Harvey’s blast sends Eagles over Braves
Lanesville’s Cam Harvey gave his team six-plus innings of quality work on the mound Friday night in Borden.
It was Harvey’s bat, however, that shook the Lanesville dugout and caused a massive mob at home plate in the top of the eighth inning.
With two outs, Harvey spoiled several pitches against Borden reliever Mason LaGrange, running the count full. In a 4-4 game, Harvey changed the scoreboard with a massive cut, driving a fastball well over the right center-field fence.
The blast sent the Class 1A No. 8 Eagles past 1A No. 2 Borden 6-4 in eight innings.
‘We picked up on him being a curve-ball pitcher,’ Harvey said of LaGrange. ‘It was curve ball after curve ball to the batters before me. He threw me one fastball early, and I swung out of my shoes at it. We got to a full count, and he gave me a fastball right down the middle. I stayed with my swing and hit through it.’
Harvey said the connection with the ball ‘felt pretty good especially after pitching.’
The match-up was a clash of two of the top 1A teams in Southern Indiana. It also figured to be important in regard to the Southern Athletic Conference race.
A year ago, Borden won the regular-season match-up but Lanesville took the post-season victory over the Braves all the way to the state final.
‘I think us and Borden are the two best teams in the state,’ Lanesville coach Zach Payne said. ‘On any given day, we could beat each other.’
Thinking back to last season’s split with Borden, Harvey told teammates after the game to stay focused.
‘Whichever team stays mentally focused throughout the season and doesn’t get tired,’ Harvey said of a potential sectional rematch. ‘It will come down to who brings the energy to every practice and every game. That will be who succeeds in the postseason.’
Borden’s starting pitcher, Lucas McNew, retired the first six Lanesville batters without a blip. McNew helped his own cause in the first inning, driving in Cory Anderson with an RBI single for a 1-0 Borden lead.
In the third, Tommy Tidstrom woke up the Lanesville bats with a double off the left center-field fence. A sac bunt by Zach Fink set up Tidstrom scoring on an Evan Peele single to center to even the score. Peele finished the game 2 for 3 with a double and walk.
Noah Jones showed some pop in the fourth inning, giving the Eagles the lead with a skying homer to left field, pressing Lanesville ahead 2-1.
Harvey faced a bit of trouble in the fifth, allowing two runners to reach. He worked out of the jam by inducing a Travis Konermann ground out.
Back with the bats, Lanesville hit McNew with three straight extra-base hits. Peele began the frame with a double to the gap. Ryan McCubbins followed suit with a liner, drawing chalk dust over the third-base bag to score courtesy runner Ethan Purdy. Adding to the scoring, Mitchell Bailey cleared the bases with a triple to right.
‘Hitting is contagious, especially with our guys,’ Payne said. ‘Our guys really feed off each other’s energy. Once one hits, the energy level in the dugout goes up.’
The 4-1 lead wouldn’t hold. Harvey, who struck out seven and allowed four hits, was pulled in the seventh after giving up a pair of walks. Prior to the seventh, Harvey was in control.
‘Cam, I couldn’t ask for a better effort from him,’ Payne said. ‘His last two starts, the results hadn’t been what he had hoped, but, when it mattered in conference play, he bounced back.’
‘Staying mentally focused and trying to do my thing,’ Harvey said of his pitching performance. ‘My curve ball was working today, and my fastball located nice on the outside corner.’
Bailey came on in relief. An infield error on a ball hit by McNew loaded the bases with one out. Konermann came up with a key two-run single through the right side, bringing the Braves within one run. The game-tying run came in on another Eagles’ error.
Bailey went on to strike out two straight batters, leaving the potential game-winning runner on third.
The home run in the eighth by Harvey put Bailey in a spot to come away with the win. The lefty struck out two in the final inning, putting the Braves down in order.
Payne said Harvey may not be the best hitter on the team but is the smartest.
‘He’s a smart hitter and knows when to foul pitches off,’ coach said. ‘He’s rough around the edges with his swing, but the fact that he’s smart at the plate, he knows what pitches to look for set him up (for the home run). I was pumped for him.’
With the win, Lanesville moved to 6-5 on the season.
‘Our kids don’t care about our record,’ Payne said. ‘We are going to play more good teams and maybe lose a few more games, but we are going to win our share. We will be ready for a busy week in conference coming up.’
Lanesville played South Central last night (Tuesday) and will host Henryville tomorrow (Thursday).
Lanesville 001 102 02 ‘ 6 8 2
Borden 100 000 30 ‘ 4 5 0
W ‘ Bailey, L ‘ LaGrange.
2B ‘ Tidstrom (L), Peele (L), Jones (L), McCubbins (L), McNew (B); 3B ‘ Bailey (L); HR ‘ Jones (L), Harvey (L).