Terre Haute North coach Shawn Turner told the Patriots to raise their heads. He wanted to see their eyes at the close of their 24-7 high school baseball season.
The end came hard Monday, a 6-1 loss to Brownsburg in the opening game of the Class 4A Avon Regional. It wasn’t the way the Patriots or Turner hoped the year would end.
North averaged more than nine runs a game this season. Freshman T.J. Collett tied North’s single-season record for RBIs set by former Mr. Baseball Josh Phegley. Nine of the 11 players who played in the regional game return next year.
“This was a great season. We were able to accomplish a lot of things without maybe a dominating pitcher, besides [Austin] Hicks. He didn’t necessarily have his best stuff today either. But our guys battled. We averaged nine-plus runs a game, and today we showed up with one,” Turner said.
Brownsburg’s Tyler Houston held North to just one run and a meager five hits. The Bulldogs, on the other hand, made the most of the five hits off North starter Greg Hannum and Hicks in relief.
Hannum, a sophomore with a 3-4 final record, gave up four hits and three earned runs over five innings, but was hurt by defensive mental errors. Hicks, the staff ace at 9-2 for the year, allowed one hit, but gave up three runs by walking two and hitting three batters in the seventh.
“Hannum did a great job. I’m very pleased with him. He’s got something to start with for next season and work on this summer. Hicks had a great year as well. We start Hicks or not, it doesn’t matter. [Brownsburg] scored six and we scored one. We’re done. We could have thrown Hicks all day long, but he didn’t have his best stuff and they scored runs off him too,” Turner said.
North got on the scoreboard first, its only run coming in the third inning. With two out, Gabe Sevigny singled, moved to second on a walk to Zach Milam and scored on Collett’s base hit to right field.
Sam Wolf received a walk to keep the rally going and load the bases, but an infield ground ball ended the rally and North’s best chance to score.
It was three up and three down for North in the fourth and fifth innings. Wolf singled in the sixth, but was stranded at second. Jonathan Eilbracht and Nick Long put together back-to-back infield singles in the seventh, but the Patriots couldn’t get a third hit.
“Ultimately it just wasn’t a good day for us offensively and I don’t know what the reason is for that. Tyler Houston did a nice job on the mound for Brownsburg,” Turner said.
Brownsburg tied the score in the fourth when North’s Lane Dransfield ran down a fly ball over his head in center field but couldn’t hang on it as he fell at the warning track. Michael Hartnagel raced around the bases for a triple and scored on a passed ball.
Hartnagel got a double in the sixth off a fly ball to the left-field fence.
“We had two balls in the outfield that our guys catch [normally]. Two balls in the outfield that our guys have caught all season long and needed to catch today. We misplayed two balls that ended up hurting us. Then once we misplayed the two it didn’t matter,” Turner said.
The Bulldogs’ six runs came off a passed ball, wild pitch, three walks, batter hit by a pitch and a balk. Brownsburg broke the game open with three runs in the seventh inning that included a balk, bases loaded walk and three batters hit by a pitch.
“My hat’s off to Brownsburg. They did a great job,” Turner said.
The loss ended the high school careers of North seniors Sevigny, Wolf, Colton Pittman, Mackenzie Minger and Nick Norton.
Brownsburg 6, Terre Haute North 1
Brownsburg (AB-R-H-RBI) — Hartnagel ss 3-3-2-0, Houston p 2-1-0-0, Travelsted dh 1-0-0-1, Westrich lf 0-0-0-0, Gill 3b 2-0-0-0, Comer 1b 4-0-0-0, Sampen 2b 3-1-2-1, Leum cf 2-0-0-0, Yeager c 3-0-1-0, Isch rf 2-1-0-0. Totals 22-6-5-3.
Terre Haute North (AB-R-H-RBI) — Sevigny ss 4-1-1-0, Milam 3b 3-0-0-0, Collett c 2-0-1-1, Wolf 1b 2-0-1-0, Will dh 3-0-0-0, Hannum p 0-0-0-0, Hicks p 0-0-0-0, Dransfield cf 3-0-0-0, Pittman lf 3-0-0-0, Eilbracht 2b 3-0-1-0, Long rf 3-0-1-0. Totals 26-1-5-1.
Brownsburg 000 102 3 — 6
Terre Haute North 001 000 0 — 1
E — Sevigny, Collett. DP — THN. LOB — Brownsburg 5, THN 7. 2B — Hartnagel. 3B — Hartnagel. SB — Hartnagel, Houston, Travelsted. CS — Yeager, Travelsted. SH — Leum. SF — Gill.
Brownsburg IP H R ER BB SO
Houston (W) 7 5 1 1 3 3
Terre Haute North IP H R ER BB SO
Hannum (L, 3-4) 5 4 3 3 3 0
Hicks 2 1 3 3 2 2
WP — Hannum, Hicks. PB — Collett. HBP — by Hicks (Isch, Travelsted, Gill).
Next — Brownsburg (18-9) played the winner of Indianapolis Catheral and Greenfield-Central in the championship game Monday night. Terre Haute North finished 24-7.