PORTER TOWNSHIP | In a pitching duel between Boone Grove’s Dean Hill and Hebron’s Kyle Joyce, Hill allowed more hits and had fewer strikeouts, but he had the advantage where it mattered most: the scoreboard.
Hill tossed a four-hit shutout as the Wolves beat the defending champion Hawks 2-0 in Saturday’s Class 2A Boone Grove Sectional semifinal.
Boone Grove (19-7) will face Rochester in Monday’s championship. The Zebras beat Winamac 2-0 in the other semifinal.
Hill scattered four hits and struck out five. He did not walk a hitter and needed just 88 pitches in the complete game win.
"Dean was wanting to pitch and he was wanting the ball and he was wanting to take control of the game, and he did," said Boone Grove coach Rollie Thill. "He took control."
Hill faced four hitters above the minimum and did not allow a runner to get past first base. He had four innings of 10 or fewer pitches.
"I had my good stuff in the bullpen before the game, and I carried it out to the game and it just flowed,” Hill said.
The Wolves scored what would be the decisive run in the top of the first. Jake Wright came around from second when Caleb Narron reached on an errant throw that pulled the first baseman off the bag and was bobbled.
"This is the type of game that happens come sectional play," Thill said. "If you have two good pitchers, you've got to fight hard for every run you can get."
Boone Grove's other run came in the sixth. The Wolves loaded the bases with no outs without the benefit of a hit. Jason Sawa rapped into a bang-bang double play, but it did allow Cody Poynter to score to make it 2-0.
Joyce recorded a one-hitter for Hebron (15-10). He tallied 11 strikeouts, but also issued six walks and hit a batter.
“When you get to this point (in the season), I told Kyle, 'You have to leave it all on the field,' and he did," Hebron coach John Steinhilber said. "He kept us in it all day."