PREP BASEBALL | NORTHWEST INDIANA BASEBALL CHALLENGE
GRIFFITH | A little brotherly love went a long way for Times No. 4 Crown Point on Saturday morning.
Younger brother Scott Donley drove in the tying and winning runs with a pair of doubles, and big brother Jim pitched two hitless innings in relief for the win as Crown Point defeated No. 10 Griffith 10-4 in the Northwest Indiana Conference Challenge.
The Dogs (2-0) jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first on an RBI groundout from Nick Hladek. The Panthers (3-1) came back in the bottom of the frame with a pair of runs on RBI singles from Derek Hitt and Jacob Evanich to grab a 2-1 lead.
It was 3-2 Griffith in the fifth when Donley hit the first of his two big doubles. The sophomore took a 2-2 pitch from Jake Terpstra and drove it into the left-center gap to score Eric Clayton and knot the game at 3-3.
"Scott did a lot of hard work in the off-season to prepare himself for a varsity spot," Bulldog coach Steve Strayer said. "He had a great attitude about how he was going to approach this season, and the work he put in paid off for both him and the team."
The game was still tied at the end of five when Jim Donley, a senior, took over on the mound. He shut the door on the Panthers in the sixth, striking out Mike Barlow and Terpstra.
That set the stage for Scott's final-inning heroics.
"I wasn't too nervous," Scott Donley said. "I was thinking about attacking the ball and putting it in play. There was only one out at the time so I wanted to at least move the runners up."
Donley moved both runners across the plate with another double into left-center to make it 5-3. The Dogs ended up pouring on a seven-spot in the inning to put the game out of reach for the young Panthers.
"That was a good lesson for our young guys about playing a full 21 outs," Griffith coach Brian Jennings said. "We played tough and hung with a quality team for six innings. The young guys need to realize that they need to keep that same intensity level up for a full seven."