MUNSTER | Monday's Class 4A Munster Sectional would've been more enjoyable to watch had fans had blocks of ice to sit on in the 95-degree temperature.
You want ironmen? You had two of them in Game 1.
Highland eliminated Morton, 4-2, as winner Nick Christsensen threw 83 pitches in six innings to out-duel Aurelio Cazares, whose pitch count reached an amazing 134 for seven innings.
Game 2 saw No. 1-ranked Lake Central struggle in every phase before brushing aside pesky Lowell, 9-3, and leaving coach Jeff Sandor anything but happy.
"I thought we stunk this game. We were lucky to get away with a win," Sandor said. "When your kid goes 3 2/3 innings and throws 80 pitches, that's not good. We struck out too many times. Hopefully, we wake up."
Lake Central (27-1) and Highland (11-18) were to meet for the championship Monday night.
Jordan Minch cracked a two-run homer in the first for Highland but Morton (10-14) tied it in its half on back-to-back RBI doubles by Chris McCormack and Jesse Escamilla.
Danny Hamilton's RBI single in the third and Luke Polster's RBI double in the fifth accounted for the final.
Minch, the staff ace, worked the seventh in relief and fanned Angel Vanderdyz, Brock Daniels and Billy Rosas on 10 pitches.
"Nick Christensen is 3-and-7 and he's pitched really well for us but we just haven't been able to score runs," coach Danny Miller said. "That was the plan today — to get five or six innings from him and then go with Jordan."
Christensen struck out 12 on a four-hitter.
"My offspeed pitches were working a lot better today," he said. "Sometimes we play extremely well and sometimes we just don't bring it, but we're a different team now — especially our defense — and our bats have warmed up considerably with the weather."
Adam Fulk drilled a two-run, 400-foot homer and Alec Olund had a solo shot in the LC win. The Indians also scored twice on passed balls.
For Lowell (9-20), which committed three errors, Bryan Thomas and Tyler Hamm had RBI singles and Austin Magley a solo home run.