Crown Point 13s win 3-2 in closely fought game over Jasper in Babe Ruth State Finals

A Special Report by Mark Smith 


Ty Smolek (6) gets set to lead off in the Babe Ruth age-13 state championship game at Crown Point last Sunday. (All photos by Mark Smith)
CP's Braden Branigan (12) leads off third base in the state championship game as Jasper's Cohen Gunselman (11) keeps an eye on him.
Crown Point's Logan Johnston (34) surveys the field before taking on the next Jasper batter in the 13-and-under state championship game on July 25 in Crown Point.
Crown Point clean up hitter Trevor Gibbs (31) checks out the Jasper defense before he steps into the batters' box in the 13-and-under state championship game.
Jasper pitcher Max Bufield (3) get set to fire in the firth inning of the age-13 state title game last Sunday in Crown Point. Jasper, like Crown Point swept through four games to get to the final.
Crown Point's Sean Dunlap (28) celebrates after his game-tying single in the sixth inning against Jasper. Dunlap stole second base and scored the winning run on Brett Beardsley's single.
Crown Point's Conrad Bordui gets ready to fire away in the seventh inning of the state championship game against Jasper.
Manager Kevin Johnston holds the championship trophy up to the home stands after CP's 3-2 win over Jasper.
Trevor Gibbs (31), Logan Johnston (34), Conrad Bordui (49) and Brett Beardsley (22) pose in the sun after the Crown Point age-13 Babe Ruth al-stars edged Jasper 3-2 to win the 2021 state championship.
Long time Babe Ruth commissioner John Pearson MC's the awards ceremony after the age-13 state championship game at the Legacy Field sin Crown Point.
CP catcher Sean Dunlap (28) and pitcher Conrad Bordui (49) look happy after the final out of Crown Point's 3-2 win over Jasper in the age-13 state championship game.

Tyler Sheets (9), Sean Dunlap (28), Braden Branigan (12) and and Mykolas Buckwalter (6) pose with 'The Babe' (Babe Ruth is on the front of the trophy) after the CP 13s won the state title Sunday with a 3-2 victory over Jasper. (All photos by Mark Smith)


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Revised: August 07, 2021.

Team (Record) / Inning









Jasper (4-1)






















Sunday, July 25, 2021 - 89-degrees, sunny, Babe Ruth age 13-and-under state final game at Legacy Fields in CROWN POINT, IN

Jasper (4-1)
Max Buefield (P) 1-for-3, walk
Jack Levin (CF) 0-for-3, walk
Kaden Schmidt (SS) 1-for-3, double
Nate Lutemeyer (RF) 0-for-3, walk
Cohen Gunselman (3B) 0-for-2
Ethan Young (1B) 0-for-1, 2 walks
Cole Leinenbach (2B) 1-for-1, walk
Kaden Underhill (C) 0-for-3
Nate Wanzaapel (LF) 0-for-1

Ty Smolke (CF) 1-for-3
Logan Johnston (P-3B) 2-for-3
Caden Matusak (SS) 0-for-3
Trevor Gibbs (RF) 1-for-2, walk
Conrad Bordui (3B-P) 1-for-3
Braden Branigan (1B) 1-for-3
Sean Dunlap (C) 1-for-3, RBI
Billy Chidsey (2B) 0-for-3
Tyler Sheets (LF) 0-for-1, RBI
Brett Beardsley (EH) 2-for-3, RBI

WP – Conrad Bordui (CP) 2K, 1 walk (2 inn.)
SP – Logan Johnston (CP) 1K, 5 walks (3 2/3 inn.)
LP (starter) Chris Gault (J) 1K, 1 walk, CG.

CROWN POINT (07-25-2021) The boys from Crown Point and Jasper dominated the Babe Ruth age-13 state tournament last week to the extent that no one came within 10 runs of either team in any game before Sunday’s mid-afternoon championship.

So on another 90-degree July day, the two undefeated teams battled it out in the Sunday sun in a game worthy of a championship.

And a line drive back to pitcher ended a well-played showdown where both sides were worth of winning and advancing.

With two on and two out in the seventh-inning, Crown Point held a 3-2 lead when Jasper’s Cohen Gunselman hit a hard line drive directly at CP pitcher Conrad Bordui, who grabbed the ball in the blink of an eye, sealing CP’s championship victory.

“I just put my glove down,” Conrad said after the game, “and it was there. I was scared it was going to get through or I was going to drop it. We knew this might be a close game, but we won and that’s good.”
“Jasper was very similar to us and we kinda knew this would be close,” said CP manager Kevin Johnson. “They obviously are talented. One thing we try to preach is: You have games where you get up big and you have games where you get down big. It's baseball. But we try to get them to look at every inning as nothing-nothing, 0-0. If you can win every inning, you can always come back.”

Crown Point took a 1-0 lead in the second-inning when Braden Branigan lined a leadoff single to center field and moved to third base on an infield error. The extra hitter (an optional 10th batter in the lineup, common in youth baseball), Brett Beardsley bounced an RBI hit to center, giving the CP 13s the early edge.

