Terre Haute South’s bid for a sixth consecutive high school baseball sectional championship took a scary turn Monday afternoon.
But after right fielder Colton Rupska of the Braves was removed from the field in an ambulance on a backboard in the top of the sixth inning, his team weathered a Martinsville threat and hung on for a 4-2 win. South played Northview, a 5-4 winner over Terre Haute North in Monday morning’s game, for the championship later in the day.
The score was already 4-2 entering the sixth inning when Rupska lunged trying to haul in an opposite-field drive by Martinsville’s Ben Elliott. The ball got over Rupska’s head and he apparently landed on his back as Elliott wound up with a double. The way the ball was bouncing in that area of the field Monday, it probably wasn’t much different for Rupska than landing on concrete.
“[Rupska's] back was hurting him in batting practice this morning,” coach Kyle Kraemer of the Braves said after the game. “He landed on his back ... but [being taken to a hospital] was more precautionary than anything.”
The Braves hadn’t been threatened much by the Artesians to that point – both Martinsville runs were unearned, and Cody Brock allowed just five hits – but a walk following Elliott’s double had the tying runs on base.
South closer Pete Lannoo entered the game at that point, however, and did his job. He struck out the first batter he faced, who was trying to bunt the runners into scoring position, and then fielded a slow roller and started an inning-ending double play. Lannoo’s throw to second could have been better, but shortstop Jacob Johnson was able to keep his foot on the bag – at least that’s what the umpire said – and make the relay.
“I think I had my toe cleat on [the bag],” Johnson said sincerely afterward. “We wanted to win for [Rupska].”
“Their inability to get the bunt down hurt [the Artesians],” Kraemer said, “and that double play was huge.”
South had taken a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning when Johnson led off with a single – nearly decapitating Martinsville pitcher Mason Kutruff – and came around on a sacrifice, an error and Preston Tofaute’s fielder’s choice. Two South errors allowed Martinsville to tie the game immediately in the top of the second, however.
Brock and Spencer Whitlock singled to open the bottom of the second and were bunted to second and third by Brandon Joyner. Warren Rollings got the go-ahead RBI on another grounder, but an error kept the inning alive for Daniel Marlow to get a two-run triple thanks to an ill-advised dive by the Martinsville outfielder.
Needless to say, play hadn’t been flawless behind either Kutruff or Brock – the run that scored on Rollins’ grounder was the only earned one in the game – and Martinsville cut the lead to 4-2 in the top of the fourth on a double by David Elkins and a South throwing error.
“We knew [Martinsville] had improved tremendously offensively and we would have to make plays. We didn’t,” Kraemer said later. “We didn’t play very good defense ... that led directly to the two runs.”
Coach Scott McDonald of Northview had similar thoughts after the first game, but like the Braves the Knights were able to survive.
North had taken a 1-0 lead in the top of the second on a triple by Tony Rosselli and a sacrifice fly by Colton Pittman, then added a second run in the third on an RBI single by Nick Long. Adler Ingalsbe, who had pitched brilliantly on Wednesday in a first-round win over Plainfield, escaped a first-inning jam but was threatening to take command.
The bottom of the Northview batting order, which hadn’t been effective on Wednesday against Mooresville, started to make the difference in the bottom of the third, however. Devin Clark led off with a triple, scored on a double by Tanner Glenn, and a walk to T.J. Decker and a bunt single by Craig Peters loaded the bases.
Ingalsbe got one huge out, but Connor Pierce delivered a two-run single and Bryant Pestoff added a two-out RBI hit to give the Knights a sudden 4-2 lead.
North had a runner caught stealing to end its third inning, and had another thrown out at home on a relay from Tyler Wilson to Peters to Glenn to end the fourth. But with two out in the top of the fifth, Zach Milam beat out an infield hit, Long doubled and Cody Gardner delived a two-run single – on which he continued to third on an error.
Decker, who also had pitched very well in the first round of sectional play, got out of that inning with the score still tied and pitched around Nickohli Kimmel’s two-out double in the sixth. And the bottom of the Northview order delivered the winning run in the sixth, although without hitting the ball too hard – a leadoff infield hit by Connor Ganly, a sacrifice, back-to-back walks and a fielder’s-choice grounder by Peters.
“We spent a lot of time this week working on trying to drive the ball the other way, and it worked out well,” McDonald said after the game. “The bottom of the order got that four-run inning started ... the effort was great for us, and it was a real gutty performance by T.J.”
“I thought our kids played hard and played well,” said Shawn Turner of the Patriots. “We gave up too many baserunners, but that’s on me.
“It was a good season,” Turner continued. “We knew going in we didn’t have quite the pitching or the experience you want, but we really played hard ... and those pitchers, against the teams we have to play, did a lot better than we expected. Give the credit to T.J. Decker today; he did a nice job.”
