By Rick Teverbaugh
The Herald Bulletin
LAPEL, Ind. —
It will be like a new episode of “All in the Family” when the Lapel baseball sectional championship game is held on Monday.
In Thursday’s semifinals, Frankton rolled past Shenandoah 10-4 and then Lapel scored seven runs in the sixth inning on its way to a 10-3 thrashing of Wapahani.
That creates a showdown between sister school rivals at 5 p.m. on Monday.
The Eagles’ win was dominated by starting pitcher Logan Weins and by left fielder Matt Kunce.
Weins pitched five innings, giving up just two hits and one earned run. He struck out 11, and at one point he retired 10 Raider hitters in a row.
“Logan did the same thing that Logan has been doing,” said Frankton coach Greg Hughes. “He gave up a leadoff triple, but he should have gotten out of that inning with one run.”
Tyler Crane opened the game with that triple for Shenandoah. He scored when Jarrett Vardaman bunted and the Eagles tried to get Crane at the plate and failed. Another bunt, two walks, a wild pitch and a passed ball later and the Raiders were up 2-0.
But Frankton scored two in the second, two in the third and four in the fourth to put the game away. Kunce was the catalyst in much of that offense. He had five hits, one of them a triple, scored four times and drove in two.
Weins was lifted after five innings with Frankton ahead 8-2. The Raiders got two in the sixth off reliever Bryce Mallernee. One of those runs scored on a passed ball and one on a bases-loaded walk to Devon Shelton.
The Raiders’ final at-bat was snuffed out on a pair of good defensive plays by the Eagles. Blaine Reed snagged a looping liner headed for left field for the first out in the seventh, and then the Eagles turned a double play to end the game.
Lapel had no comeback worries thanks, to a large extent, to the pitching of senior Adam Taylor.
Taylor didn’t allow a baserunner until the leadoff Wapahani hitter in the fifth. The Raiders tried to get something going in the fifth with a leadoff single. But Brady Cherry ignited a double play from his shortstop position. Wapahani added another single and a walk, but Taylor fanned Collin Hoots to finish the threat.
Lapel got on the board with a pair of triples one out apart in the fourth. Cherry clouted the first one, and Dane Mason hit another. Cade Luker singled to make it 2-0.
The Bulldogs blew it open in the sixth, sending 10 hitters to the plate. The big hit was a bases-loaded, bases-clearing double by Jacob Troxell.
Wapahani broke the scoreless drought with three runs in the sixth, but the Raiders failed to get as baserunner in the seventh, thanks in part to a great fielding play by Cherry from the hole at short.
Cherry and Nolan Clark each had three hits for the Bulldogs.