LAPORTE | Chuck Alexa showed why he's the cleanup hitter.
The senior first baseman took care of nearly every mistake that Lake Central dared to make.
Alexa scored two runs and drove in the other three, helping to create a comeback that led L.C. to a 5-4 regional championship win over Hobart.
The Indians (23-10) will play Noblesville in the North Semistate on Saturday.
"We want to just keep going in the playoffs," Alexa said. "No one wants to stop playing. Especially for the seniors, this is it for us, we don't want to stop."
Alexa hit two doubles, cleaning up after the Indians gave up their 1-0 lead and fell behind 4-1 in the third.
He won the game with a double in the seventh, scoring Brenden Seren, who was issued a two-out walk.
"Boy, was (Alexa) huge today," Lake Central coach Jeff Sandor said. "He was nails. Big players make big plays."
Hobart scored four runs in the third inning behind five hits and a lead-off hit-by-pitch.
A single by Nick Bokun in the inning scored two runs and gave Hobart a 3-1 lead.
Lake Central answered in the fifth inning with three straight hits and three runs to tie the game at 4-4. Alexa, who hit a two-run double, later scored the tying run on a two-out single by Johnny Gbur.
Seren threw the complete-game win for Lake Central, pitching seven innings after missing the team bus Saturday morning because he was in urgent care with a 101-degree fever.
"Basically I'm at 100 percent now," Seren said. "This is amazing. I've been around here a while and I've seen it done my sophomore year, I've seen us as a team win the regional and as a junior we couldn't pull it off, so it's a great feeling to win this my senior year."
Hobart had a 3-for-3 day from Alex Batistatos.
"We never quit and we fought all the way through to the end," Hobart coach Bob Glover Jr. said. "Truthfully, that's all that you can ask for. We didn't make a ton of mistakes on defense and that's just a good baseball team. When you get two good baseball teams on the field together, single elimination format, you're bound to get some good games to watch and I'm sure it was a good game for the fans, but they were just a little bit better today."
Lake Central 5, Concord 2: The Indians reached their fourth straight regional championship game with two runs in each the fourth and fifth innings.
L.C. fell behind 2-1 after the third inning, but sparked a rally with a two-run single by Brenden Seren in the fourth and a two-run, two-out single by Alec Olund in the fifth.
"Every game could be our last game together, so we've really gone into every game with that mentality," Olund said. "You can't overlook anyone, no matter what their record. Concord was 15-15 coming into the game, but they were up 2-1 on us in the fourth inning.
"Our senior leadership has really picked up on this journey we've been on and our younger guys have been behind us and we're playing terrific baseball."
The Indians (22-10) also picked up a win from Christian Sullivan who pitched four innings in relief after starter John Milaszewski left with hip soreness. Sullivan (3-1) struck out six in four innings and allowed just one base runner.
"(Sullivan) was dominant," Sandor said. "He filled the zone and did everything he had to. He pitched with the lead and came in there in that last inning and didn't worry about striking guys out, just getting his pitch and closing out the game. "
Olund went 3-for-3 with two runs and a pair of RBIs, Seren had two RBIs.
Hobart 8, Penn 3: Hobart took advantage of three Penn errors for a seven-run fourth inning to reach the regional title game.
After falling behind 3-0 through the first two innings, the Brickies started to ruffle the feathers of Penn starter Skylar Szynski, who had four of his six strikeouts in the first two innings.
After loading the bases without a score in the third, Hobart tied the game at 3-3 with one out and scored four more runs with two out in the fourth.
Drey Devereaux hit a double, scored a run and drove in another for the Brickies, who scattered five hits. Luke Budzielek was 1-for-3 with two RBIs and a run.
"Certainly you don't figure you'll get seven in one inning like that," Glover said. "When that thing started I think I was hoping for two or so, cut back into it a little bit. To our guys' credit we just kept working. They kept hitting after the point we could have stopped and been satisfied, but they punched in another run late, that was big."
Hobart pitcher Brandon Murray (10-1) started slow, walking three in the first inning and hitting two in the second. He finished with six walks and eight strikeouts.
"Everybody has a rough day here and there, ideally you don't want it to be in the first game of regionals, but that's the definition of a true team win," Murray said. "When pitching's not all there, the defense or something that isn't there that usually is, the offense really had my back today, so I could get my act together out there."