May 30th, 2012
Colts Fall Just Short Of Regional Final Berth
DeSales falls to PRP 2-0 in semifinal baseball thriller
Incredible pitching performances were on display at the University of Louisville’s Jim Patterson Stadium Wednesday night, as DeSales senior Hunter Tipton and Pleasure Ridge Park junior Hunter Johnson dazzled on the mound in a Sixth Region tournament semifinal instant classic in which the Panthers (28-11) pulled out a 2-0 victory.
Tipton set the tone for the game in the first inning. He struck out PRP junior Josh Beams on four pitches. He used five pitches to ring up senior Cody Strong. He came back with three pitches to get freshman Alex Miller looking at strike three.
A grounder to first that was bobbled byAustin Beckman allowed DeSales leadoff hitter, senior, Ryan Selent to get on base. Senior Ryan Ritchey moved Selent to second base with a sacrifice bunt.
But PRP’s Johnson settled in and struck out the next two to end the first inning with no score.
The Panthers threatened in the top of the second when Johnson doubled to right center field to lead off the inning. The runner was moved to third base on a sacrifice bunt. Tipton hit his target to strike out PRP’s Jacob Clair for the second out. He then got a nice play from senior Ryan Seigle to end the inning.
Seigle started to move on a ground ball up the middle. The ball was tipped by Tipton. Seigle gained control and threw it to first baseman Patrick Remines for the out, leaving the PRP runner stranded at third.
The Colts (21-18) again got the lead off runner on when Remines singled to left field. A double play killed any hope of scoring and it was scoreless after two innings.
Both pitchers retired hitters in order in the third inning. PRP left another runner stranded at third base in the fourth inning thanks to a sharp play by shortstop Dan Breedlove. He fielded a grounder near second base hit by PRP’s Johnson and turned the double play.
The Colts first serious offensive threat came in the fifth inning. With one out senior Blake Dewsnap walked. Seigle then pushed a grounder back to the pitcher. A bad throw to second base set the Colts up with two on and one out. Sophomore Henry Weiter sacrificed the runners to second and third with two outs. But the Panthers got a ground out to end the rally.
PRP had three of their five hits in the sixth inning. It started with a one out single to left field by Strong. Miller followed with a single to left, putting runners on the corners. Johnson helped his own cause as the Panthers pulled off a squeeze play—Johnson’s perfect bunt allowed the first run of the game to score, giving PRP a 1-0 lead heading into the bottom of the sixth inning.
The Panthers added to the lead in the top of the seventh inning. Tipton hit Clair to open the inning. He advanced to second base on a passed ball. A sacrifice ground out moved Clair to third base. Blake Stewart’s sacrifice fly ball was deep enough to score Clair for a 2-0 Panther advantage.
But with three outs left, the Colts had a little bit of giddy-up to go. Junior Clint Thompson opened the inning with a single to left center field. That was followed by a Remines double to the gap in left center field, putting runners in scoring position with no outs.
But the bats failed after that. A short pop up to second base was followed by a slow grounder to first base.
With two outs and two on Weiter walked to load the bases. Breedlove struck out to end the game and the Colts season closes with a tough 2-0 loss to Pleasure Ridge Park.
PRP’s Johnson gave up just three hits in seven innings. He struck out seven Colts.
Tipton gave up five hits and struck out six Panthers, in as good a performance you’ll see in a losing effort.
“I felt great on the mound, very confident,” Tipton said. “I knew the guys behind me were going to make plays and I could just go out there and throw. We just couldn’t do enough on offense tonight and that’s why we didn’t win this game.”
PRP advances to face Bullitt East in Thursday’s Sixth Region championship game. The Chargers beat Butler 3-0.
Tipton, who will continue to play ball for Bryan College in Dayton, Tennessee, can’t believe his high school career has come to an end.
“I can remember, it seems like just yesterday when I got thrown in as a freshman to play against Holy Cross," he said. "It just goes by too fast.”