Bats come alive for CP
By Anthony Nasella Star correspondent July 9, 2013 12:30PM
The Crown Point Babe Ruth 15-year-old team poses with their trophies after beating Munster 13-1 on Sunday in the District 1 final. | Anthony Nasella~for the Post-Tribune
Updated: July 9, 2013 12:42PM
CROWN POINT — Through five innings of Sunday’s Babe Ruth District 1 15-year old championship, Crown Point was holding to a two-run lead over Munster despite stranding nine baserunners.
But the Legends’ bats finally awakened in the final two innings, as they scored four runs in the sixth and seven runs in the seventh to come away with a convincing 13-1 victory.
Crown Point shortstop Alex Basic went 5 for 6 with a home run and two runs batted in. Alec Takacs drove in three runs and Casey Wolf, Tommy Kitchen and Jon Rogers also all drove in two runs each for the Legends. Nick Grouthaus drove in one run.
Rogers pitched a complete game for Crown Point, giving up just four hits and one run while striking out four. He had four three-up-three-down innings and didn’t walk a Munster batter until the seventh.
“We had a lot left on base early,” Legends coach Steve Wolf said. “Munster had some great pitching in the early innings, and I give them a lot of credit. Once we got it together, we really started to concentrate and the hits and runs started to come.
“Jon Rogers also came through big for us. We were planning on four innings strong from him, but he was rolling and gave us seven innings. And considering how hot it was today, his outing against a great hitting team like Munster was huge for us.”
For Basic, not only did he provide solid hitting from the leadoff spot, he also anchored the infield defensively.
“He’s definitely the player of the tournament,” Wolf said. “He’s hit the ball well, hit a home run today and played solid at shortstop. And he pitched five innings yesterday for us. This team is strongest team I’ve seen in a couple of years.”
Basic said the team is ready to take it to another level at next week’s state tournament and beyond.
“I’m very confident in what we can do as a team,” he said. “Sometimes we start a little slow, but we can really do damage once we start rolling. We showed that today.”
Munster was paced on the mound by Austin Tusko, who struck out six and gave up just two runs in five innings pitched — working his way out of trouble in each inning, while stranding nine Crown Point base runners. He smashed a home run to deep center field in the seventh inning to spoil Rogers’ shutout bid.
“We played tough for five innings, but we just ran out of gas,” Munster coach Rick Warren said. “We ran out of pitching. We played two games yesterday and then one today, and I didn’t want to burn any kids out because we are also going to state. We played Crown Point to some 5-4 games, and we think we can go far at state.”