May 15—The Winamac baseball team got a little revenge and stayed in the hunt for the HNAC title with a 15-6 win at Pioneer on Friday.
The Warriors avenged a 5-4 loss in eight innings against the Panthers from Thursday in a game they led 4-3 entering the seventh.
Winamac (10-8, 7-4) and Pioneer (12-7, 8-4) are now both a game back in the loss column of first-place Caston (12-7, 8-3) in the league standings. The Comets are the only team that has control of their own destiny. They host Triton today and have two games with LaVille next week.
Winamac coach Marcus Kay said it was big for his team to bounce back on Friday.
"Not to take anything away from Pioneer but we were up a run in the seventh and that was a game we needed to keep pace in the conference. We really needed to get that game. Hat's off to them, they came back and won," he said. "I told the guys I never want to get in a spot where you feel like it's a must win. But I told them on the way here we've got to win this baseball game. If we want any shot at the conference, it's a must win. So it was nice to get that tonight."
Winamac's Mitchell Bonnell was the difference of the game in the high scoring contest, as he held the Panthers at bay for the most part. The junior right-hander allowed six runs on six hits, four walks and three hit batsmen and struck out three in a complete-game effort. He held the Panthers to three runs on four hits through the first six innings before he allowed three runs in the seventh when the Warriors had built a 15-3 lead.
Kay said the Warriors have a good 1-2 punch on the mound with Bonnell and Caleb Seymour to go along with closer Hayden Clark as tournament time nears.
"Caleb Seymour has really been that guy that we lean on heavily, but the last two weeks Mitchell has been that guy for us," Kay said. "It seems like he just comes in and he just battles and he throws strikes. Defensively I think we're better with him on the mound than we are with Caleb, but sometimes it works out that way."
The Warriors have two games with Culver and one with Knox next week in the last full week of the regular season. They'll try to win out and hope Caston loses one.
The Warriors started strong offensively Friday and never let up. Caleb Good sent a high fastball on an 0-2 count over the fence in left to get them out to an early 1-0 lead. The Warriors led 3-0 after one, 4-1 after four and 10-3 after five before striking for five more runs in the seventh.
Good finished 2-for-3 with two RBIs and three runs scored. Paxton Wallace had two hits and a run scored. Clark had a double, RBI and two runs scored. Tyler Perry had a single and three RBIs. Seymour had a single, two RBIs and four runs scored. Carter Field had a single, RBI and run scored. Russell Compton had a single and run scored. Wyatt Wheeler added an RBI and run scored.
Panthers pitchers combined for 13 walks and a hit by pitch. Pioneer coach Josh Hardy said a recent rainout stretched his pitching thin.
"Really the rain delays hurt us the most. I had a plan going into the season we were going to throw No. 12 [Brayden Erickson] at least once against every conference opponent. This would have been his game," Hardy said. "Obviously with the rainout against Judson we had to throw him Tuesday. It shouldn't be any excuse. Peyton [Schnurpel] has been throwing well. He threw well against Cass. It just wasn't his day today. He started out with a couple decent innings. But starting out that first inning has been killing us lately. Yesterday we were able to battle back more. Today they made a lot of good plays in the outfield and a lot of good plays in the infield that we were just hitting it right at them."
Schnurpel fanned six in 2 1/3 innings and allowed three runs (one earned) on one hit and five walks. The Panthers were outhit just 10-6 but allowed too many free passes.
Caleb Sweet had a double, single and three RBIs for the Panthers. Daniel Reyes hit a two-run home run to center. Noah Pearson had a single and two runs scored. Hunter Klepinger and Owen Mersch each added a hit. Addai Lewellen scored a pair of runs and Tyler Gaumer added a run scored.
Pioneer hosts Faith Christian today before two games with Knox next week.
CASS 6, W. LAFAYETTE 5, 9 INNINGS
Kaylie Williams raced home on an error in the bottom of the ninth to lift the Kings past the Red Devils in the Hoosier Conference's fifth-place game.
Williams hit a leadoff double. With Rylee Holt at the plate, Williams took third on a wild pitch. On the same play, West Lafayette had an error on the throw to third and Williams broke for home. She beat the throw for the walk-off win.
Williams finished 3 for 5 with two runs. Also for Cass, Madison Dormer was 2 for 5 with a double and three RBI and Hannah Plauschin was 2 for 4 with an RBI and two runs.
Dormer earned the win in relief. She pitched the final 7 1/3 innings and struck out eight.
Cass (11-11) plays Delphi today.
Class 2A No. 2 Pioneer defeated Class A No. 8 West Central 3-0 and Triton 19-3 on Thursday at Herk Hoffman Field. The Panthers improved to 23-2 with the wins.
Hailey Cripe got the win against West Central, striking out 17 and allowing only two hits. Mackenzie Walker had a single, home run and two RBIs. Cripe and Hailey Gotshall added two singles apiece. Jocelynn Vincent added a single. Mackenzie Robinson had a sac fly RBI. Kylie Farris added a sac bunt.
Gotshall got the win in game two, striking out 10 in 3 2/3 innings. She had a double, two home runs and eight RBIs at the plate. Madison Blickenstaff had a double, two home runs including a grand slam and seven RBIs. Cripe had a single, two home runs and two RBIs. Walker had a single, double and two RBIs. Farris, Belle Blickenstaff and Kylie Attinger each added a single. Vincent had a sac bunt.