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Hornets sting SC; Eagles fall to CAI

For the fifth consecutive year, Christian Academy of Indiana faced off against Henryville for a sectional title last week. The previous four meetings were all won by the Hornets. This time, however, the Warriors pulled off a near-miracle and tripped up Henryville, 4-3, in nine innings to advance to regional play to face host Springs Valley.
For a Harrison County connection, Caleb Stewart of Laconia pitched a strong game for CAI (15-10) in the championship win.
In the semifinal round brackets, the Hornets (20-6) way-laid South Central, 12-1, in a five-inning snoozer and CAI dunked Lanesville, 8-2.

Henryville 12, S.C. 1

South Central won the battle, but Henryville won the war at last week’s Class 1A Lanesville baseball sectional.
The Rebels (15-7) split a double-header a couple of weeks ago at Henryville to snare the Southern Athletic Conference championship. Henryville’s focus, however, was on the sectional. The Hornets dusted South in a five-inning blowout, 12-1.
As a reminder of the narrow loss to South, the coaching staff for the Hornets made a printout of the game story from this newspaper and taped it in the dugout for the sectional game.
Henryville scored early and often in Thursday’s game, punching two across in the first, seven in the second and three in the fourth. South’s only run came in the bottom of the second inning.
Starting pitcher Eric Hester helped his own cause for the Hornets by doubling in the two runs in the first frame.
Henryville sent 11 batters to the dish in the second inning, which was highlighted by a two-RBI double by junior Joe Linne and a two-out RBI double by sophomore Brooks Couch.
In the fourth, sophomore Ryan Kannapel singled in two runs as well.
Henryville wore out South senior pitcher Paul Brown, who threw 95 pitches in just three innings of work.
The Rebels’ lone run came with two outs in the second inning.
Justin Lillpop and Brent Wilkerson had back-to-back singles, with Greg Gehlbach advancing to first on a passed ball to score Lillpop.
South Central had seven errors in the season-ending loss.

CAI 8, Lanesville 2

In the first game of the sectional to go the full seven-inning distance, Lanesville was unable to get over the hump against a gritty Christian Academy squad, 8-2.
The upstart Eagles, who start a slew of freshmen and sophomores, fell behind by two runs in the first inning and let one more run come across in the top of the second.
In the bottom of that inning, however, Lanesville bounced back with one run.
Taylor Hess reached on an error and stole second before moving to third on a wild pitch. Freshman Seth Jacobs hit a long fly ball for a sacrifice RBI.
Christian Academy countered with a five-spot two innings later to effectively put the game away.
The Eagles’ final run came in the bottom of the seventh against Stewart, who had come in to close out the deal.
Jacobs singled and Steve Lewis had a one-out walk before Scott Lewis struck out. Senior Adam Brown pounded out a base hit to score Jacobs for Lanesville’s last run of the season.
‘That’s really been our whole season,’ Lanesville first-year coach Sean Smith said. ‘We were in the game for a long time today and just couldn’t get the hit to get us over the hump.
‘We’ve improved, but we still make young, mental mistakes that are going to happen with a team with as many young players as we have. We’ve been in a lot of ball games, but if you look at the box scores, there’s usually one inning that kills us. The other team might get two or three bloop hits and that’s what beats us.’
Lanesville finished 7-15 this year, but graduates only four seniors.