Terre Haute North Knocks off Rival South in Sectional Opener

By Ben Grossberg

PBR Indiana

TERRE HAUTE – The first game of Sectional 12 had cross town rivals Terre Haute North and Terre Haute South face off. North was able to capitalize early on South errors en route to the win.

The first inning provided a little excitement to get things started. With two outs in the top of the first, South's three hitter, Justin Jenkins, turned on an Austin Hicks pitch driving it deep into right field. The ball appeared as thought it was going to give South an early lead, but Nick Long had other ideas. The right fielder tracked the ball well and made a full extension leaping catch to rob Jenkins of a solo homerun.

In the bottom of the second North took advantage of several errors. An error on a slow chopper to short put Chase Jones on to start the frame. Then a bouncing ball up the middle made it through after some miscommunication by the middle infielders. The first run came in on the next play when Lane Dransfield laid down a sacrifice bunt.  A bad throw to first brought one run in and put runners on second and third. After a hit by pitch loaded the bases, South starter Logan Ames got a groundball to third, but the ball ricocheted off the third baseman allowing two more runs to score. Ames was able to escape without allowing further damage.

North starter Hicks was cruising through the South lineup.Throughout the first six innings he allowed just three hits, with the only scoring threat coming in the fourth. South saw their first two runners get on, but after a coaching visit to the mound Hicks sat down the next three batters to end the frame.

TJ Collett and Lane Dransfield provided some insurance runs for North in the third inning.  The recent Kentucky commit, Collett, took a low outside pitch and drove it over the left center field fence to push the lead to 4-0. Dransfield provided his own solo homerun in the bottom of the fifth. The lefty turned on an inside offering driving the ball off of the scoreboard in right, pushing the lead to 5-0.

South’s offense finally came to life in the top of the seventh.  Back to back singles by Timmy Herrin and Zach Donnelly knocked Hicks out of the game, with Tristan Pate coming on in relief. After Pate sat down the first batter he faced, John McCue brought in South’s first run on an RBI single. Pate struck out the next batter on a called third strike for the second out. Conner Shipley kept the game alive with a two run single cutting the deficit to 5-3, however, Pate would get the next batter to ground out to second to end the game and advancing Terre Haute North to the sectional semifinal against Avon.

Hicks picked up the win throwing six plus innings allowing two runs, five hits, one walk, and striking out three. Logan Ames took a tough loss for South throwing six innings allowing five runs (2 earned) on seven hits, with three walks and two K's.