Cathedral Wins City Title; Marion County Goes to Lawrence Central at Victory Field





By Pete Cava

PBR Indiana Correspondent



INDIANAPOLIS – On a cool, overcast evening at Victory Field, 1,233 fans turned out for a doubleheader featuring the Bishop Chatard Trojans against the Class 4A No. 2 Cathedral Fighting Irish for the City title, and the Decatur Central Hawks versus the Lawrence Central Bears (No. 24 in Class 4A) for the Marion County championship.  
 
The City contest was a rematch of the 2014 title tilt, in which Cathedral's Ashe Russell no-hit the Trojans.
 
The County championship involved an entirely new cast. A year ago, Brebeuf Jesuit defeated North Central for County honors. This time around, Lawrence Central knocked off North Central 8-5 in the quarterfinals before upending Brebeuf 8-7 in the semis. The LC-NC game was decided in the bottom of the ninth when Dre Davis clubbed a three-run, walk-off homer.
 
LC opened tourney play with a 10-0, five-inning win over Perry Meridian.
 
In the other bracket, Decatur Central scored three times in the bottom of the seventh to defeat Speedway 5-4 in its opener. In the quarterfinals, John Sidwell shut out Southport 10-0 in five innings for the Hawks. The tourney's biggest surprise came in the semifinals, when DC knocked off 4A No. 5 Lawrence North 4-3. Tied 3-all in the bottom of the seventh, Matt Wolf slammed a one-out triple and rode home on Austyn Huntsman's walk-off single.
 
Cathedral 2, Chatard 1 (8 innings)

Pinch runner Conner Mullin raced home on Brantley Johnson's single up the middle to give the Irish (19-1) a walk-off win over the Trojans (15-8).
 
“You've got to tip your hat to Chatard,” Cathedral coach Rich Andriole said. “It's not a cliché. (Trojan starter Nick) Casey pitched his tail off, and they played really well. I thought when it mattered, our guys made some tremendous plays. We were able to stem (Chatard's) momentum, and get momentum back on our side.”
 
The game was highlighted by tight defense and clutch pitching.  Cathedral mustered just five hits to three for the Trojans.
 
Chatard almost stole a run in the top of the second when cleanup hitter Peter Treesh was hit by a pitch, went to second on a balk, and moved to third on an infield out. Cathedral starter Will Conway fanned Charlie Gleaves and Noah Wischnowski, but when the third strike to Wischnowski eluded catcher Charlie Gomez, Treesh streaked for home. Only a strong throw by Gomez to Cathedral first baseman Adam Neal prevented a score.
 
In the bottom of the second, Chatard's heads-up play thwarted the Irish. With one away, Evan Whigham reached base on an error and moved up on Andy Krull's infield out. With a 2-and-2 count on Nick Andriole, Whigham took off for third and beat the throw. Whigham slid past the bag, however, and Trojan third sacker Matthew Annee applied the tag for the third out.
 
Meanwhile Conway, Cathedral's junior left-hander, and Chatard's Nick Casey locked horns in a pitchers' duel. Through the first four innings, Conway allowed one hit – Patrick Sowinski's third-inning infield single – while Casey, a junior righty, pitched no-hit ball through the fourth.
 
With one gone in the top of the fifth, Sowinski struck again, this time with a triple to left. With Cathedral’s infield  drawn in, Brooks Hepp grounded to first baseman Adam Neal. Neal looked Sowinski back at third, then threw to second baseman Jared Poland, covering first on the play. But Hepp reached the base ahead of the ball, giving Chatard runners at the corners. Hepp went to second on a ground out to third, with Sowinski holding, and Quenton Wellington walked to load the bases. When Sean Casey walked on a full count, Sowinski scored the game’s first run. Conway got a called third strike past Treesh to end the inning.
 
In the bottom of the frame, Evan Whigham laced a one-out single for Cathedral’s first hit. With Nick Andriole batting, Whigham stole second and then swiped third. On a full count, Andriole walked to put runners at the corners. Casey got Charlie Gomez on a grounder to short to end the threat.
 
When Chatard’s Matthew Annee opened the top of the sixth with a base on balls, Adam Neal replaced Conway on the mound, moving over from first base. After pinch-hitter Ben Sowinski's bunt moved Annee to second, Noah Wischnowski lifted a fly ball past third that drifted into foul territory. Cathedral left fielder Jack Schmidt made a diving catch for the second out, and Neal whiffed the next batter to retire the side.
 
Cathedral finally solved Casey in the bottom of the sixth. Grant Spicer stroked a leadoff single and moved up on Brantley Johnson's bunt sacrifice. Spicer stole third, and when Jared Poland laced a hit to left, the Irish tied the game at 1-1.
 
Casey and Neal traded blanks in the seventh as the game went into extra innnings.
 
Chatard's Treesh opened the eighth with a walk on a nine-pitch at-bat and took second on Annee's sacrifice. Neal fanned the next batter, and got out of the jam when third baseman Nick Andriole made an eye-popping, sliding grab of Wischnowski's pop fly near the Cathedral dugout.
 
