Red Devils end Baseball Season in 9-3 loss to eventual 4A State Champion Lake Central in Sectional Semifinal

A Special Report by Mark Smith



Team (Record) / Inning 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
LAKE CENTRAL (27-1) 0 3 2 0 0 1 3 9 9 1
LOWELL (10-19)  0 0 0 2 0 0 1 3 7 3

Monday, May 28, 2012 - 4A Sectional 1 Semifinal at MUNSTER, IN

WP - Nick Kellams (4-1) 5K, 4 walks (3.7 inn.)
SAVE - Antonio Majstorov (SAVE) 2K, 0 walks (3.3 inn.)
LP - Nick Willison (2-5) 0K, 2 walk

Nick Kellams (P) 1-for-3
Ryan Burvan (2B) 1-for-4
Chase Fieldhouse (CF) 1-for-2, double, Sac, Fly, RBI
Austen Wagoner (SS) 1-for-3, walk
Ryan Pachowicz (1B) 1-for-2, double, Sac, Fly, walk, RBI
Jimmy McNamara (RF) 0-for-4
Adam Fulk (LF) 1-for-4, HR, 2 RBI
Anthony Fushi (3B) 1-for-3, double, RBI
Nick Olund (DH) 1-for-3, HR

LOWELL (10-19)
Bryan Thomas (C) 2-for-3, walk, double, RBI
Tyler Hamm (CF) 1-for-4, RBI
Danny DeBoer (SS) 3-for-4
Austin Magley (3B) 1-for-4, HR
Mike Hilbrich (DH) 0-for-2, walk
Jordan Hansen (1B) 0-for-2, walk
Nick Willison (P) 0-for-0, walk
Reed Holdeman (2B) 0-for-3
Logan Schiessle (RF) 1-for-3

MUNSTER (5-28-2012) Some of us really, sincerely don’t want to go outside in the middle of the day when it’s 95 degrees like it was Monday at Munster. And it was hard to believe that a sub-.500 Lowell team, which lost to the state’s top-ranked team, defending sectional champion Lake Central, by a 16-0 score in March, would do any better in the 4A Sectional 1 semifinal heat.

But the Devils came to play. When freshman right-fielder Logan Schiessle threw out Nick Kellams trying to go from second to third on a first-inning fly ball, it was clear that Lowell came to play. Reality set in and LC pulled away in the final two innings for a 9-3 win, but Lowell was not embarrassed the way they were in the first meeting in the cold on March 29.

Small consolation, true. But, on a ridiculously hot day going against a ridiculously highly rated opponent (LC was nationally rated to begin the season), trailing just 5-2 after five innings and making a game of it most of the day was worth sitting in mid-90s conditions to see.

“What happened here summed up our season,” said second year Lowell coach Bobby Wong. “We had runners in scoring position and we couldn’t get them in. Bases loaded in the third. Runners in scoring position with less than two out in the fourth. We couldn’t get them in. But I was proud of our guys. I was proud of the way they battled. We could easily have laid down to these guys."

“Our whole attitude this whole weekend was don’t leave anything in the dugout. Leave it all on the field. Because you never know.”

LC jumped to a 5-0 lead on a wind-blown homer by Adam Fulk and a most definitely not wind blown homer by designated hitter Alec Olund.

But Lowell rallied with two runs in the fourth inning on an RBI double by Bryan Thomas and run-scoring single from senior Tyler Hamm.

LC head coach Jeff Sandor made a key move here, replacing starting pitcher Nick Kellams with junior right-hander Antonio Majstorov.

The object for LC was not to use either starting pitcher Jimmy McNamara (9-1) or Taylor Lehnert (9-0) in the semifinals, saving them for a title match later Monday against Highland. But Majstorov was probably the last choice. If he failed, one of LC’s top pitchers was coming in.

“We had them a little nervous there in the fifth,” said Wong. “They had about 29 people warming up.”

The biggest play of the game may have come with LC leading 6-2 in the bottom of the sixth. Schiessle and Thomas singled with one out. But Majstorov picked off Lowell’s pinch-runner at first base and struck out Hamm to end the threat.

Lowell ended the season with a record of 10-19, but Wong wanted to remind people that that includes two losses to LC (28-1) and two losses to 3A No. 5 Andrean (26-5).

“There are some other teams which have better records than us and everybody talks about what good programs they have,” said Wong. “Taking nothing away from them, the schedule we play is 10 times harder."

“We play LC twice. We play Andrean twice and we play LaPorte twice. We play Crown Point (27-5), Portage (24-7). We play all the DAC except for Michigan City. Our schedule is really tough.”

DeBoer had three hits against LC and Thomas was on base three times. Both are juniors who will return in 2013. Among those who won’t is senior Austin Magley. In a moment few have ever duplicated, Magley hit a home run in his final at-bat in the seventh.

“That was poetic,” said Wong. “I’m proud of him because he has matured a lot this season. This year, he has shown leadership to our younger guys and he has done everything we’ve asked. I know he’s going to be successful in whatever he does after high school.”

SECTIONAL NOTES: Lake Central dominated Highland 7-0 in the sectional championship game Monday night. Senior center fielder Chase Fieldhouse hit a two-run homer off Highland star Jordan Minch in the first inning and the Indians (28-1) never trailed. LC senior right-hander Taylor Lehnert (9-0) struck out nine for the Indians, who have lost only to Chesterton in two months of play.

LC has 14 sectional championships.

Lowell walked over outmanned East Chicago 11-1 in the sectional quarterfinals Friday night as Danny DeBoer and Nick Willison combined to strike out nine. Tyler Hamm was 3-for-4 with two doubles and senior Austin Magley drove in four runs. Magley’s two-run single in the bottom of the fifth-inning created the final score.

LOWELL (10-19)
3-28 (L) 0-10 at Hanover Central (19-10)
4-2 (L) 0-16 Lake Central (28-1)
4-3 (L) 0-10 Crown Point (27-5)
4-5 (L) 5-8 at Portage (25-6)
4-6 (W) 7-1 at Merrillville (5-20)
4-10 (L) 1-5 ANDREAN (27-4)
4-12 (W) 10-8 at KANKAKEE VALLEY (17-14)
4-13 (L) 5-6 Bishop Noll (20-6)
4-16 (L) 5-7 at MUNSTER (15-14)
4-18 (W) 3-2 HIGHLAND (11-19)
4-20 (L) 4-6 HOBART (22-7) at US Steelyard
4-23 (W) 11-1 at Rensselaer (11-14)
4-25 (W) 14-6 Hammond
4-26 (L) 4-5 at GRIFFITH (17-14)
4-30 (L) 1-9 at ANDREAN (26-5)
5-2 (W) 2-1 KANKAKEE VALLEY (17-14)
5-4 (L) 7-14 at MUNSTER (15-14)
5-8 (L) 1-5 at HIGHLAND (11-19)
5-9 (W) 12-1 (5 in.) Gavit
5-10 (L) 3-7 at HOBART (22-7)
5-11 (L) 2-12 at Hebron (18-8)
5-12 (LL) 1-2, 1-11 (6 inn.) at LaPorte (10-18)
5-14 (L) 7-17 at Valparaiso (21-10)
5-16 (L) 3-5 GRIFFITH (17-14)
5-17 (W) 5-4 Morton
5-18 (W) 8-4 at North Newton
5-21 (L) 2-10 at Wheeler (23-5)

Copyright © 2012 and Meyer Multimedia Services, a division of Meyer Broadcasting Corp.  All rights reserved.
Revised: June 19, 2012.