Greencastle baseball's season ends in sectional
With North and South Putnam departing the IHSAA Baseball State Tournament Friday night, Greencastle was the last Putnam County team standing heading into Saturday morning's game with Beech Grove.
While both offenses had difficult trying to score runners, the Tiger Cubs proved too generous with their defense and could not make any inroads on offense, losing to the Hornets 3-0 in the first Class 3A sectional No. 27 semi-final.
Greencastle head coach Troy Remsburg said the squad was jittery early but thought they played even with Beech Grove after a couple of innings.
"I don't know if it was nerves early but we had a lot of backwards K's the first time through the line-up," Remsburg said. "Other than that, we played well. We didn't get many breaks, had running mistakes and a lot of strikeouts.
"After the first couple of innings, they started playing a little better. It just wasn't our day, though."
Greencastle was presented with the game's first opportunity to score in the second inning after Kaleb Flemming singled and Anthony Rossok walked. Both moved up a base on a wild pitch but were left stranded after Jonathan Newgent struck out to end the inning.
Remsburg said that the squad battled well in the batter's box but couldn't seem to get a solid hit at the right time.
"We got better with the bats as the game went on," Remsburg said. "Once we got runners in scoring position, though, we couldn't put the ball in play.
"Guys got anxious and swung at bad pitches instead of strikes, swinging at eye-high stuff that would have been balls. That goes with the game, though."
Another inning passed before Beech Grove opened the scoring. Zachary Capps walked to open the inning, stole second and moved to third on a fielder's choice.
Seth Brown, in control of the Hornet offense to that point, balked and allowed Capps to score. Dalton Ledgerwood singled and moved to second on Brown's second balk of the inning but failed to score after the Greencastle senior induced a strike out and fly out to end the inning.
Holden King singled to open the bottom of the fourth and worked his way to third on a pair of passed balls. Beech Grove hurler David Corbin, however, struck out the side to strand King and preserve the 1-0 lead.
Greencastle threatened to implode in the fifth as an error-strewn half inning gave the Hornets their remaining two runs.
Quinten Pettigrew singled and moved to second on a balk. Corbin bunted and beat out the throw to first for a single, leaving men on the corners.
The next two batters flied out but on the second, Pettigrew threatened to come home and the throw to the plate was missed by catcher Ichiro Mozawa, allowing Pettigrew to come from third and score.
Capps then reached base on an error, allowing pinch-runner Justin Stauffer to score for a 3-0 lead. Nic Hendrickson singled and a bad throw allowed both runners to move up a base, only for Ledgerwood to ground out to end the inning.
The two innings highlighted the biggest difference between the two squads, according to Remsburg.
"We had a lack of focus," Remsburg said. "We couldn't make a play when they got their runs. We had a couple of balks and that happened things snowballed on us.
"Take away those two innings and we played right with them. We made mistakes and they didn't, which is the bottom line today."
Greencastle briefly threatened in the sixth and seventh innings, having runners on first and second, but failed to find a hit that would bring a run home and fell to the Hornets to end the season.
Seniors Brown, King, Newgent, Brant Mangrum and Reggie Alex depart the squad and Remsburg noted that each player had an important role to play for the team this season.
"Seth was our stud on the mound and had the bulk of our wins this year," Remsburg said. "Holden played second, moved over to short at times and had to pitch this year. He's a guy who was always positive no matter the situation."
Remsburg continued to name more great qulites of the leaders on hte team.
"Jonny played at third base and we called him Mr. Reliable. He would make a mistake but he would not get upset about it. Instead, he'd make it right the next time around.
"Brant played in the outfield and pitched some for us," Remsburg added. "He was our leadoff hitter and we'll miss his speed.
"Reggie had limited playing time this year, being his first season of baseball, but he came up big when he was called upon. I wish he was a four-year player as he could have helped this team a lot."
Remsburg then turned his attention to 2015, noting that several starters and arms return next season and would be in a good position to defend their Putnam County Tournament title.
"I think we'll surprise some people next year," Remsburg said. "We'll miss Seth on the mound but we have a couple of JV pitchers that logged a lot of innings and will need to step up next year.
"We had a lot of guys who pitched at times this season. Ichiro, Kaleb, Levi, Tanner, Ryle, Trey and Anthony all came in at different times and will need to add more innings next season.
"Those guys also played elsewhere and some of them will need to be key contributors next season. We'll be a quick team, not a power team, but I think we'll be alright."
IHSAA Baseball Class 3A
Sectional No. 27
Beech Grove 000 120 0 -- 3 6 0
Greencastle 000 000 0 -- 0 4 5
WP -- Corbin
LP -- Brown