Sectional Baseball

Chargers rout Red Devils in sectional opener


KOKOMO — North Montgomery’s quest for a Class 3A Sectional 20 title got started in dominating fashion on Wednesday night. The Chargers made the long trek to Northwestern High School to take on the West Lafayette Red Devils in game two and came away with a 16-3 win in five innings to advance to Thursday’s semi-final against Western who defeated Frankfort 10-6 in game one.

Senior Austin Sulc has saved his best baseball for when it matters most for the Chargers and because of his efforts, he got the nod to start the game. The only real blemish for the senior hurler came in the very first inning where Red Devil senior Jack Shaeffer got every stitch and hammered a two-run home run over the left-center field wall and gave West Lafayette an early 2-0 lead. As great teams do, the Chargers responded and took the lead for good in the top of the second with five-run frame. From there it was cruise control for North Montgomery and they scored six more runs in the fourth and five more in the fifth to put the game away.

“You have to continue to sing the praises of Austin Sulc for what he did for us on the mound once again,” Charger coach Matt Voorhees said of his senior. “Shaeffer is an amazing hitter and it would have been very easy for us to get down on ourselves and not play how we wanted to after that two run home run. Austin came right back out there and the rest of the game pitched amazing. A younger version of Austin would’ve shown some immaturity, but he’s grown into such an amazing arm for us to call upon. He understood that he couldn’t get those two runs back and just focused on the next batter. Our team rallied him offensively by getting those five runs and we took control from there.”

With the complete game win, Sulc picked up his sixth win of the season which ties him with Jarrod Kirsch for the team lead. He holds a very solid 2.90 ERA in 41 innings and his holding opposing hitters to a .204 average. The final line score for Sulc read five innings of work with just four hits given up. All three runs were earned as he struck out four and walked two.

North Montgomery (18-7) offensively had contributions up and down the lineup from nearly everyone who stepped in the batters box. The Chargers used 13 hits and ironically enough, every single one of them were singles. Senior Corbin Meadows and sophomore Crew Cole led the way with three hits while Meadows drove in three runs. Isaiah Hopkins went 2-2 with 3RBI’s. Noah Hopkins had two RBI’s as did Jarrod Kirsch who went 2-4.  Ross Dyson, Cade Cole, and Roman Utterback also found their way into the hit column.

Western comes into the post-season being ranked as the number seven team in Class 3A with their 22-4 record. A season ago the Panthers and Chargers battled in what was an intense pitchers dual which saw the Panthers came away with 2-0 win as they ended North’s season.

The Chargers, as they did last year, will turn to their senior ace in Kirsch looking to advance to the championship game on Memorial Day.

“Western is going to be aggressive at the plate and we’re going to have to be ready to play great defense behind Jarrod,” Voorhees said. “This senior class is so mature and has great poise about them that I have no doubt we’re going to go out there and play well. I know these seniors want a sectional title and they are so driven to get that done. Some one pretty big and pretty tough is going to have to step in front of these guys in order to stop them.”

Something that made the win a little sweeter for the Chargers and Voorhees was that the victory marked 150 career wins for Voorhees in his time as the Chargers skipper.

North and Western will play in game one Thursday night with first pitch scheduled for 5 p.m.