Baseball: Rally falls short as Carmel loses regional final
Carmel's Tyler Murphy trots home after hitting a two-run homer in regional semifinal against host Warren last Thursday. | Michael Schmidt~Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 3, 2012 12:02PM
Carmel Catholic’s late-arriving offense came up just short in Monday’s IHSA Class 4A Warren Regional title game against Highland Park.
Rallying from an 8-0 deficit to score six runs in the final two innings, the Corsairs (23-12) had the potential winning run on first base when the game ended at 8-6 in HP’s favor.
“I love the battle in our kids, and there was no give-up,” said Carmel coach Joe May. “Chasing eight runs is never an easy task. In these games, you can’t spot teams leads.”
From the third inning on, the Corsairs played from behind.
The Giants (18-19) built their 8-0 advantage on home runs by Alec Van Cleve (3-run shot) and Harrison Carl (solo). They also received some clutch hitting by catcher Jason Goldstein (2 hits, 3 RBI).
They did all of their damage against Carmel starter Quinten Sefcik, and three relievers: Duncan Amrein, JT Klahs and Dalton Wright.
Left-hander Alex Young, Carmel’s ace, was unavailable to pitch after starting the team’s 8-7 regional semifinal win over Warren on May 24. Not helping matters was Carmel’s defense, which committed three errors, including two in the top of the sixth, which led to two Highland Park runs.
Nonetheless, the Giants battled back. Down eight runs after five innings, the Corsairs showed resolve consistent with their personality all season.
In the sixth, Blake Bucsa (2-for-4, run) got the rally started with an RBI single, scoring Brian Brennan, who had walked to start the inning. After a Matt Ryan infield single scored Josh Walinski to make it 8-2, Nico Caracciolo grounded to Highland Park shortstop David Joseph, who threw the ball away, scoring two more Corsairs runs.
“Their pitcher (Jake Rubin) stayed in longer than we expected,” Bucsa said. “That’s what we wanted, to wear his arm out.”
With Carmel down to their final out in the bottom of the seventh, and with Rubin tiring, Bucsa singled to short. Ryan (3-for-4, 2 runs, RBI) followed with a single to center. Michael Stahoviak’s base hit scored Bucsa, and when Caracciolo walked, the bases were loaded for John Salvi. The Corsairs’ catcher singled to left field, scoring Ryan, making it 8-6 and setting up a potential Hollywood ending. But Rubin was able to finish off the Corsairs by getting Young to ground out.
“The seniors did a real nice job from the beginning of the season, jumping into a leadership role, which we had to have,” May said. “I’m really proud of them.”
Added Bucsa: “It’s been a great four years. I love my coach, my team. We had great chemistry this year — we really functioned together. It’s sad that it’s over.”
Recap: Carmel had quite a scare against Warren in the regional semifinal.
The Corsairs jumped out to a big lead, scoring six runs in the second inning. After Warren scored three times in the third, Tyler Murphy hit a two-run homer in the fourth, and that blow proved to be the difference in the one-run win.