Noblesville's Four-Run First Dooms Wapahani
May 4, 2016
By Pete Cava
PBR Indiana Correspondent
NOBLESVILLE – “All in all, a pretty good ballgame tonight,” said Noblesville coach Justin Keever after his Millers (13-5) pinned a 9-3 defeat on visiting Wapahani (14-2) Tuesday at Dunker Field. “They got some runs, but we were able to answer back each time they scored.”
Two seasons ago, Keever’s Millers and Wapahani coach Brian Dudley’s Raiders both won state titles – Noblesville in Class 4A, Wapahani in 2A. Both teams entered Tuesday’s contest ranked among the state’s best. Noblesville is rated ninth in 4A, while Wapahani is second in the 2A/1A category behind Lafayette Central Catholic.
The Millers put four runs on the scoreboard in the bottom of the first when Wapahani starter Grant Thompson seemed to have trouble controlling his breaking pitches. The senior right-hander nicked the first three Noblesville hitters, Travis Gillian, Michael Carmosino and Jackson Thurman. Bryce Masterson plated Noblesville’s first two runs with a hard-hit single down the right field line.
Thompson hit Connor Christman to fill the bases again, and Ty Lindstrand followed with a base hit to left that brought in Thurman. When Masterson scored on a short-to-second-to-first double play, Noblesville went up 4-0.
Sophomore right-hander Kade Gorman started for the Millers and blanked Wapahani through the first three frames.
The Raiders broke the ice in the top of the fourth. With one out, consecutive singles by Taylor Shroyer, Drew Young and Tysen Lipscomb loaded the sacks. A wild pitch brought in Shroyer to make it 4-1.
Wapahani's Thompson found his composure after the rocky start, blanking the Millers in the second and third innings.
Noblesville struck again in the bottom of the fourth. Austin Shirley led off with a double and moved to third on Alex Cleverly's bunt single. Thompson fanned the next batter, but when Gillian to grounded to short, Shirley raced home for a 5-1 Millers lead.
The Raiders cut the deficit to 5-3 in the top of the fifth. With two out, Grant Thompson drew a base on balls and cleanup hitter Zack Thompson – no relation to Grant – slammed a towering homer over the right field fence.
The Millers answered with a pair of runs in their half of the fifth. Thurman walked, stole second, and one out later, scored on Christman's single to left. Christman took third on Lindstrand's base hit to center and came in on Shirley's sac fly to extend Noblesville’s lead to 7-3.
Harris Camp, who started the game in center field for Noblesville, relieved Gorman in the top of the sixth and pitched a one-two-three inning.
The Millers added two more in the bottom of the sixth. With one out, Camp singled and stole second. After a base on balls to Gillian, Alec Summers relieved Grant Thompson. Summers, a junior righty, walked Carmosino on four pitches to load the bases. Thurman flied to right, scoring Camp and sending Gillian to third. A wild throw to third on a pickoff attempt scored Gillian for Noblesville’s final tally.
Camp issued a walk in the top of the seventh, but struck out the side to close out the two-hour contest.
Gorman got credit for the win and earned his coach’s praise. “I thought Cade threw strikes for the most part today,” said Keever, who also liked what he saw from Camp, the junior right-hander who fanned four of the seven batters he faced. “He’s a guy we like a lot. He’s a really good center fielder for us. We try to give him some more innings. He’s got some stuff.”
Noblesville out-hit Wapahani, six to five. The only player on either side with multiple hits was Lindstrand, the Millers’ senior first baseman, who had a 2-for-3 night. Senior Hayden Castor, Wapahani’s shortstop and leadoff hitter, reached base three times in four trips to the plate with a single and a pair of walks.
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