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Home » Baseball News

Athenians Crowned State Champions

June 26, 2011
Crawfordsville High School


VIDEO:  Game Highlights

Crawfordsville was crowned the champions of Indiana baseball in Class 3A for the second time in four years by defeating Mishawaka Marian 8-3 Saturday afternoon.  The Athenians got a complete game effort and seven K's from Cory Rice on the mound and a title game record two home runs by catcher Chris Minks.

The Knights jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, aided by some shaky Athenian defense.  On a groundball to third off the bat of Corey Samuels a wide throw from Jordan Kiger ticked off the glove of first baseman Joel Hobson.  The ball rolled away as Chase Parker came all the way from first to score and Samuels ended up at third base. On an ensuing Mishawaka squeeze play the batter missed the bunt and the ball deflected off of Minks and squirted just far enough for the run to cross safely.

Playing from behind for the second straight game, Crawfordsville responded quickly.  Alex Ehrlich beat out a slow-roller to shortstop.  Rasmussen executed a sacrifice bunt to move Ehrlich along to second, setting things up for Jordan Jackson's RBI double off the left field wall.  Minks followed with a long home run to left, putting Crawfordsville ahead 3-2.

In the fourth, Jake Zurawski led off with a bunt hit rolled perfectly down the first base line.  Ehrlich followed with a bunt of his own in nearly the same spot to put runners at first and second. 

A wild play followed when Rasmussen showed bunt then pulled back and sent a grounder to short.  Zurawski collided with shortstop Charlie Creighton as both players went sprawling and the ball ended up in short left field.  Initially it appeared the Athenians would have the bases loaded and no one out, but after the umpires conferred Zurawski was ruled out on runner's interference.  

With runners again at first and second and now one out, Hobson singled into center bringing in Ehrlich.  Jackson then doubled for the second time, slashing a ball into the bullpen down the right field line to score Rasmussen.

Mishawaka Marian scored one in the fourth closing the deficit to 5-3 when to begin the inning Ehrlich nearly made a fine catch running into the right field corner on a ball hit by Taylor Krugh.  After a long run Ehrlich gloved the ball only to watch it bounce out as he crashed into the wall.  Krugh later scored on a wild pitch.

The Athenians responded again in the fifth as Zurawski coaxed a leadoff walk.  After the sophomore advanced on a wild pitch, Craig Brainard singled into right on a two-strike check swing to put Crawfordsville ahead 6-3.

For Mishawaka, John Leszczynski replaced Krugh on the hill to start the sixth inning.  Jackson drew a walk from the left-hander, setting the stage for Chris Minks' second home run, a no-doubter that landed high up on the left field lawn at Victory Field.  The two-run shot put Crawfordsville in the lead 8-3.

Working a pitch count over 100, Rice allowed three runners to reach in the seventh but induced the Knight's cleanup hitter to fly to Jackson who caught the ball and came racing in from centerfield with hands raised as the Athenians dogpiled in front of the mound.

Game Notes:

  • Senior Adam Boehm was presented with the L.V. Phillips Mental Attitude Award, which is given each year to a player in the title game for excellence in leadership, sportsmanship, and academics.  $1,000 was awarded to Crawfordsville High School's general scholarship fund in Boehm's name.
  • Minks' two homers travelled an estimated 375 and 410 feet.  No other player has ever homered twice in a title game in the 45 year history of the state tournament. 
  • Minks' second homer also pushed the 2011 team over the top, breaking the school record for home runs in a season.  The 1999 team hit 30 while this year's team connected for 31 long balls.
  • Cory Rice went all seven innings for just the second time of the year.
  • Seven of nine Athenian batters had at least one hit.
  • The three hits off Cory Rice were the same number allowed to Mishawaka batters in the '08 title game by a combination of Cameron Hobson and Steven Rice.
  • Crawfordsville outscored its opponents 71-19 in tournament play.

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