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Babe Ruth Baseball: Schererville reaches 16-18 state final to face CP on Monday

Schererville Indians' starting pitcher Jimmy Taralthrows against Hurricane Purple first inning during Babe Ruth 16-18 state baseball tournament Crown Point

Schererville Indians' starting pitcher Jimmy Tarala throws against the Hurricane Purple in the first inning during a Babe Ruth 16-18 state baseball tournament in Crown Point, In, on Sunday, July 14, 2013.. | John Smierciak~for Sun-Times Media ORG XMIT: cpbaberuth-PTB-071513-1

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Updated: July 14, 2013 10:31PM



CROWN POINT — Think Jimmy Tarala was a little gassed after catching the first game and pitching the second Sunday for the Schererville Indians in 90-plus degree heat?

Not so much.

Tarala came within two outs of his second no-hitter in four days, settling for a one-hitter as the Indians beat the Hammond Hurricanes Purple 2-0 in the Senior Babe Ruth (16-18) Northern Indiana state tournament losers’ bracket final at Teagle Field.

Schererville advanced to Monday’s final round against Crown Point 20, the last unbeaten in the double-elimination tournament. If Crown Point wins at 5:30, it gets the automatic berth to the Ohio Valley Regional, which begins Thursday at Chesterton High School. If Schererville wins, the teams will play again Monday night for the state title and regional berth.

Tarala threw a five-inning perfect game to beat Logansport 10-0 on Wednesday and allowed just two baserunners Sunday. Hammond’s Devonte Robinson walked to lead off the fourth and stole second — the only Hurricane to advance that far — and Jacob Ahlf hit a one-out single to center in the seventh. Tarala got the next hitter, Adam Crnkovic, to hit into a game-ending double play.

The workload didn’t take a toll on the Tarala’s arm.

“I think it warmed it up a lot,” he said. “I mean, I think I was throwing harder than I remember throwing in a while. So it’s shocking — even playing a whole seven-inning game and then pitching, my arm was fine. I don’t know how, but it was.”

Tarala knew he was close to another milestone in the seventh before Ahlf’s hit.

“He just kept his weight back — it was on a curveball and I left it too high,” Tarala said. “And he put it right back up the middle. I was like, ‘Aww.’”

Aurelio Cazares was pretty good for Hammond, going the distance and allowing five hits — three of them by Tarala. The Indians scored both of their runs in the fourth, on a wild pitch and Ryan Gorman’s RBI single.

The Hurricanes finished third in the state with a team that was one of the tournament’s youngest with numerous 16-year-olds playing key roles.

“I hope the boys going to college keep up their attitude,” Hammond manager Vern Jefferson said.

Earlier, the Indians eliminated the Crown Point-based Northwest Indiana Rippers 7-0 as Ryan Einterz pitched a four-hitter and Tony Schneider homered.

“He throws good offspeeds and throws strikes,” Schererville manager Todd Scheub said. “With our defense, if you throw strikes, you’ll do (well).”

Now it’s back to work for the Indians, who have won three straight after a frustrating 8-7, eight-inning loss to Hammond on Friday night.

“We take it to heart, every time we lose we’ve got to come back stronger,” Tarala said. “It shows this team doesn’t go down easy. We lose a game, we come back and fight a little harder.”



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