McCutcheon baseball sweeps Harrison
April 30, 2012McCutcheon High School
McCutcheon used a dramatic comeback victory to propel the Mavericks to a two-game sweep of Tippecanoe County rival Harrison.
The Mavericks scored three runs in the sixth inning, the last two off of a Jesse Quintanilla two-run single, to lift McCutcheon to a 4-3 victory in a game resumed from Wednesday at McCutcheon after a rain postponement.
In the nightcap, Harrison could not overcome seven errors and nine walks as McCutcheon cruised to a 12-1 victory in six innings. The victories give the Mavericks a 12-3 record and 7-1 in conference play. Harrison falls to 4-10 and 1-7.
"We didn't like coming here being behind but I though we responded very well," McCutcheon coach Jake Burton said. "Mike Smith really pitched great today. It was as good as anyone has pitched for us this year."
Harrison entered Wednesday with a 3-0 lead in the top of the third inning. The Raiders, though, could not take advantage of the edge, as Smith stepped up and retired 12 straight batters until he hit Joe Dinkel in the top of the seventh inning.
"I wanted to throw strikes and get ahead of batters," Smith said. "I wanted to give our guys a chance to get the offensive going. You just kind of go into a zone and it becomes second nature. I was fired up when we took the lead that I had to calm down when I hit that kid."
By that time, McCutcheon scored three runs off Harrison reliever Michael Carnahan in the bottom of the sixth.
Trailing 3-1 in the sixth inning, Henry Gray led off with a single, Christian Vukas walked and Jordan Young reached on an error to load the bases with no outs. Justin Curry's fielder's choice scored Gray.
With two outs, Quintanilla's single scored Dylan Kiracofe and Smith, running for Vukas and Young, respectively, to give the Mavericks the lead.
"I've been trying to hit the ball as hard as I can and I finally got a good pitch to do it on," Quintanilla said about the at-bat. "Winning that game got us up a little bit. In the second game, I think the momentum carried us a little. I was just happy to win the first one."
On Wednesday, Harrison starter Nick Leuck retired nine straight Mavericks before the game was postponed. On Thursday, he gave up one run in the fourth inning and got out of a bases loaded jam with a Logan Sowers fly out in the fifth inning before being lifted for Carnahan.
"I thought we had them right where we wanted them and we just let it get away from us," Harrison coach Bryan Van Zile said. "Nick was not as sharp today as he was yesterday, but he was still good enough for us to win a ballgame for him. It's always the little things that kill us. Until we can find people who want to make those plays, it's going to be tough for us."
Things unraveled for Harrison in the second game, as Raiders pitchers issued nine walks to go with seven errors, allowing McCutcheon to score 12 runs on three hits.
"I can't remember coaching another game like that," Van Zile said. "They weren't tough plays. They were routine plays and we're not making them. We won't beat anybody if we don't make those plays."
Vukas, though, allowed one run on two Harrison hits. The Mavericks also turned two double plays to kill potential Raider rallies.
"Our pitching is what did it for us tonight," Burton said. "I think it really made a difference and kept them from score over two games."
McCutcheon scored runs in the first and second inning and then opened the game up with three in the third inning off starter Carnahan.
Cody Strong walked, Sowers reached on a fielder error at second base and Gray was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Vukas then smoked a single to center, scoring Strong and Sowers. Curry's single to right later in the inning would plate Gray, giving the Mavericks a 5-1 lead.
That was more than enough for the Mavericks, which scored seven more runs in the fifth and sixth inning on one hit.