INDIANAPOLIS | Jimmy McNamara stood at the top of the Victory Field dugout steps before walking out for the seventh inning of Saturday's state championship game and counted in his head.
"Every out from the fifth inning on was just, eight more, seven more, six more," McNamara said. "Once we got close, I was like, OK. We're walking up the stairs to go out in the seventh and I'm just worried about getting the job done. I wanted to end it on a good note. "
McNamara recorded nine strikeouts, allowed just three hits and won the mental attitude award as Lake Central needed just one run in a 1-0 shutout of Indianapolis Roncalli for the Class 4A IHSAA baseball championship.
McNamara struck out six through the first three innings and didn't give up a base runner until the fourth. He walked one and pumped his fist when the walk was taken out at second base as his defense halted the threat with a double play.
"It was a gem," coach Jeff Sandor said. "That kid's battled and went to war all year. If you guys find another one better, tell me."
The Indians (32-1) only run came in the third inning after Ryan Burvan hit a two-out single up the middle. Burvan scored two hitters later on a single by Austen Wagoner.
"We haven't been hitting very well recently, but I thought they were going to come through and they did," McNamara said. "I didn't think one would be enough. I guess it was our day."
Lake Central left six runners on base and scattered four hits. Alec Olund had the game's only extra-base hit, a double with two out in the seventh inning.
Roncalli (23-9-1) threatened in the bottom of the fifth inning as Jordan Reeser reached on a bunt single, and took second on a throwing error. Aaron Schnell singled and stole second, but a fly ball to right ended the threat.
Lake Central holds three softball state titles, but this is the first baseball state title.
The shutout was the 14th of the year for the Indians and the seventh game that was decided by a run.
"I had these kids as freshmen. I was their freshman coach and we've got eight seniors out there that go to war for ya'," Sandor said. "If you ask them to run through a brick wall, they run through a brick wall for you. I couldn't be prouder. I really hope this means a lot to them. It sure as heck means a lot to me."