FULTON | A five-run first inning put Morgan Township one win from its first baseball regional title in school history.
The Cherokees scored five runs on two hits in the top of the first to take the lead for good in Morgan Township’s 7-3 win against South Central in the semifinals of the Class A regional at Caston on Saturday.
The Cherokees (23-5) loaded the bases right away in the first thanks to two walks and an error. After a strikeout and sacrifice fly put Morgan in front 1-0 with two out, Mark Ehrstein and Will Swisher delivered back-to-back hits to break the game open.
Ehrstein doubled to the wall in left field to score two, and on the next pitch Swisher hit a two-run home run to center that gave the Cherokees a 5-0 lead. Ehrstein finished 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles, and Swisher was 2-for-4.
“We had two really clutch hits there, Erstein with the double and Swisher with the home run,” Morgan Township coach Jason Dorshorst said. “That was huge.”
Morgan Township added single runs in both the third and sixth innings.
Joe Doughtery struck out seven and walked one in getting the complete game win.
“When you don’t walk guys, those bleeders won’t hurt you,” Dorshorst said. “Being in the strike zone, that helped us.”
The Satellites (15-14) committed three errors on the day that led to six unearned Cherokee runs.
“They took advantage of our miscues and hit the ball and made the plays,” South Central coach Ron King said.
South Central scored single runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings. The Satellites had the tying run in the on deck in the seventh, but Garrett Walter popped up to end the game.
Ben Rosebaum went 3-for-3 at the plate and scored a pair of runs. Chance Rowe drove in two runs.
The loss brought the careers of five South Central seniors to a close. During their four years, they won the Porter County Conference round robin title for the first time in school history and won four consecutive sectional titles and reached the 2011 Final Four.
“No one can take that away from them,” King said of the seniors. “We’re hoping that they have laid the foundation for the younger guys and continue the tradition these guys have started.”