Pitching prevailed In the semifinal games of the Rockville Class A sectional for high school baseball teams on Saturday.
Dalton Clark hurled a no-hitter in Rockville’s 9-0 victory over Covington and Jake Amstutz tossed a two-hitter to lift Turkey Run over North Vermillion 2-1.
The No. 5-ranked Rox took a 24-3 record into the championship game against 5-18 Turkey Run.
Clark struck out 17 batters, walked one and hit two batters as he improved his record to 9-1 for the season. Attica was the only team to defeat the senior.
“My best pitch was my curveball,” he said of his pitch count of 97 in sunny, warm conditions.
“That was a great way for a senior to start the sectional. He’s been a workorse for us and has won more than 20 games for us in three years. He’s the type of kid that will be in the locker room at 9:15 if you told him to be there at 10,” said Rockville coach Bob Kyle.
Rockville scored all the runs it needed in the first two runs when leadoff hitter Ben Cunningham was hit by a pitch and scored on an error. Number two hitter Tyler Rapp singled and stole home to give the Rox a 2-0 lead.
Rockville scored single runs in the third and fourth frames and closed out the scoring with five in the sixth when the host team had six hits.
“We did just enough to win . . . we only had to make four plays on defense,” added Kyle.
Dalton Laney, Lucas Monroe and Craig Overpeck led the Rox on offense, each with three hits. Monroe drove in three of the runs.
Rapp, John Brown, Clark and Kyle Paddock all had two hits.
In the second game, Amstutz had no walks, hit two batters and struck out six Falcons -- two in the final frame.
Amstutz said he had been bothered by a pinched nerve in his right shoulder for about two weeks.
“We didn’t know until this morning who we would pitch. Jake said he wanted the ball. He had the best game of his career,” said Turkey Run coach Jimmy Nevins.
He said the Warriors had split with North Vermillion in two games. “We beat them in the seventh inning. North Vermillion lost just three games in the [Wabash River Conference]” said the coach.
Turkey Run won its fifth game of the season. The Warriors got their only runs in the second stanza and left the bases loaded.
George Munoz led off with a single and scored on an error while Jake Ferguson walked with two outs and scored on another miscue. Ferguson reached base on a dropped third strike in the sixth inning and was out at home attempting to score again.
North Vermillion scored its run in the fifth and left two runners on base. Devon Sams led off with a triple and scored on an error.
“My best pitches were outside fast ball to lefthanded hitters and inside fast ball to righthanders,” said Amstutz, who will attend Vincennes University and hopes to play baseball for the Trailblazers.
“Give North Vermillion credit. They battled and hung in there and made some fine plays. I don’t know what we will have left for Rockville but we will battle them,” said Nevins.
Rockville 201 105 0 — 9 18 0
Covington 000 000 0 — 0 0 1
Clark (W, 9-1) and Brown; Root, Crawley (6) and Hegg. L — Root.
Highlights — For Rockville, Dalton Clark struck out 17 batters, walked two and hit one batter. Dalton Laney, Craig Overpeck and Lucas Monroe all had three hits. Monroe drove in two runs. Tyler Rapp, Kyle Paddock and Dalton Clark each had two hits.
Turkey Run 020 000 0 — 2 6 2
North Vermillion 000 010 0 — 1 2 3
Amstutz and Munoz; Sams, West (3) and Certain.
Highlights — For Turkey Run, Jake Amstutz hurled a two-hitter, striking out six and hitting two batters with no walks.
For North Vermillion, Devon Sams tripled and scored the lone run for the Falcons.
Next — Rockville (24-3) and Turkey Run (5-18) met in the championship game on Saturday. North Vermillion concluded a 15-10 season and Covington finished 3-23.
• Rockville 20, Turkey Run 0 — In the championship game, Rockville concluded a good day of high school baseball in five innings.
The No. 5-ranked Rox won their fifth sectional in the past eight seasons and will face the winner of the Carroll (Flora) Sectional in the Carroll (Flora) Regional next Saturday; the opponent likely will be No. 1-ranked Pioneer.
Sophomore Dalton Laney allowed two hits in the championship contest, striking out eight batters and walking no batters. He is 11-1 for the year and had an ERA under 1.00 going into the contest.
For the day, Rockville outscored two opponents 29-0 and senior Dalton Clark and Laney allowed two hits and struck out 25 batters — the 17 whiffed by Clark in his no-hitter is an unofficial school record.
The Rox scored one run in the first inning and it would have been enough to win. Leadoff batter Ben Cunningham walked, took second on an error and scored on a grounder by Tyler Rapp. Cunningham reached base four times and scored three times.
Rockville was the visiting team and scored eight times in the third and 11 times in the fifth, banging out eight doubles and two triples.
John Brown was 3 for 4 with two doubles and Craig Overpeck was 2 for 3 with a double and triple.
Rockville 108 0(11) — 20 18 2
Turkey Run 000 00 — 0 2 2
Laney (W 11-1) and Brown; Tome, J.Ferguson (3), D.Ferguson (3), Mitchell (5), Davis (5) and Munoz. LP — Tome.
Highlights — For Turkey Run, Jake Amstutz and Tyler Davis had the only hits. For Rockville, Dalton Laney struck out eight batters and had no walks. At the plate, he singled and doubled and drove in two runs. John Brown was 3 for 4 with two doubles and drove in two runs. Tyler Rapp had two doubles and drove in three runs. Craig Overpeck doubled and tripled and drove in two runs and Jacob Bassett had a three-run triple in his only at-bat.
Next — Rockville ( 25-3) will play the winner of the Carroll (Flora) Sectional in the Carroll (Flora) Regional on June 7. Turkey Run finished 5-19.