Jasper, like CP, reportedly a group of boys who have played together up through the Babe Ruth age ladder, grabbed a 2-1 lead in the fourth-inning after a leadoff error and a pair of one out walks to Jasper’s Ethan Young and Cole Leinenbach. With the bases full, CP starting pitcher Logan Johnston got Jasper’s Nate Wanzapel to pop up for the second out.
But a wild pitch tied the game and, after another walk, Jasper’s Max Bufield walked to put the visitors from southern Indiana ahead 2-1.

Bufield was excellent as Jasper’s pitcher. The right-hander struck out only one but the CP hitters could not find green grass for base hits until the sixth inning.

In the sixth, Chris Bordui doubled and scored on a one-out single by Sean Dunlap. With two out, pinch hitter Billy Aydt grounded a run scoring hit to left field to put CP ahead.

In the final inning with Bordui pitching, Jasper’s Jake Levin hit a line drive that Johnston, now at third base, turned it into a double play. But an error and a walk put the tying and go-ahead runners on base before Gunselman smacked the game ending liner back to Bordui.

Johnston was quite happy with his boys.

“We’ve had five of these 11 boys together since they were eight years old. We’ve had a couple of kids come on in the last two years. We’re fighters. They’re good kids. Baseball is secondary, really, at this point. They have a bond with each other. They’re friends. We’re Crown Point, but we’ve traveled a lot and we’ve faced teams that can pull from anywhere. We have all CP kids and one boy from DeMotte.

“Our goal is that our guys be good, quality young men. And when they get to high school, that they be ready to compete physically and mentally as well. And to play as a team. I want to thank the parents. We have a great parents system. That’s a big part of our success.”

Crown Point declined the trip to the Ohio Valley playoffs in Eau Claire, Wisconsin for two reasons.

This group had played 48 games (The CP 13s had a won-loss record this summer of 37-11) and the coaches decided that was enough. Also, the expense of traveling and staying in Eau Claire, Wisconsin for four or five days was too much for a team that had been traveling. Highland’s Senior Babe Ruth team (18 and under) reportedly raised $5,700 to go to the all-star World Series in Mobile, Alabama. That was after an Ohio Valley victory in Green Bay, Wisconsin, where they also needed money to stay over. CP decided to end the summer with the state win.

“We won a couple of tournaments early in the year, manager Johnston said, “And that qualified us for the TBR (The Babe Ruth).”
“So we were in Dayton, Ohio for six days last week. We qualified for a tournament with the top 32 of the top teams in the Midwest and five of the top-10. We finished sixth so that was pretty good. We thought that was more important to our development than the Ohio Valley.”

There seems little doubt the majority of the CP 13-year-old all- stars will be CP 14-year old all-stars in 2022 and they do have a goal.

”This team has not won an Ohio Valley tournament,” said Johnson. “We lost in the quarterfinals, the semifinals and the finals at (ages) nine, ten and 11. We were supposed to host it last year (before Covid-19 prohibited travel).

”That’s the one that’s eluded us. Maybe next year when we’re 14.”

Crown Point’s Brett Beardsley had a base hit in every state finals’ game. He was 7-for-10 in the Bulldogs’ five tournament games. Tyler Gibbs was 6-for-11 with five RBIs. Brady Branigan was 4-for-8 with seven walks. Ty Smolek was 4-for-13 with five walks. The CP 13s started five different pitchers in five tournament games.

It's very difficult to look at 13-year-old all-stars and project what they can be at age 17 or 18. With that said CP cleanup hitter Trevor Gibbs (6-for-11, 5 RBIs in the tournament) is a big, strong right-handed hitter who looks like a football player.

And speaking of ‘big for his age’, starting pitcher Logan Johnson is 6-foot-2.

“He just turned 14 today,” said his dad, manager Johnston. “Mom played basketball at VU. Coach Clint (CP varsity basketball coach Clint Swan) knows Logan. We have a talented group. Four boys are eighth graders, going to be ninth graders. The other seven are going into eight grade in the fall.”

2021 Babe Ruth 13s
July 23-25, 2021 at Legacy Fields in Crown Point

July 23

CROWN POINT Bulldogs 10, Munster 0
Jasper 15, CP Dogs 0
Logansport 10, Walkerton – 8
New Castle 25, Noblesville 2

July 24
Munster 9, Logansport 4
CP Dogs 12, Noblesville 2
CROWN POINT Bulldogs 11, Logansport 0
Jasper 7, Noblesville 0 (rain delay forfeit)
CROWN POINT Bulldogs 18, Walkerton 2
Jasper 17, New Castle 2
Munster 6, Walkerton 4
CP Dogs 7, New Castle 0 (rain delay forfeit)

Semifinals – July 25
CROWN POINT Bulldogs 14, CP Dogs – 0
Jasper 10, Munster 0

Championship – July 25
CROWN POINT Bulldogs 3, Jasper 2