2A Kokomo Semi-State: Alexandria Tops Whiting for First Semistate Title Since 1998


Steve Krah
PBR Indiana Correspondent

KOKOMO — No. 3-ranked Alexandria earned the right to play for an IHSAA Class 2A state baseball championship for the first time since 1998 with a 9-0 whitewashing of Whiting Saturday, June 8 in the 2A Kokomo Semistate.

The Tigers swang for nine hits and had runners on base in five of seven innings and junior right-hander Brennan Morehead pitched a three-hitter with 11 strikeouts and three walks over 92 pitches in topping the Oilers on the turf at Kokomo Municipal Stadium.

“We manufactured three or four runs and got the bunts when we need to and got the bases we needed to get,” said Alexandria coach Jeff Closser. “(Morehead is) efficient. He throws strikes and trusts his
defense behind him.”

Morehead did what he was told.

“Coaches went to scout Whiting Monday (in the regional championship) and they said with the first four batters to work backward and start them off with curveballs and they’ll chase the high fastballs with two
strikes,” said Morehead. “We followed that game plan.” Alexandria (28-6) advances to play Jasper Semistate champion Southridge (17-8) in the 2A state championship game Tuesday June 18 at Victory Field in Indianapolis at 8:30 PM. 

Whiting (15-12) went down in order against Morehead in the bottom of the seventh on 10 pitches — two groundouts and a strikeout.

The Tigers took a 9-0 lead with three runs against junior right-hander Aidan Plemons in the top of the seventh.

Sophomore Kole Stewart lofted a double to left, moved to third base on Morehead’s single to center and scored on junior Nick Williams’ single to right.

A sacrifice fly to center by junior Rylan Metz plated sophomore courtesy runner Caleb Bott (who spelled Morehead).

A groundout by junior Brayton Gaines drove in senior pinch-runner Cley Parkison (who subbed for Williams).
 
The Oilers stranded a runner on first base against Morehead in the bottom of the sixth.

Plemons smacked a two-out single to center before Morehead locked down the third out with strikeout.
Alexandria scored one run against Plemons in the top of the sixth for a 6-0 advantage.

With two outs, junior No. 9 hitter Cade Vernetti singled to right, moved to second base on a wild pitch, stole third base and scored on the same play on a throwing error.

Whiting left the bases loaded against Morehead in the bottom of the fifth. After a fly-out and swinging strikeout, Whiting filled the bases on a single to center by senior Ethan Harbin and walks to sophomores Tony Madrueno and Austin Crocker before Morehead coaxed a rally-stopping fly-out.

The Tigers produced three runs against Plemons in the top of the fifth for a 5-0 lead.

Vernetti was hit by a pitch and later scored from third base on a balk.

Senior Trey Stokes walked and later scored on a throwing error.

Morehead was hit by a pitched and eventually scored on Metz’s double to center.

The Oilers turned a double play for the first two outs — second baseman unassisted on a line drive and force at second. The third out was a groundout.

Morehead ran his streak of strikeouts to four straight batters with three (two swinging, one looking) in the Whiting fourth.

Alexandria left a runner at first base against Plemons in the top of the fourth.

Senior center fielder Joel Torres robbed Metz of a base hit with a diving catch for the first out.

Right fielder Crocker threw the next batter out at first base for the second out.

After senior Miller Abernathy walked, Plemons coaxed an inning-ending pop-out.
 
Whiting went down in order against Morehead in the bottom of third with two groundouts and a swinging strikeout.

The Tigers went down in order against Plemons in the top of the third with a groundout, pop-out and caught-looking strikeout.

Morehead set the Oilers down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the second with two groundouts and a caught-looking strikeout.

Plemons retired Alexandria in order in the bottom of the second with two strikeouts and one groundout.

Whiting left a runner at first base against Morehead in the bottom of the first.

After two swinging strikeouts, junior Nick Semancik singled to left before Plemons flew out deep to left fielder Abernathy.

The Tigers tallied two runs against Plemons in the top of the first.

Stewart singled to right and scored on Morehead’s double to right.

Morehead crossed the plate on Williams’ single to left.

The Oilers’ other semistate appearance came in 2008. This year produced the program’s first sectional title since 2010.

“We had expectations and we exceeded those expectations,” said Whiting coach Adam Musielak. “This is a historic team that we put together.

Only one other team in Whiting baseball history was able to do something like this.
 
“This sets the bar for what we can do and what we can accomplish moving forward.”

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