Andriole led off the bottom of the eighth with a walk and Conner Mullin ran for him. One out later, Grant Spicer beat out a bunt to put the winning run at second base. Casey had Brantley Johnson, the next Irish batter, down 0-2. But the gritty junior kept battling, working the count full. At one point, Johnson fouled off a pitch that headed toward the bullpen mound beyond the third base dugout. Chatard's shortstop raced over, but couldn't get a grip on the ball. Given new life, Johnson laced the next pitch up the middle. Mullin rounded third and beat the throw from center to give Cathedral a walk-off win.
 
“I was just thinking, 'Put the ball in play, and move the runners over,'” Johnson said. “I was just happy that I had another chance.
 
“I believe it was a fastball, outside,” the left-handed batter added. “I pulled it a little bit.”
 
Johnson turned in time to see Mullin sliding home with the winning run. “I turned and saw it,” he said, “and then everyone came running out yelling, 'We won!'”
 
“Give Chatard a ton of credit,” said Coach Andriole, “and give our guys as much credit. So many contributions. What about Brantley Johnson's at-bat there at the end? It seemed like it was a lot of pitches – ten, eleven, twelve pitches. And then he gets a single up the middle.
 
“It's a rivalry,” Andriole said of the two hour, four-minute nail-biter. “We're only separated by about seven miles.”
 
Lawrence Central 10, Decatur Central 3

The Bears (15-8) took the lead with a four-run fourth-inning and put the game out of reach with five more in the sixth, defeating the Hawks (13-8) for the County crown.
 
“We had three tough games (in the tournament),” said Lawrence Central coach Matt Buczkowski, “and when we found out we had Decatur Central (in the championship showdown), we knew they'd be a tough opponent.
 
“It wasn't easy. We were able to pull away a little at the end, but their big right-hander (DC starter Jack Wohlert) kept us off-balance the first three innings, and we were finally able to scratch something across in the fourth.
 
“We had our opportunities in the first few innings. We left the bases loaded, we had runners on. Finally we got a hit, and it opened up the floodgates for us.”
 
After Decatur Central took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, Lawrence Central pulled off a One-For-The-Books twin killing. Cooper Harrington drove the first pitch from LC left-hander Ernie Harshman into left for a leadoff single. Harshman hit the next batter, John Sidwell, and when Matt Wolf grounded a single to right, Harrington came home with the game's first run. Harshman then picked off the runner at first, who was tagged out at second. The lead DC runner went to third on the play, made the turn, got hung up halfway to home, and got tagged out. Austyn Huntsman grounded to short for the final out.
 
In the bottom of the inning, LC had runners at second and third on a one-out single by Brian Haas and Dre Davis's two-base hit down the left field line. After fanning Harshman for the second out, Jack Wohlert intentionally walked Jarrett Montgomery to fill the bases. Kenny Ogg looked at a third strike to end the inning.
 
LC threatened again in the bottom of the second. Spencer Youngcourt walked and went to third one out later on a hit by Aaron Augustus. Will King followed with a hard-hit grounder to DC third baseman Lucas Kahre, who fired home to nail Youngcourt. Wohlert fanned the next LC batter for the third out.
 
With two gone in the fourth, DC had men at first and third on a single and an error. But Harshman picked off the runner at first to prevent further damage.
 
LC broke through in its half of the inning. Spencer Youngcourt delivered a one-out single and went to second on a base hit by Kevin Cox. Aaron Clark ran for Youngcourt and flew home when Aaron Augustus roped a 2-2 pitch into left. Will King followed with a single to left that plated Cox. King took second on an infield out and came home on a hit by Dre Davis for a 4-1 Bears lead.
 
DC fought back with a pair of runs in the fifth. Lucas Kahre and Alex Mitchell opened the inning with consecutive singles and moved up on a wild pitch. Brian Compton's sac fly to center drove in Kahre and sent Austin Mitchell – pinch-running for Alex – to third. Austin Mitchell scored on a comebacker to the pitcher, narrowing the Hawks’ deficit to 4-3.
 
LC made it 5-3 in the bottom of the fifth. Florida-State bound senior Jarrett Montgomery led off with a walk, and with Kenny Ogg at the plate, stole second and then swiped third. Montgomery scored on Ogg's sac fly to right.
 
Harshman ran out of gas in the top of the sixth, issuing one-out walks to Matt Wolf and Austyn Huntsman. Sam Wilson, the Bears' senior right-hander, came on in relief and got Bryan Wells to bounce into an inning-ending double play.
 
Alec Berninger, DC's designated hitter, relieved Wohlert in the sixth, and the senior lefty quickly found himself in a jam. Aaron Augustus walked, Will King doubled to the left field corner and Brian Haas drew a walk to load the bases. Mason Webb replaced Berninger for DC, and Dre Davis greeted him with a sacrifice fly that scored Augustus and sent King to third. Harshman, who stayed in the game at first base, blooped a double down the right field line to plate King. After an intentional walk to Jarrett Montgomery filled the sacks, Kenny Ogg's sac fly to right scored Haas. Sam Wilson, batting for the first time in the game, followed with a two-run single to give the Bears a 10-3 bulge.
 
Ogg took the hill for LC in the seventh and retired all three batters he faced to close out the two-hour, 24-minute contest.
 
King, Davis and Augustus paced the Bears offense with two hits apiece as LC outhit the Hawks 11-5. 
 
Pete Cava is the author of Indiana-Born Major League Baseball Players:  A Biographical Dictionary, 1871-2014,coming soon from McFarland Publishers.  


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