Baseball: Crown Point takes advantage of eight bases on balls in sectional opener
By LaMond Pope email@example.com or 713-2691 May 22, 2013 11:14PM
Crown Point's Alex Nickla races for home on wild pitch in the second inning against LaPorte Wednesday afternoon at LaPorte High School. | Jeffrey D. Nicholls~Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 24, 2013 2:25PM
LAPORTE — Crown Point didn’t collect a hit in the second inning of Tuesday’s Class 4A sectional opener against LaPorte.
Usually, that’s not newsworthy. It is when a team still finds a way to score three runs in the inning.
The Bulldogs took advantage of eight LaPorte walks on the way to a 6-0 victory against the Slicers.
LaPorte pitchers surrendered five walks and also hit a batter during the Bulldogs’ three-run second inning.
“You can’t do anything with ball four,” LaPorte coach Scott Upp said. “That kind of sums up the story, ball four.”
Crown Point pitcher Ronnie Plesac also played a big role in the tale. Plesac allowed one hit in six innings in the victory. The Slicers finished with three hits.
“My ball had a lot of tail on it today. Just trying to locate that was a big issue in the first inning. The second inning, I kind of got over it and found what I needed to,” Plesac said. “I used my change-up to its advantage. That was my go-to (pitch).”
The Bulldogs will face Hobart in a semifinal at 5 p.m. Friday. Brandon Murray struck out 12 batters in the Brickies’ 8-2 victory against Chesterton.
Murray gave up five hits. He also had an impact at the plate.
Murray knocked in Tyler Kenjic with a two-out single in the third inning. The first hit of the game gave the Brickies a 1-0 lead.
Chesterton’s first hit resulted in a run in the fourth inning. Aery Pratt drove in Jordan Morandini with a single to left field to tie the game at 1.
Hobart regained the lead in the fourth inning when Guy Birchel brought home Drey Devereaux with a single to right. Danny Stewart, Murray and Nick Bokun drew a bases-loaded walks later in the inning to extend Hobart’s lead to 5-1. Bokun finished with three RBI.
Plesac helped his own cause in the first game, knocking in a run with a single to left in the first inning.
Plesac walked two batters in the bottom of the first, but got out of the jam without giving up a run.
“Ronnie did a nice job. He didn’t start out like he wanted to and we got a break,” Crown Point coach Steven Strayer said. “We got out of that inning without them scoring and I thought that was huge for us.”
LaPorte wasn’t as fortunate in the top of the second. Glenn Hecht drew a walk with the bases loaded. Jake Jatis, who started the inning with a walk, scored to make it 2-0. Zach Plesac drove in a run with a sacrifice fly to right. Alex Nickla scored the last run of the inning on a wild pitch.
“If they had their stuff that day, we had to be swinging,” Strayer said. “If not, then we had to be patient. I thought we did a good job with that.”