Baseball: Hanover Central locks up third straight conference title
By Jeff Manes Post-Tribune correspondent May 3, 2013 9:24PM
Hanover Central's Ryan Kickert (left) crosses home plate to score a run against Morgan Township in the second inning during their game held at Hanover Central High School on Friday May 3, 2013. | Charles Mitchell~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 5, 2013 6:17AM
CEDAR LAKE — It was a three-peat for the host Hanover Central baseball team as the Wildcats knocked off a tough Morgan Township team 7-2 to win their third consecutive Porter County Conference championship. The Wildcats finished a perfect 7-0 in conference play with the round robin tournament still ahead.
It’s their final season in the PCC before moving to the GSSC.
“I’m proud of the boys,” Hanover coach Doug Nelson said. “This was not an easy win. Morgan is a good, well-coached team. The boys really stepped up today.”
The Cherokees drew first blood in the top of the second, thanks in part to a pair of doubles. But the Wildcats chipped away with lone tallies in their half of the second and in the bottom of the third inning to tie it up at 2-2.
Hanover took the lead in its half of the fourth when Zac Maciejewski attempted to bunt two Wildcats base runners into scoring position with one out. Morgan starting pitcher Joe Dougherty (3-2) fielded the ball, but his throw to first base was wild. Both runners scored, making the score 4-2. It was the only error committed in the game.
Hanover starter Tyler Scott (1-0) had pitched a whopping four innings for the season. The junior allowed two runs on three hits in four innings Friday. Scott was relieved by Wildcats ace Dan Stum to begin the fifth inning.
In the bottom of the sixth, Hanover added three insurance runs as the rains came. In the top of the seventh, Stum shut the Cherokees down 1-2-3 as he had in the previous two innings of relief. Hanover is now 13-3 for the season while Morgan falls to 10-6 overall.
“We wanted to keep Tyler’s (Scott) pitches to a minimum, hoping he could go through their lineup a time or two,” Nelson said. “(Dan) Stum threw a lot of pitches on Monday. But we gotta get used to throwing on three or four days rest here. Both pitchers did a good job.”