Boone Grove defeated South Adams 1-0 in 10 innings to win the Class 2A Whiting Regional championship.

WHITING — It was just how Boone Grove drew it up.

Seriously though.

With runners on first and third in the 10th inning of Saturday's Class 2A Whiting Regional championship, Dylan Paul took off from first base with intentions of getting in a pickle for Tanner Barron to score from third.

As Paul broke for second, South Adams pitcher Mark Clary stepped off the mound to pick Paul off, but the throw sailed over the second baseman's head allowing Barron to score the game's only run and securing a 1-0 win over the Starfires.

"It's exactly what we wanted, that's the play," Boone Grove coach Pat Antone said. "We practiced it all week and it sure as (heck) paid off (Saturday). This team is a bunch of one-pitch grinders, there's no question about it. They did a lot of good things today but the best thing we did tonight was compete and they did that one pitch at a time."

In a game all but assumed to be low scoring, the aces for each team showed why they were pitching for a regional crown. South Adams starter Grant Besser threw 7 2/3 two-hit innings with 13 punchouts before being pulled for hitting his pitch count. For Boone, Ty Bothwell was tremendous again with 8 2/3 innings of three-hit ball, also striking out 13.

"I never felt like I settled in, my heart was pounding the entire game," Bothwell said. "After my first couple warm-up pitches, I felt like I pulled something in my back and didn't feel like I could go more than four innings, it hurt so bad. I just had to find a way to battle through it because I knew that the guys believed in me and I knew what I had to do to come through for them.

"We're kind of like flies, we just don't go away. We're usually in it to the end and we're loud and enthusiastic 100 percent of the time."

Bothwell exited in the eighth with runners on first and third and two outs with Bryce Morris set to come out of the bullpen. Morris — with a little motivation from the South Adams side — would get Joe Stuber to pop out to Taylor Piazza to end the inning.

"They were talking (trash) that they were gonna hit my 'meatballs,'" Morris said. "I was just throwing as hard as I could and I got him with my curveball and got out of the inning. The dugout and the fans over there made me want to shut them down even more."

Morris turned in 1 1/3 scoreless behind Bothwell to earn the win.

"Bryce Morris did the same thing he did in the first game, he got ahead and threw strikes," Antone said. "Ty competed again. I don't think he had his 'A' or 'B-plus' stuff but he competed and got all the way through eight innings. I couldn't' have asked any more of those two."

"That was amazing," Bothwell added of Morris. "I don't know how else to explain it except he did what he came in to do. I'm proud of him 100 percent. I knew as soon as he went in that we were gonna have shot at winning this."

Barron accounted for half of the hits for the Wolves (20-5) with a 2 for 3 day, adding a stolen base in the 10th inning before eventually scoring.

"He had a very good day in both games," Antone said. "He got a great jump stealing second base there and he had a good read on the winning play as well. He was huge for us."

It is the first regional crown for Boone since 2008 and No. 1 for Antone, who's in his first year as a head coach.

"I've coached with some really good coaches at some really good programs and I've never won a regional, so this one feels really good, but I'm more so happy for these guys," he said.

B.G. will take on Lafayette Central Catholic next Saturday at either Kokomo or Plymouth.

"This year's been a grind and we've been working at it and I'm proud of my guys that worked their butts off for this," Bothwell said. "This couldn't have went any better."


Sports Reporter

CJ grew up shadowing his father, Jim, at various prep events and now follows in his footsteps as a sports reporter at The Times. A Purdue University graduate, his allegiances lie with the Boilermakers, Cincinnati Bengals and Cincinnati Reds.