LaPorte Lakers reach Northern Indiana state tournament
By Mike Clark Post-Tribune correspondent June 30, 2012 11:08PM
Updated: August 2, 2012 10:47AM
CHESTERTON — Ian Price’s day on the bases was anything but boring Saturday.
The LaPorte Lakers catcher’s mistake cost his team an insurance run in the fifth inning of the Senior Babe Ruth (16-18) District 1 title game at Westchester Intermediate School.
But Price’s aggressive baserunning two innings later led to him scoring the winning run in a 3-2 victory over the Porter County Storm Black.
LaPorte (12-0) advances to the Northern Indiana state tournament, which begins next Saturday at Riverside Park in Hammond.
The Lakers were up 2-1 and threatening to score more in the fifth. Price led off with a double to right, went to third on Francis Silfa’s single up the middle and apparently scored on Jake Craft’s flyout to left.
But Price left early and the Storm successfully appealed, taking the run off the board. Porter County pinch hitter Justin Newcomb’s RBI single in the sixth tied it and Price got a chance at redemption in the bottom of the seventh. He didn’t waste it.
With one out, Price (2-for-4) singled to right. With Silfa at the plate, Price took off for second. His steal attempt was successful and when two Storm players committed throwing errors on the play, he came all the way around to score the walk-off run.
“I haven’t seen many games end like that,” Price said. “But I’m glad I got it done for the team here because in the (fifth) I know I tagged up too early and that was about to cost us the game. So I felt pretty bad about that.”
The Lakers missed another opportunity to score in the sixth when Cameron Watt was thrown out at the plate trying to score from second on Josh Batten’s two-out single to center.
“I was a little worried there for a while,” Price said. “It wasn’t looking too good.”
“The way things were going, I kind of thought it was stacked against us,” LaPorte manager Jim Bodine said. “But you know, that’s baseball. Some days you’re the windshield, some days you’re the bug.”
Brody Kutch, the third LaPorte pitcher, worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the top of the seventh to earn the win.
Stephen Sims, Max Kerr (RBI) and Cody Logsdon had two hits each for Porter County (12-6).
The District 2 tournament at the Crown Point Babe Ruth complex will require a second championship game at 1 p.m. today after the Schererville Indians avenged a Friday night loss by holding off the NWI Rippers of Crown Point 11-9.
Ryan Gorman hit his first grand slam at any level of baseball, breaking a scoreless tie in the third, and Schererville never trailed.
The Rippers lost despite hitting four home runs — by Aaron Orosz, Jay Carson (3-for-5, two runs, RBI), Casey Rapchak and Seth Allen (2-for-3, four RBI) — in the pocket-sized park, which measures just 270 feet down the lines.
“It’s kind of a small field, so I just tried hitting a line drive and he gave me a pitch to hit,” Gorman said.
“He’s been struggling lately,” Schererville manager Todd Scheub said. “But we know he can hit fastball pitching and that’s what he got.”