MUNSTER | Lake Central knew it was trotting out for Saturday's Class 4A Munster Sectional championship being viewed as the underdog, even though the Indians were riding a nine-game winning streak.
Without feeling the pressure, the Indians took advantage of a stellar performance from pitcher Brenden Seren to record a 4-1 win over the host Mustangs and win their fourth consecutive sectional championship.
"Going into this season, we were pretty down on ourselves," said L.C. catcher Alex Mantel, who had a key sacrifice fly in the fourth inning. "We couldn't really find it. We knew the last (nine) games we won consecutively, we were like 'We found it, man.' Let's just go and win us a sectional championship. We knew if we played our game and did what we needed to do, we could beat (Munster)."
Seren limited Munster's damage to seven hits and struck out 11 batters.
"We knew we had no pressure on ourselves," Seren said. "Throwing in the heat just makes me feel a lot more loose. My curveball was looking really good. It was starting in the zone and then breaking right out of the zone. Everybody was falling for it."
Lake Central coach Jeff Sandor praised Seren as well as the other seniors on the team.
"He was absolutely unbelievable," Sandor said. "I can't say enough about that kid. I'm happy for him and I'm happy for this group of seniors. They went through a lot of adversity this year."
Lake Central (21-10) scored a run in the first inning when a double from Chuck Alexa plated Seren. The Indians would plate three runs in the fourth inning, including a pair when Blake Bosold's flyout was dropped in left field.
Munster (27-5) scored its lone run in the third inning, but couldn't get much else going despite a solidly pitched game from Connor Manous.
"The approach we had today was not an approach we had normally," Munster coach Bob Shinkan said. "We left guys on early in the first couple of innings. In a championship game against a team like Lake Central, you've got to be able to take care of business. Their pitcher made the pitches and we just didn't come through. That's just baseball."