The La Porte baseball team advanced to Saturday’s sectional semifinals at Plymouth with a 2-0 win over South Bend John Adams. Senior ace RJ Anglin was masterful tossing a three hit shutout, striking out twelve and walking only two.
The Slicers were the visiting team and threatened in the top of the first inning. Kade Flores hit a one out single up the middle and Drew Catron reached on an error by Adams third baseman Kai Whitlow. Cleanup hitter Anglin hit a hard one hopper that took Eagle’s second baseman KJ Johnston toward second base and Adams was able to turn a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning.
Adams had their best scoring opportunity in the bottom of the first. Whitlow had an infield single to lead the inning off and Jake Mulvehill fisted a base hit to left putting runners on first and second with no one out. Brock Stultz hit a nubber on the first base side of the mound. Anglin picked it up made a difficult throw to second for the force and shortstop Flores was able to turn the double play. Anglin got cleanup hitter Johnston to pop out to end the inning.
Anglin retired the Eagles in order in the second, fourth, sixth and seventh. Adams got a one out walk in the third but could not capitalize. In the fifth Ethan Trimberger reached on an infield hit and Phillip Northern drew a one out walk putting runners on first and second with one out. Anglin struck out the next two hitters to end the inning.
La Porte got on the board in the third. Carter Moses reached on an error by the shortstop to lead the inning off and was replaced by courtesy runner Drew Flores. Ryan Bruemmer couldn’t get a bunt down but Flores moved to second on a pass ball before Bruemmer struck out. Ben Dubbs lined a single just out of the reach of shortstop Northern. Drew Flores had to hold up at third, putting Slicers on the corners. Kade Flores slapped a single to left scoring brother Drew to give the Slicers a 1-0 edge. The inning could have been bigger. Catron blistered a line drive up the middle but Northern made an unbelievable diving catch to rob the Slicer third baseman and save a run. Anglin flew out to right to end the inning.
The Slicers threatened in the fourth and fifth but came up empty. Samuelson reached on error to lead off the fourth. Keli Hay struck out and Jax Land was the victim of a diving catch on a foul ball by right fielder Mulvehill. Carter Moses ripped a single to left with Samuelson running to put runners on first and third. Bruemmer hit into a force out to end the inning. In the fifth, Dubbs singled to start the inning moved to second on Kade Flores’ sacrifice bunt. Catron hit a grounder into the hole at short and appeared to beat the throw to first by a step. The umpire saw it differently and there were two outs. Anglin walked and Samuelson flew out to center to end the inning.
La Porte picked up a huge insurance run in the top of the seventh. Dubbs singled with one out and Kade Flores walked. They advanced to second and third on a wild pitch then advanced again on another pitch that got away from the catcher. Dubbs scored and Flores moved to third. After Catron grounded to third for the second out Flores tried to steal home but was tagged out on a close play to end the inning with LP leading 2-0.
Anglin struck out the side in the bottom of the seventh and LP moves to Saturday’s second semifinal vs Plymouth.
Anglin, Kade Flores who was 2-2 with an RBI and Dubbs who was 3-4 with a run scored were named tri Salisbury and Spence Edward Jones Players of the game.
Anglin was named to the North team for the annual North-South All Star game this summer. He and Dubbs were also named to the all DAC team.
Michigan City and Mishawaka will face off Saturday at 10:00 AM Central time. La Porte and Plymouth will follow at approximately 12:30 PM. The winners will play Monday, Memorial Day, at 5:00 PM for the sectional title. All games are played at Bill Nixon Field in Centennial Park in Plymouth. La Porte’s game can be heard on WCOE 96.7 the Eagle.
Photos courtesy of Susan Anglin.