state championship game, Daleville won the Anderson Prep Academy Sectional, Carroll Regional and Kokomo Semistate.

University prevailed in the University Sectional, Morristown Regional and Plainfield Semistate.

It was a proud University coach Chris Estep that looked back on the game and memorable season for “The U.”

“We had tons of (offensive opportunities),” said Estep, whose team left 11 runners on base (one less than the Broncos) in seeing its 16-game win streak end Saturday. “But sometimes you get the bear and sometimes the bear gets you.

“It was great run. The kids played hard. What else can you ask for? It was a great game.

“I’m ecstatic. Everybody wants to win, but in the context that’s not what’s important. Those guys went out and played their butts off.”