Baseball: Dean Hill leads Boone Grove to sectional title
By Anthony Nasella Post-Tribune correspondent May 28, 2013 8:56PM
Updated: June 30, 2013 6:44AM
VALPARAISO — When Monday’s Boone Grove-Rochester Sectional championship game was rained out and pushed ahead to Tuesday, there probably wasn’t a player on the Wolves’ roster happier than senior pitcher Dean Hill.
Had the game been played Monday, Hill would have been limited to three innings. Instead, he was allowed his full quota of innings. With more than something to prove on Tuesday, Hill asked for the ball and helped Boone win its first sectional since 2010.
Hill tossed a complete game, giving up just three hits and keeping Rochester off balance with a lively curve, slider and fastball. He also drove in two runs for Boone, which belted nine hits and earned the title with a convincing 7-2 victory.
“I was so pumped to get out there today and know that I had more than three innings,” Hill (10-2) said. “I really wanted to go today. My fastball was working well had a lot of movement on it; I usually can’t find my curveball, but today I found by the third inning. My splitter always works for me.
“We jumped on them right away. (Leadoff hitter) Jake (Wright) always gets on base for us. We got things rolling. We struck out about 12 times against Hebron, but today we didn’t strike out close to as much.”
In fact, Boone Grove (20-7) struck out just five times, and the team had only one strikeout by the time it went ahead 4-1, compliments of back-to-back doubles by Chuck Kidd and Hill in the bottom of third. Wright led off with singles in the first and third and scored on each occasion.
“Hill is a competitor,” Boone Grove coach Rollie Thill said. “As soon as the rainout happened, he said he wanted the ball. We ran into a little bad luck last year when we drew Rochester’s star pitcher (in the sectional), and this time we caught a break with the rainout.”
Rochester (13-14) received support from Andrew Feldman, who relieved Cyrus Holland in third inning. He gave up just two earned runs on four hits with four strikeouts, but the Zebra’s offense managed just one extra base hit against Hill.
“Hill mixes his pitches well, so you really can’t sit on any type of pitch,” Rochester coach Brian Hooker said. “We just didn’t make enough plays; you can’t do that against a great team like Boone Grove.”