“We didn’t play very good defense,” McDonald concluded, “but we still got away with one.”
Northview 5, TH North 4
TH North ab r h bi Northview ab r h bi
Milam 3b 4 1 1 0 Decker p 2 1 2 0
Long rf 4 1 2 1 Peters ss 3 1 1 1
Gardner ss 4 0 1 2 Hull 1b 3 0 0 0
Rosselli cf 2 1 1 0 Pierce rf 2 0 1 2
Wolf 1b 3 0 0 0 Wilson lf 3 0 0 0
Pittman lf 2 0 0 1 Pestoff dh 3 0 1 1
Finzel dh 3 0 1 0 Moore 2b 0 0 0 0
Ingalsbe p 0 0 0 0 Ganly 3b 3 1 1 0
Kaufman p 0 0 0 0 Clark cf 2 1 1 0
Hicks p 0 0 0 0 Glenn c 2 1 1 1
Kimmel 2b 3 0 1 0 Ball pr 0 0 0 0
Schoffstall c 2 1 0 0
Totals 27 4 7 4 Totals 23 5 8 5
Terre Haute North 011 020 0 – 4
Northview 004 001 x – 5
E – Moore 2, Clark. LOB – THN 5, Northview 7. 2B – Decker, Glenn, Long, Kimmel. 3B – Rosselli, Clark. CS – Hull, Decker, Milam. SH – Clark. SF – Pittman.
Terre Haute North IP H R ER W K
Ingalsbe (L, 6-3) 5 1/3 8 5 5 3 2
Kaufman 0 0 0 0 2 0
Hicks 2/3 0 0 0 0 1
Northview IP H R ER W K
Decker (W, 6-1) 7 7 4 4 2 7
Kaufman pitched to 2 batters in 6th.
HBP – by Ingalsbe (Peters). PB – Schoffstall. T – 1:54.
Next – Northview (20-8) advanced to the championship game. North finished 18-13.
TH South 4, Martinsville 2
Martinsville ab r h bi TH South ab r h bi
Lavender 2b 4 0 0 0 Johnson ss 3 2 1 0
Abrams rf 2 0 0 0 Marlow 1b-3b 2 0 1 2
Milner ss 3 0 1 0 Lannoo dh-p 3 0 1 0
Elliott c 3 0 1 0 Shipley 3b-pr 0 0 0 0
Applegate cf 2 1 0 0 Olds p 0 0 0 0
Elkins 1b 3 1 2 0 Tofaute c 3 0 0 1
Tackett dh 3 0 0 0 Rupska rf 3 0 0 0
Kutruff p 0 0 0 0 Prevo rf 0 0 0 0
VanDyke 3b 3 0 1 0 Brock p-1b 3 1 2 0
Chandler lf 2 0 0 0 Whitlock cf 3 1 1 0
Walls ph 1 0 0 0 Joyner 2b 2 0 0 0
Rollings lf 2 0 0 1
Totals 26 2 5 0 Totals 24 4 6 4
Martinsville 010 100 0 – 2
Terre Haute South 130 000 x – 4
E – Lavender 2, Joyner, Rupska, VanDyke, Marlow. DP – THS 1. LOB – Martinsville 5, THS 4. 2B – Milner, Brock, Elkins, Elliott. 3B – Marlow. SH – Marlow, Joyner.
Martinsville IP H R ER W K
Kutruff (L, 2-6) 6 6 4 1 0 4
Terre Haute South IP H R ER W K
Brock (W, 7-0) 5 5 2 0 1 1
Olds 0 0 0 0 1 0
Lannoo (S, 4) 2 0 0 0 0 2
Brock pitched to 1 batter in 6th.
Olds pitched to 1 batter in 6th.
T – 2:08 (includes 20 minutes stopped by injury).
Next – South (22-8) advanced to the championship game. Martinsville finished 13-13.
Terre Haute South’s bid for a sixth consecutive high school baseball sectional championship took a scary turn Monday afternoon.
- High School
Paris rally falls short in Super Sectional
When Petersburg (PORTA) finally showed it was possible to hit a free throw on the west end of the Illinois-Springfield gym Tuesday night — after 12 misses in a row — it spelled the end of a high school comeback by Paris that looked for awhile like it would be one for the ages.
“I thought we had ‘em,” Tiger coach Shawn Nugent said after the Class 2A Super Sectional game won by the Bluejays 58-49.
Paris seeking finals berth tonight
The Paris Tigers may be the underdogs again tonight when they play at the Class 2A Springfield Super Sectional, or they may be the favorites. What’s already clear as the Illinois boys basketball tournaments for the smaller schools enter their final week is that rankings and reputation don’t matter, particularly to the Tigers.
