LC wins 1st state baseball title
By Mark Smith firstname.lastname@example.org June 19, 2012 1:24PM
Hebron base runner Damon Wallace slides into second safe in the IHSAA Semi State Baseball action Saturday June 9, 2012 in South Bend, Ind. | Joe Raymond ~For Sun-Times Media
In theory, because of the way the format is, you only need two pitchers in the Indiana High School Athletic Association state baseball tournament.
In Indianapolis last Saturday, top-ranked Lake Central only needed one.
On a warm summer-like evening, LC’s Jimmy McNamara (10-1) pitched a complete game shutout, leaving undefeated right-hander Taylor Lehnert (11-0, 0.69 ERA) with nothing to do but celebrate LC’s first state baseball championship, earned in a 1-0 win over Roncalli at Victory Field.
Austen Waggoner’s two-out third inning single to center scored the only run of the game as LC (32-1), top-ranked most of the season, held off unranked Roncalli.
Lake Central got only four hits off Roncalli right-hander Colin Hawk (10-2), but two came in the third. Ryan Burvan singled and Chase Fieldhouse (.449, 35 RBIs) walked with two out.
Wagoner’s single scored Burvan and provided the only run McNamara needed.
Roncalli (23-9-1) could get only three hits off the Lake Central lefty, whose only loss came in a game in which he was injured and had to leave. McNamara was named the IHSAA Mental Attitude Award winner for the 4A finals.
Lake Central, which graduated eight seniors (including Fieldhouse, McNamara and Lehnert), was No. 1 in the state in the pre-season and went 13-1 in the Duneland Athletic Conference.
Four of LC’s seniors (McNamara, Lehnert, Burvan and Ryan Pachowicz) lost the 2006 state Little League championship in 2006 in the finals played in Merrillville.
LC is the first DAC team other than LaPorte to win a baseball state championship.
Lake Central and Andrean are the only Northwest Indiana teams to have won both baseball and softball state championships.
Earlier in the day, Lafayette Catholic (31-4) won the Class 1A state championship with a 12-2 win over second-ranked Shakamak.
That is the fourth consecutive state title for Lafayette Catholic, which is an IHSAA record for team sports.
Bishop Luers has won the last three (2009, 2010, 2011) state class 2A football championships.
Back in Lake County, LC fans did not see the finish. One of last Saturday’s violent thunderstorms knocked out the link between Lakeshore Public Television and the IHSAA network in the sixth ining with LC leading 1-0. The game was over before the broadcast link could be restored.