Kenton Crews IHSBCA series MVP as South sweeps past North

By Steve Krah
PBR Indiana Correspondent 

WHITING — Kenton Crews (Heritage Hills) took home the Don Jennings MVP award Sunday, July 10, as the South completed a sweep of the North in the 43rd Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association North-South All-Star Series.

After taking a doubleheader with metal bats Saturday — 7-6 and 15-2 — the South won 6-2 in a wood-bat game. All games were held at Oil City Stadium.

Crews, a “flex” player headed to the University of Evansville, hit .462 (6-of-13) for the series with one triple, one double, four runs batted in and six runs scored.

In Sunday’s contest, Crews played center field and went 2-for-3 with two RBI and two runs.

The South, which also pulled to within 64-59 in the all-time series dating back to 1975, saw Nick Wright (Bloomington South) go 2-for-3 with two RBI, Grant Ellis (Terre Haute South) 2-for-3 with one run and Cal Krueger (Jasper) 2-for-5 with one RBI.

A three-run ninth inning for the South followed single-run third, sixth and eight frames. North scored one run in the sixth inning and one in the seventh. 

Also plating one run each for the South were Matt Gorski (Hamilton Southeastern) and Trevor Yoder (Barr-Reeve).

Jono Bigger (North Newton) went 1-for-3 with the lone RBI credited for the North. The runs were scored by Clay Hinrichsen (Southwood) and Dalton Leighty (Western).

Left-hander Will Conway (Indianapolis Cathedral) and right-handers Dalton Laney (Rockville) and John Cheatwood (Richmond) pitched three innings each for the South. Cheatwood was the winner.

Conway struck out five, Laney three and Cheatwood four. Lane and Cheatwood allowed one earned run apiece.

A quartet of right-handers pitched for the North. Noah Freimuth (Fort Wayne Dwenger) worked the first three frames while Jake Clawson (Yorktown), Noah Eaton (South Central-Union Mills) and Jeremy Griggs (Lafayette Jeff) went two each. Griggs absorbed the loss.

Freight, Clawson and Griggs whiffed two batters each and Eaton one. Griggs yielded four runs with Freimuth and Eaton giving up one each and Clawson none.

For the series, South pitchers had a combined 1.81 earned run average with 35 strikeouts. The North came in at 6.46 with 20 K’s.

Besides Crews, top series hitters for the South included Gorski at .667 (2-of-3), Yoder .500 (3-of-6), Terre Haute South’s Justin Jenkins, Grant and Wright all at .429 (3-of-7) and Evansville Central’s Jordan Cozart and Columbus East’s Takahiro Yamada both at .400 (2-of-5). Wright led the way in RBI with five.

Tyler Fairchild (Oak Hills) had a hit in his only at-bat for the North for a 1.000 average. Other series leaders were Lake Central’s Zach Turnbough at .571 (4-of-7), Hobart’s Luke Budzielek .429 (3-of-7) with Bigger and Huntington North’s Logan Green both at .400 (2-of-5).

Indiana Player of the Year T.J. Collett (Terre Haute North) walked in his lone plate appearance Friday, but was injured on the basepaths and did not play the rest of the series.