3A Kokomo Semi-State: No. 2 Andrean Blanks Yorktown, Returns to State Title Game

Steve Krah
PBR Indiana Correspondent

KOKOMO — No. 2-ranked Andrean employed its proven baseball postseason method Saturday, June 8 in beating Yorktown 5-0 in the IHSAA Class 3A Kokomo Semistate.

The 59ers manufactured runs and senior right-hander Michael Doolin pitched a four-hitter against the Tigers.

Andrean (35-1) advances to play Mooresville Semistate champion Edgewood (24-3) in the 3A state championship game on Tuesday June 18 at 5:30 PM at Victory Field in Indianapolis. 

“I don’t think we play the same way in the tournament that we play in the regular season,” said 59ers coach Dave Pishkur, who led his team to 3A state titles in 2005, 2009, 2010, 2014, 2015 and 2018. “In the regular season, we let them swing a little bit. In postseason games, we played it a little more close to the vest. We’ll bunt a little more and do a couple other things.

“We’re just trying to add one more run and one more run. You’ve got to feed off what the other team is doing and play it a little bit differently.”

Doolin gave up four singles — one in the first inning, two in the fourth and one in the seventh — while striking out nine over 99 pitches. His lone walk came in the sixth. The game which resulted in Andrean’s 35th straight win lasted 91 minutes.

“He doesn’t beat himself,” said Pishkur of Doolin. “We played pretty good defense behind him.”

An 18-pitch seventh inning saw Doolin yield a lead-off single to center by Yorktown junior Gehrig Smalstig before a foul pop-put, caught-looking strikeout and fly-out to seal Andrean’s eighth semistate title.

The Tigers’ defense turned a double play on the Kokomo Municipal Stadium turf to end the Andrean sixth.

After a one-out single to left by freshman Connor Misch, Yorktown went around the horn — junior third baseman Will Butts to junior second baseman Jackson Taylor to junior first baseman Billy McNamara.

Doolin issued a lead-off walk to Taylor in the Tigers sixth then racked up a strikeout and benefitted from an inning-ending double play — sophomore second baseman Michael Galanos to junior first baseman Mason Sannito.

The 59ers left a runner at first base against junior right-hander Ian Brumback in a score-free fifth.

With two outs, senior Rigo Martinez walked before an inning-ending strikeout.

Yorktown went down 1-2-3 against Doolin in the top of the fifth with strikeout, groundout and fly-out.

Brumback retired Andrean in order in the bottom of the fourth with two fly-outs and a groundout.

The Tigers stranded runners at first and second against Doolin in a scoreless fourth.

With two outs, Smalstig singled to right and junior Parker Stinson followed with an infield single before a rally-ending strikeout.

The 59ers tallied two runs against Brumback in the bottom of the third for a 5-0 lead.

Doolin walked and freshman courtesy runner Robert Ballentine moved to second base on sophomore Mikey Jarek’s single to center, third base on Martinez’s sacrifice bunt and scored on senior Joel Holtcamp’s sacrifice bunt.

Hotlcamp scored on senior Matt Lelito’s double down the left field line.

“We prepare like no other team,” said Holtcamp. “The coaches get us ready better than anyone else in The Region. They’re awesome. It’s just constant reps at practice. It really gets us ready to play.”

Doolin struck out the side in the Yorktown half of the third.

Andrean used small ball to score the game’s first run and added two more credited to sophomore right-hander Robby Hook in the bottom of the second for a 3-0 lead.

Doolin drew a lead-off walk and was spelled by courtesy runner Ballentine. Jarek followed with a walk.

Martinez then reached on a fielder’s choice. A throwing error on the play allowed Ballentine to score.

Holtcamp produced the frame’s lone hit with a bunt single.

Lelito was hit by a pitch to force in Jarek. Sophomore Charlie Jones walked to drive in Martinez.

Brumback relieved starter Hook with one out and the bases loaded and got a fly-out and groundout to end the rally.

Doolin set the Tigers down 1-2-3 in the top of the second with a strikeout and two groundouts.

The 59ers went down in order against Hook in the bottom of the first with a groundout, caught-looking strikeout and fly-out.

Yorktown left one runner against Doolin in the top of the first.

Senior Grahm Reedy rapped a two-out single to left before Doolin coaxed an inning-ending fielder’s choice force-out.

“It was tough getting anything going against a great baseball team,” said Tigers coach P.J. Fauqher. “We got a couple guys on here and there, but were not able to sustain that.

“We couldn’t string quality at-bats together.”

Fauqher reflected on Yorktown’s 18-15 season.

“We had ups and downs,” said Fauqher. “We had injuries early on was kind of our issue. We were trying to out where we could plug guys in and get productivity.

“Some guys got off to slow starts. We learned a lot from (the early-season) losses and continued to play well. Certainly getting hot late in the season helped, but it was just a matter of throwing strikes and playing defense and having those guys who weren’t hot (at the plate) in the beginning of the season come around.”

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