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The Journal Gazette

  • Indiana Tech Indiana Tech right fielder Bobby Bennett tries to catch a home run by Madonna's Jimmy White in the first inning of the teams' second game in the WHAC Tournament Championship Series on Tuesday.

Wednesday, May 09, 2018 1:00 am

Madonna 5-12 Indiana Tech 4-10

Warriors bounced from tournament

DYLAN SINN | The Journal Gazette

Top-seeded Indiana Tech entered Day 2 of the WHAC Tournament baseball championship Series against No. 3 seed Madonna needing just one win to claim the tournament title.

Tech had two chances to claim that victory Tuesday, but Madonna came from behind to win Game 2 by a 5-4 margin and then scored six runs in the second inning of Game 3 and went on to win the rubber match 12-10 and win the conference tournament at Warrior Field.

“It's an amazing feeling,” Madonna coach Ted Falkner said. “These guys have worked hard. We've had goals. We didn't win the conference, but we wanted to win the next goal, which was the conference tournament. ... I'm so proud of our guys, they played hard.”

The Crusaders led from the second batter in the deciding game. Left-hander Charles Dunavan started for Tech (42-19) and struggled. He came in with a 0.00 ERA in 182/3 innings, but the Crusaders got to him right away.

After a leadoff walk, right fielder Jimmy White hit his fifth home run of the season to right, giving his team a lead it would not relinquish. 

White had a huge day for Madonna (36-16). He drove in the game-winning run in the eighth inning of the first game and then homered and doubled in the second contest. He knocked in six runs for the Crusaders on the day.

Tech third baseman Matt Bandor did all he could to get his team back in the game, homering twice and driving in three runs. He finished the final game 3 for 5 with three runs scored and got his eighth and ninth home runs this season. Tech once trailed 9-0 before making the game close in the late innings.

“They had tons and tons of (fight), Warriors coach Kip McWilliams said of his team. “Being down 9-0 early in the game, they didn't have any doubt that we could come back and get it. ... Any team out there could have just folded up and quit, but we got warriors and they didn't quit at all, so I'm very proud of them.”

The first game was tight the whole way, with Indiana Tech taking an early lead with a run in the first. The run scored off reliever Blake Herrera, who walked three after replacing starter Tyler Butzin, the Crusaders' ace. Butzin took a hard grounder off his pitching arm and had to exit the game after facing just two batters.

The Crusaders tied the game 4-4 in the seventh and went in front in the eighth. The winning run came across after shortstop Adrian Reed doubled and White drove him in with a long single. 

This is the second WHAC Tournament in three years in which Madonna has beaten Tech in the final. Tech has not won a tournament title since 2013. 

dsinn@jg.net