Second Trip is a State Championship Charm for Lanesville

By Steve Krah

PBR Indiana Correspondent 

INDIANAPOLIS — Lanesville kept knocking on the door. 

Finally, the Eagles beat the door down. 

Scoring all its runs in the top of the fifth inning, Lanesville beat Rossville 5-1 Saturday, June 17 at Victory Field in the IHSAA Class 1A state championship baseball game. 

“We knew it was coming,” third-year Eagles coach Zach Payne said. “We hit the ball well even when we made outs. We knew it was coming, it was just a matter of when.” 

It’s the first state title for the Eagles, which lost 4-0 to Daleville in the 2016 1A title game. 

Senior Evan Peele and junior Mitchell Bailey drove in two runs each and winning pitcher Cameron Harvey knocked in one for Lanesville (20-6). 

Senior right-hander Harvey (9-2; 7 innings, 1 run, 3 hits, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts) threw 72 of 101 pitches for strikes, including 20 of 22 in the first two innings. He finished the season with 104 strikeouts and 20 walks in 72 2/3 innings. 

“My fastball was working today,” Harvey said. “They hit the ball but they hit it right to us. 

“I knew they were a good-hitting team so I tried to find the corners.” 

Harvey, an Indiana Wesleyan University commit, had a streak of retiring 11 straight which carried from the last out in the first inning to the first out in the fifth. 

“I felt really good,” Harvey said. “I had my game today.” 

Harvey only played in the field in 2016 and did not pitch after undergoing Tommy John reconstructive surgery in the fall of 2015. 

“For him to come out and perform like he has this year just says a lot about her determination,” Payne said.  

Senior right-hander Trevor Waggoner (11-2; 4 2/3 innings, 2 runs, 3 hits, 1 walk, 0 strikeouts) was the losing pitcher for Rossville (24-9), which was making its first state championship game appearance. 

Senior Ryan McCubbins rapped a two-out double to deep left-center field only to be thrown out trying to stretch the hit into a triple — sophomore center fielder Kelton Saylor to senior shortstop Matt Homco to sophomore third baseman Mark Soieth — to end the top of the first inning. 

Rossville put together consecutive singles with two outs, but stranded those runners in the bottom of the first inning. 

The Eagles left a runner at second base in the second inning. Harvey reached by error and was sacrificed over by junior Noah Jones, but go no further. 

Freshman Zach Fink led off the Lanesville third inning with a single, moved to second on a sacrifice by freshman Isaac Casabella and third on a groundout by senior Greg Daly. But the Eagles went scoreless when Waggoner coaxed an inning-ending foul pop. 

Hornets center fielder Saylor took away a hit from senior Tommy Tidstrom with a diving catch to open the top of the fifth inning. 

With two outs in the fifth, Lanesville broke the scoreless tie as sophomore right-hander Dawson Jacoby (0 innings, 3 runs, 3 hits, 1 walks, 0 strikeouts) replaced Waggoner on the mound for Rossville. 

Peele’s two-run single to center off Jacoby plated Casabella (walked by Waggoner) and Daly (singled to left off Waggoner). 

Bailey’s two-run double to left drove in junior Ethan Purdy (courtesy running for Peele) and McCubbins (who was walked by Jacoby). 

Harvey’s single to right brought home Bailey with the last run in the five-run uprising. 

“We’re a very contagious team when it comes to hitting,” Payne said. “(Scoring with two outs) is something we’ve done several times this year.” 

Right-hander Homco (2 1/3 innings, 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts) then spelled Jacoby on the mound for the Hornets and got the third out of the frame. 

Rossville loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the fifth. 

Soieth walked and later scored the Hornets’ first run on a Harvey wild pitch. 

Rossville center fielder Saylor made another sliding catch — this time on a ball struck by Daly — to close out the Lanesville sixth. 

“We’re disappointed but that doesn’t take away from the accomplishments our guys had this year,” Hornets second-year coach Brad Scott said. “It’s not as sad losing the ball game as knowing it’s over. I love those seniors. They mean the world to me.  

“We’re a family. That’s probably the hardest part.” 

Lanesville is likely to move to Class 2A in 2017-18 because of the IHSAA success factor while Rossville is likely to find out if it moves 

Worth Noting 

It was the first IHSAA team state championship for Lanesville — a town of around 600 located in Harrison County — in any sport.

Rossville’s Homco was recognized as the L.V. Phillips Mental Attitude Award winner for 1A. 

The son of Dennis and Judy Homco graduated with a 4.1 grade-point average and plans to study business/finance at Purdue University. 

The Hornets wore their digital camouflage uniforms in tribute to junior teammate Ray Rodkey, who started two Frontier Sectional games then reported for basic training. 

Rossville, based in Clinton County, wore the camo the rest of its tournament run. The uniforms were worn by the Hornets at a military appreciation day game.