MUNSTER | Highland baseball coach Dan Miller didn't want his starters on the field longer than they had to be.
In the hot sun, against a team that his Trojans had put up five runs in the first inning and another three in the third, Miller started making substitutions in the fourth inning of Monday afternoon's 12-2 win over E.C. Central.
"It's nice to play as many kids as we can, but I wanted to get a lot of these guys out of the heat and out of the sun," Miller said.
That allowed Junior Cody Piesker to bat in the fifth inning, as well as Nick Mason, who spent most of his season watching from the bench. Mason drove in the 12th run that ended the game early and allowed the rest of the team a chance to rest before meeting Lake Central at 8 p.m. Monday for the sectional championship.
In the three innings he hit, Jordan Minch was 3-for-3 with a run and Cullen Gordon, who stayed in the game all five innings, was 2-for-3 with three runs and an RBI.
E.C. Central hopped on the board in the third inning, scoring on a wild pitch by starter Billy Gerstner. The Cardinals (6-19-1) forced a bottom of the fifth inning when leadoff hitter Erik Romo hit a two-out triple to the center field wall that scored Reyes Maldonado as an unearned run.