CROWN POINT | With weather conditions being how they were on Saturday afternoon, one mistake would decide the game.
Battling a fierce 25 mile-per-hour wind, Times Illinois No. 1 Mount Carmel came out on top of Indiana No. 9 Crown Point 7-6 thanks in part to one swing of the bat from junior first baseman Malik Carpenter.
After plating a run and down 6-5 in the top of the seventh, Carpenter smashed an Austin Thomas offering that got up into the jet stream and sailed over the scoreboard in left field for the go-ahead runs for the Caravan (8-2).
"I just tried to stay focused and hit the ball on a line," said Carpenter, who went 1 for 3 with two runs scored. "I still have a lot to work on, but I'm getting better everyday."
The second inning saw four runs for the visiting Caravan, including three straight RBI singles from Greg Ploszaj, Jeremy Houston, and Scott Kapers, a Valparaiso University recruit.
Crown Point (2-4) responded with two of their own in the second after second baseman Jake Kocher roped a two-run single.
After tacking on a run in the fourth, the Bulldogs took control of the game in the next inning by scoring three in the fifth off a two-run shot by catcher Mark Mazure and an RBI-single from shortstop Jake Benich.
Penn State recruit Marko Boricich went five innings for Mount Carmel, allowing 10 hits and one walk while striking out seven.
"The name of the game is pounding the strike zone and playing defense behind Marko and we only had half of that equation today," said Caravan coach Brian Hurry, whose team made three errors. "I'm proud that we kept fighting and in order to be the team I think we can be, we have to play better."
Third baseman Austin Thomas went 3 for 4 with two runs for Crown Point, who totaled 11 hits.
Mazure, Benich, and Jake Kocher each went 2 for 4 and had two RBIs for the Bulldogs.
"We can't make that mistake when the heart of their order is up, but I'll take it if we can learn from it going into conference," Crown Point coach Steve Strayer said. "We have good balance offensively and have played good teams well, but we have to start being hungry for wins."