Class 2A girls: Rick Risinger coaches Heritage to fifth state title
Rick Risinger spoke this past week about defense being the key to securing a win against a talented Fort Wayne Canterbury girls basketball squad in the Class 2A state championship game.
Coach Risinger’s Heritage Christian squad rose to the occasion Saturday in Hulman Center, holding the Cavaliers to 33-percent shooting to claim the school’s fifth state title since joining the IHSAA in 2003.
The Eagles won their first title since 2009 by a score of 64-61.
Class A girls: Oregon-Davis holds off Vincennes Rivet
Oregon-Davis jumped out to a 15-2 lead when senior Alicia McIntosh drilled a 3-pointer in Saturday’s Class A state championship for girls high school basketball.
The Bobcats stretched that lead to as large as 17 before halftime, and still led by double figures with three minutes remaining.
Class 3A girls: Western over Evansville Mater Dei 38-35
Like Fort Wayne Canterbury in the Class 2A championship, two-time defending Class 2A champion Evansville Mater Dei found the going much more tough when moving up one class due to the IHSAA’s “Team Success Factor” legislation.
Mater Dei (26-2), which had an average margin of victory of 27 points throughout the season, struggled against Western’s 2-3 zone all night long in falling to the Panthers 38-35.
Class 4A girls: Bedford North Lawrence wins second straight title
Damon Bailey guided Bedford North Lawrence to a second straight state championship in his first year as head coach.
Bailey, an assistant on the Stars’ unbeaten Class 4A champions in 2013, watched his team hold off a scrappy Penn squad for a 51-41 victory Saturday night.
Central Catholic rallies to defeat Rockville
It was an old story in a new location Saturday for the boys basketball team from Lafayette Central Catholic High School.
Clay City wins third straight sectional
Clay City, the two-time defending champion of the IHSAA Class A Sectional No. 57, took the floor at White River Valley High School with a chip on its shoulder Saturday night.
Linton pulls away late to win at North Knox
Defending smartly and playing the offensive tempo like a finely tuned violin, Linton’s Miners dominated the fourth quarter of a previously air-tight high school basketball game to defeat South Knox 57-45 and repeat as Class 2A Sectional 47 champions.
Damon Bailey among coaches directing daughters at Hulman Center on Saturday
Father-daughter bonding was among the themes Saturday at Hulman Center as Terre Haute played host to the IHSAA girls basketball state finals for a third straight year.
Class 4A title favorite Bedford North Lawrence looked to repeat as champions late Saturday night. Former BNL state champion and Indiana Hoosier great Damon Bailey led his Stars into the game with a pair of daughters on the court. Junior Alexa Bailey, wearing No. 22 of course, is a Butler recruit and sophomore Loren is a reserve for the Stars.
Owen Valley, Edgewood in sectional final again
Things haven’t changed that much in the Class 3A boys basketball sectional. Northview was in the field for the first time and hosted the semifinals Friday night. But for the second year in a row, Edgewood and Owen Valley will play for the Sectional 28 championship tonight.
Temples’ 3-pointers help Paris advance
The prudent thing would have been to pull the basketball out, wait for an opponent to foul and run as much clock as possible in the final minute of the Illinois Class 2A Westville Sectional on Friday night. Audie Temples was thinking dagger.
Ailing Wilkey helps Rockville advance to title game
For part of Friday, doubt existed about whether flu-stricken Rockville standout Keiontre’ Wilkey would be able to play in the first semifinal game of the Class A North Vermillion Sectional for boys basketball. The junior guard gutted it out, however, and tallied 17 points to help lead the Rox over the host high school 61-53. That sent them into tonight’s sectional championship game against No. 7-ranked Lafayette Central Catholic.
Preps: Late free throws help Linton beat North Knox
Linton hit 4 of 5 free throws in the final minute and hung on to defeat streaking North Knox 47-46 in the semifinals of the Class 2A North Knox Sectional for boys high school basketball.
Former Terre Haute resident Rick Risinger looking for fifth state title in Hulman Center
An accomplished group of girls basketball coaches will make their way into Hulman Center on Saturday for the IHSAA state finals.
Damon Bailey, 1990 Mr. Basketball for state champion Bedford North Lawrence and former Indiana University great, is the most familiar name to Hoosier basketball fanatics. In his first year as a girls varsity coach, Bailey leads BNL into action in the 4A state championship game.
With 590 career wins, Fort Wayne Canterbury coach Wayne Kreiger is already a member of the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame.
Behind senior Miss Basketball candidate Maura Muensterman, Steve Goans leads Evansville Mater Dei into the Class 3A title game on the heels of consecutive 2A titles.
