3A Kokomo Semi-State: Andrean Earns Seventh Trip to State Championship Game

Steve Krah
PBR Indiana Correspondent

KOKOMO — Andrean bested Jay County 13-2 in five innings to win the IHSAA Class 3A Kokomo Semistate baseball title.

The 59ers (30-6) racked up 12 hits in beating the Patriots (20-7) Saturday, June 9 for the right to play Jasper Semistate winner Silver Creek (25-2) in the State Finals next weekend at Victory Field in Indianapolis.

Andrean will be seeking its sixth state championship and making its seventh appearance in the title game.

“Guys put the ball in-play and we made some really nice bunts,” said 59ers coach Dave Pishkur. “This is the ninth time (during the 2018

season) we’ve played on a turf field. I don’t think it affected either team. But it’s nice to have comfort knowing you’ve played on a turf field.”

Tom Schutz collected three hits, drove in two runs and scored two for Andrean.

“That’s a really big game,” said Pishkur. “He’s a senior and probably had five at-bats as a junior. We mixed him in and out at DH during the year. He’s just a tough kid. The one thing I know he’s going to do is battle.”

Junior right-hander Mikey Doolin (5 innings, 2 runs, 4 hits, 0 walks,

7 strikeouts) went the whole way for the 59ers.

“I hope he takes what he did (in the fifth inning) into (the State Finals),” said Pishkur. “He’s got to use different pitches in different situations.

“He falls in love with too many same-zone pitches over and over and over again.”

Jay County scored one run the bottom of the fifth, but could not extend the game which ended early by the mercy rule.

After two strikeouts, senior Cole Stigleman was hit by a pitch and scored on a single to center by by junior Ryan Schlecthy. Doolin went on to strike out the side to seal the victory.

“A team like Andrean, you just give them opportunities,” said Jay County coach Lea Selvey. “We gave them extra opportunities with the four errors and easy baserunners with the walks. It’s tough.

“I knew for us to have a chance, we’d have to score three and hope to hold them down. Doolin is flat good.”

The Patriots tallied one run in the bottom of the fourth to pull within 8-1.

Senior Max Moser broke up Doolin’s no-hit bid with a sharp one-out single to right in the bottom of the Jay County fourth.

Senior Ethan Myers followed that up with a single up the middle.

After a deep fly to left by junior Michael Schlechty, sophomore Noah Arbuckle smacked a single to center to plate Moser.

The 59ers produced five runs — all attributed to junior Wyatt Geesaman — in the top of the fifth for a 13-1 lead.

Junior Matt Lelito drew a lead-off walk, stole second base, moved to third base on a bunt single by freshman Charlie Jones and scored on a single to right by sophomore Tyler Nelson.

“I wanted to hit a hard groundball or a hard line drive,” said Nelson of his approach. “Everything is on-point for us (as a team) so far.”

Doolin delivered a two-run single to right, driving in Jones and Nelson.

That’s when right-hander Ryan Schlechty (1 inning, 0 runs, 1 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout) relieved junior right-hander Wyatt Geesaman (1 1/3 innings, 5 runs, 4 hits, 3 walks, 1 strikeout) on the mound for Jay County.

A two-run single to right by Schutz drove in senior Clay Thompson (who

walked) and junior Zach Kammer (courtesy running for Doolin).

The Patriots produced one run in the bottom of the fourth to pull within 8-1.

Jay County turned its third infield double play of the game — second baseman Ryan Schlecthy to shortstop Stigleman to senior first baseman Payton Heniser — in scoreless Andrean top of the fourth.

The 59ers added three more runs in the top of the third. Senior right-hander Gavin Hare (2/3 innings, 3 runs, 3 hits, 3 walks, 1

strikeout) relieved starter right-hander Arbuckle (2 innings, 5 runs,

4 hits, 3 walks, 1 strikeout) to open the inning.

Senior Joe Rycerz singled to center and later scored when senior Nick Fushi took a bases-loaded walk Schutz singled to right and later scored on a wild pitch.

Junior Joel Holtcamp got on by bunt single and also crossed the plate via a wild pitch.

Schutz, Holtcamp, Fushi, Lelito — Nos. 6 through 9 — in the Andrean batting order — all crossed the plate as the 59ers tallied four runs against Arbuckle in the top off the second.

Schultz singled to left and later scored on Holtcamp’s single to left.

Holtcamp scored when Nelson drew a bases-loaded walk.

Fushi reached base on an error and later scored on Thompson’s single to center.

Lelito got on with a bunt single and later scored when Doolin rolled into a double double play — shortstop Stigleman to second baseman Ryan Schlechty to first baseman Heniser.

Andrean scored the game’s first run against Arbuckle in the top of the first.

Jones led off with a walk, moved to third base on an error and scored when Thompson hit into the contest’s first 4-6-3 double play.

Selvey reflected on a special season.

“I told the guys I’m proud of them,” said Selvey. “They can look back at some time and realize what an accomplishment it was for them to get this far.”

There were youth players from Redkey around the Jay County dugout after the game.

“I know a lot of those little fellas,” said Selvey. “They come in for our camp. It’s neat.

“This is just a neat thing for our community. I wish we could have gone further. We have to celebrate what we ended up doing. It was a good year.”

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