No. 4 HSE Beats Carmel 6-5

Rich Torres
PBR Indiana Correspondent

FISHERS – The night before Class 4A No. 4 Hamilton Southeastern hosted No. 14 Carmel at Ken Seitz Field, Royals head coach Jeremy Sassanella sent left-hander Tyler Schweitzer a text message.

Sassanella was mulling over strategy and matchups, and the Ball State signee was a key piece to the puzzle for unbeaten HSE.

“With us only having two games in at that point, Tyler was fresh. He’s going to pitch later in the week, but I had texted him last night, and asked him, ‘how do you feel?,’” Sassanella said.

Schweitzer answered with a 33-pitch gem in relief on Monday night, helping the Royals secure a 6-5 come-from-behind victory over the Greyhounds.

The senior tossed 2 2/3 innings, striking out four and walking one while the Royals scored three decisive runs without a single hit in the bottom of the fifth to improve to 3-0 on the season.

“Our coach always says, establish the fastball, and I was feeling real good tonight. I was hitting my spots and my corners,” Schweitzer remarked after picking up his second win this year. “I was really surprised. He said, ‘be ready,’ so I was ready, but he called me in, and I was surprised because it was lefty after lefty, but I went out there and got the job done.”

Called into the game to relieve junior lefty Cole Graverson in the top of the fifth, Schweitzer settled in after Carmel jumped ahead 5-3 and retired six of the Greyhounds final nine hitters, including Butler recruit Jackson Adams looking in the top of the seventh.  

“He ended up coming in and doing a great job,” Sassanella said. “Tyler did what he needed to when he needed to. He gave us a big lift.”

The Royals’ patience at the plate did the rest.

An RBI-triple by junior Cole DeWael in the bottom of the third plated the first run and one of Carmel’s three errors gave HSE an early 2-0 lead

Senior designated hitter Matthew Buckingham, who hits atop HSE’s order, broke a 2-2 tie in the top of the fourth with a one-out single up the middle, but Carmel made one more push with a three-run fifth to go ahead 5-3.

The Greyhounds (2-3) strung together back-to-back one-out hits – a bunt single and an RBI-double by Wabash recruit Brayden Lentz – to open the frame that chased Graverson after 4 1/3 innings.

Graverson struck out four and allowed two earned runs before Schweitzer entered and immediately got JD Rogers to go down swinging.

Dryden Schroeder followed up with a two-out RBI-single to right field before the Royals intentionally walked Adams to face Alex Brooks. The move backfired as Brooks lofted a popup to shallow right field and the ball dropped between two Royals, who battled the sun overhead.

“Jackson has had a good year to start, and he hit a couple of balls really, really well in the scrimmage, so I probably would (walk him again). It ended up hurting us from a standpoint of an error, but if we make that play, then we’re out of the inning,” Sassanella said. “I think in most situations, we take our chances.”

The error gave Carmel a 5-3 lead, but it didn’t last long.

“It’s great to see those things we preach every day; to have an inning or two like that whether it’s a walk or putting the ball in play and getting an error, seeing those types of things to put ourselves in position to score some runs, to compete against the great teams we play, we’re going to have to do that,” Sassanella said.

The Royals regrouped in the bottom of the fifth, loading the bases with a hit batter, an error and a walk. Jake Huston drove in HSE’s first run as he bounced back from an 0-2 count to draw an RBI walk.

A passed ball during Caden Ruhnow’s ensuing at-bat tied the game 5-5 before the senior dropped a sacrifice bunt to score the go-ahead run on a 1-1 count.

“We go into games thinking we’re going to win. I think that’s our mentality. This year, we come in and we think, ‘we can beat these guys,’ Schweitzer said.

Schweitzer gave up one hit in the top of the seventh against Schroeder, who went 2-for-4 with two RBI, but he struck out two and induced a grounder to seal the win.

Christian Williams and Lentz both were 2-for-4 at the plate for Carmel and combined for three runs scored and two doubles.

Schweitzer only need 11 pitches to stymie the Greyhounds for the game’s final three outs.

“He’s very competitive, and I knew he would shut them down right away,” said Greyson Droste, an Akron recruit. “He has great stuff.”