No answer: Spears scores 30 as Martinsvlle ends TH South’s season
Terre Haute South ran into a championship performance Wednesday night in Game 2 of the Class 4A Avon Sectional for boys high school basketball. Martinsville’s Troy Spears scored 30 points while leading the Artesians to a 65-44 victory that ended South’s season.
North falls to No. 5 Brownsburg in Class 4A Avon Sectional
Terre Haute North did not bow out of the boys high school basketball tournament Tuesday night like a team on a seven-game losing streak.
The Patriots executed their gameplan, battled back from a double-digit deficit and forced Class 4A No. 5-ranked Brownsburg to hit free throws to win the opener of the Class 4A Avon Sectional.
Brownsburg (19-2) hit six straight free throws in the final 1 minute, 15 seconds to hold off the Patriots 51-47.
Two sets of Eels win at WRV Sectional
There’ll be no Cinderella story in Dugger to end this boys high school basketball season, and a spirited upset bid also fell short Tuesday night at the Class A White River Valley Sectional.
Defensive pressure and depth made the difference in both games, as Eminence ended the Union season — perhaps its last, at least as a public school — by a 59-46 score and Clay City pulled away in the second half for a 53-44 win over Shakamak.
Paris knocks off 23-2 Clinton Central in overtime sectional thriller
Paris’ boys basketball team has learned a lot in a late-season run of success, but the one thing that set the Tigers apart on Tuesday in Class 2A Westville Sectional semifinal game was composure.
The Tigers never got rattled, never flinched and got the ultimate reward.
BOYS SECTIONAL ROUNDUP: Linton holds off Sullivan at North Knox
Linton and Eastern posted victories in the opening round of the North Knox Class 2A Sectional on Tuesday.
Linton led most of the way to defeat Sullivan 51-43 in the first game. Eastern Greene bested North Central 62-42 in the nightcap.
Linton is 16-6 and will take on North Knox and Eastern Greene faces South Knox in the semifinals on Friday. North Knox takes an 11-game winning streak into the action.
Tough roads ahead: Terre Haute North faces big challenges in its sectional
With the hope that the obligatory snow is already on the ground, high school boys basketball sectionals begin today in Indiana, and for one Wabash Valley team in Illinois.
South swimmers fall short of lofty goals at state finals
Sometimes the journey is more rewarding than the destination.
That would best describe Terre Haute South’s performances Saturday in the 77th annual IHSAA boys swimming and diving state championships at the IU Natatorium.
Center Grove deals Terre Haute North 7th loss in row
Terre Haute North and Center Grove – two teams that haven’t won much lately – struggled to put the finishing touch against the other on Friday at North.
Prep roundup: Casey falls at Robinson Regional; Paris posts upset win at home
Teutopolis finished strong Friday night to defeat Casey 47-36 and win the Robinson Class 2A Regional for boys basketball teams.
Casey, Paris to play in regional title games
Championships of Illinois regional boys high school basketball tournaments will be decided tonight.
AMEY TAKES AIM: Bringing you the Amey Teams for girls basketball
Our Wabash Valley teams won’t be represented when the Indiana girls state basketball finals return again to Hulman Center on March 8 (even though the Class 4A title will probably be decided this weekend when Lawrence North plays Bedford North Lawrence in a semistate game).
I wish some of our girls teams had been able to play longer for a purely selfish reason: that might have given me an opportunity to see one or two of their games.
South boys fall to Southport, finish regular season 8-14
Terre Haute South got an up-close look Thursday night at what a Conference Indiana championship boys basketball team looks like. And Southport is big and quick.
Southport, led by 6-foot-10 sophomore Joey Brunk and junior guard Malik Bennett overpowered South’s Braves 61-49 at Southport Fieldhouse. Brunk had 16 points and 12 rebounds, while Bennett scored 21 points.
VIDEO: Wilhelm leads South swimmers into state finals
Christian Wilhelm plans to compete in the distance freestyle when he gets to the University of Illinois-Chicago’s downtown campus.
Wilhelm emerged as a state qualifier in the 500-yard freestyle and 200 freestyle as a junior for Terre Haute South. But his senior season took a different turn and he’s hoping to make a big splash in a new event.
Casey advances to regional title game
Casey will be in the championship game of the Class 2A Robinson Regional for boys high school basketball teams Friday night. The Warriors gained their spot in the title tilt with a 55-42 victory over Marshall on Wednesday.
Cloverdale joins Pizza Hut Classic field
The Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic has a new team, but the newcomer for the 2014 tournament is led by a familiar name to Terre Haute basketball. Pat Rady’s Cloverdale Clovers, currently 19-1 this season, will join the field as a likely contender.
- More High School Headlines
- Paris rally falls short in Super Sectional