Senior Babe Ruth Baseball: Schererville opens regional with rout
By Mike Clark Post-Tribune correspondent July 18, 2013 8:02PM
Schererville's Ryan Einterz connects with the ball during the start of pool play for the 2013 Babe Ruth Baseball 16-18 Year-Old Regional Tournament at Chesterton High School on Thursday, July 18, 2013. | Michael Gard~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: August 20, 2013 6:46AM
CHESTERTON — It was a new day, a new tournament and a new story line for the Schererville Indians.
Three days after getting shut out in the Senior Babe Ruth (16-18) Northern Indiana state final, the Indians pounded out 15 hits en route to a 15-3 romp past Madison County Elite on Thursday afternoon in a pool-play opener of the Ohio Valley Regional at Chesterton High School.
In other pool-play action involving local teams, the Hammond Hurricanes Purple rolled by Elwood 14-1, Crown Point 20 rallied from an 8-1 deficit before falling 10-9 to the Fond du Lac (Wis.) Blue Bombers and the host Porter County Storm Black faced the Ashland (Wis.) Lakers.
Ryan Einterz led the way for Schererville, going 3-for-3 with three runs scored and six RBI. Tony Schneider was 4-for-5 and scored three times.
“It was pretty tough in the heat, but we pulled through as a team,” Einterz said. “It’s something special coming off that hard loss. It was nice to get back out here.”
Not that the break between state and regional wasn’t appreciated.
“It gave us time to regroup mentally,” Einterz said. “We knew what was at stake. This is a big tournament.
“We wanted to come out here and make a statement. We don’t like being second.”
Schererville fell behind 1-0 in the first inning, but took the lead for good at 2-1 on Christian Sullivan’s RBI double in the second and pulled away from there.
Starter Joey Plesac got the win for the Indians, who finish pool play Friday with two games: at 1:30 p.m. vs. the defending regional champ Lansing (Ill.) Redbirds and at 6 p.m. against Fern Creek, Ky.
Single-elimination bracket play starts Saturday.
“We’re going to rest some pitchers,” Schererville manager Todd Scheub said. “Going 3-0 is not my goal in pool play; it’s to conserve arms. ... We’re not going to throw all of our arms to get (to be unbeaten in the pool).”
The Hurricanes thought their season was over after a third-place finish at state. But when Northern Illinois runner-up Brookfield unexpectedly withdrew on Wednesday, Hammond was invited to fill the field.
“I had to ask them like five times, ‘Really? You’re kidding me,’” Hammond manager Vern Jefferson said.
But like Schererville, Hammond jumped at a second chance for a happy ending.
“It’s big for the kids, it’s big for me,” Jefferson said of Hurricanes Purple’s first regional berth. “This is what we’ve been playing for.”
Roger Smith went 3-for-4 with a hit-by-pitch and three runs scored and an RBI for the Hurricanes, while Jacob Ahlf went 2-for-3 with a walk and four RBI. James Martinez earned the win.