Windell walk-off HR caps Corydon rally
Corydon Central fought hard to rally from five runs down and capped it with an ultimate finish: a walk-off home run.
A one-out blast off the bat of Lucas Windell ‘ his lone homer of the season ‘ ended a 7-all tie in the bottom of the seventh inning against Crawford County during the Class 3A sectional semi-final in Mitchell. The solo shot off Crawford County hurler Ethan Smith was smacked over the left center field scoreboard, sending the Panther bench into a frenzy. The shot gave the Panthers an 8-7 win and a place in the sectional championship game.
‘I tried to stay calm, keep my hands back and not lunge,’ Windell said of the at bat. ‘I just went for it.’
‘I was just like, ‘Wow’,’ Corydon Central’s lone senior, Zach Anderson, said. ‘We got that home run from Lucas, and it showed that we can come back as a team. We’ve done it all year.’
Corydon Central rallied from a 5-0 deficit to take the win. The biggest Corydon Central damage came in the bottom of the fifth inning when four runs crossed the plate to take a 7-6 lead.
‘We have been doing that all year long,’ Corydon Central coach Zach Sipes said. ‘The first four innings, we came out of the gate slow. About the fourth or fifth inning, we realized we can play with these guys. They kept fighting and fighting. Like I said, these guys don’t give up and they put the ball in play, putting pressure on the other team.’
The inning started when Zach Anderson was hit by a pitch with one out. From there, the next five Panthers reached base on hits. Ethan Wright and Logan Hodges had consecutive singles. A single from Lucas Windell scored the first run and was followed by doubles from Jake Carnley and Jeremiah Windell. Jeremiah’s shot hit the top of the yellow fence and came back into play, inches from a home run.
‘Lot of hard hit balls,’ Sipes said. ‘In practice, we have worked lately on hitting the ball down, hitting a lot of hard ground balls because they turned into line drives. We didn’t make easy outs by striking out either.’
Crawford County answered with a run in the top of the sixth, prompting the 7-all score. Two errors led to Evan Aldridge eventually crossing the plate.
Corydon Central had to overcome a rough third inning to rally back. In the inning, starting pitcher Chase Burton walked four consecutive batters. He was lifted for relief pitcher Zach Anderson. Facing Charles Shelton with the bases loaded, Anderson’s first pitch was lifted over the fence for a grand slam. The runs gave Crawford County a 5-0 edge.
From there, Corydon Central started to chip away at the lead. Two runs crossed the plate in the third via the bat of Tyler Jones. The junior belted his first home run of the season, a two-run shot, to score Jeremiah Windell.
Windell added an RBI of his own in the fourth inning, plating Logan Hodges. The runs pulled the Panthers within two runs, 5-3.
Crawford County earned one of the runs back in the bottom of the fourth. Derrick Parr’s double plated Jonathon Bowles.
Anderson settled in and scored the win, his second in relief during the post-season.
‘Friday’s game against Mitchell, Zach did the same thing,’ Sipes said. ‘Our No. 1 pitcher, Chase Burton, struggled a little bit, like he did today. (Anderson) came in relief and shut down Mitchell, and he pretty much did that today. It is huge.’
Burton was solid the first two innings, recording six strikeouts. His troubles came in the third inning, where he was lifted for Anderson.
‘I wanted to throw strikes,’ Anderson said. ‘My curve ball has kept just about every team I’ve faced off balance this year. I went to that pitch a lot later in the game to get ground balls.’
The Corydon Central offense finished with 14 hits to Crawford County’s six.
Corydon Central faced Silver Creek yesterday (Tuesday) in the sectional championship.