Tag Archives: Emma Ulm

Illiana Christian tops Centerville for IHSAA 1A state championship

BY STEVE KRAH
http://www.IndianaRBI.com

Illiana Christian announced its presence on the state baseball scene with authority Friday, June 17 at Victory Field in Indianapolis.
In just the second year of IHSAA tournament eligibility and third year since the school moved from Lansing, Ill., to Dyer, Ind., the unranked Vikings topped No. 7 Centerville 10-1 for the Class 2A state title at the State Finals.
It is Illiana Christian’s first IHSAA state championship in any sport. Centerville, who first belonged to the IHSAA in 1912, was going for the same distinction.
“We stuck together as a team,” said Vikings coach Jeff VanderWoude, who saw his squad get a run batted, hit or run scored in from 10 different players. “It’s a whole team. It’s a family. I’m just so proud of these guys.”
Pacing Illiana Christian (22-7) in RBIs was senior Gabe VanRoekel (2), freshman Gavin Meyer (2), junior Kevin Corcoran (1), senior Adam Walters (1) and senior Tyler Barker (1). Six different Vikings had one hit — VanRoekel, Meyer, Corcoran, Walters, senior Ian VanBeek and senior Austin Maslanka.
Junior Cody DeJong (3), VanRoekel (2), junior Josh Vis (2), VanBeek (1), Walters (1) and sophomore Isaac VanderWoude (1) scored the runs.
“We competed one pitch at a time,” said Jeff VanderWoude. “Win that one pitch. Don’t worry about anything else. We did that.”
Corcoran (5-1) went the distance on the mound. The left-hander gave up two hits and one earned run to go with 10 strikeouts and three walks over 98 pitches.
Centerville (21-6) scored its run in the top of the first inning and Illiana Christian responded with four in its half of the stanza.
“Corcoran was a little nervous,” said VanderWoude. “He settled down.”
Said Bulldogs coach Tracey Crull, “This is not the way we wanted to play. But sometimes that happens in baseball. This just wasn’t our night.”
The Bulldogs turned an inning-ending double play in the sixth as senior shortstop and L.V. Phillips Mental Attitude Award winner Keegan Schlotterbeck gobbled up a grounder and fired to senior first baseman Zach Thompson, retiring runner Maslanka (single) and hitter Meyer.
Illiana Christian took an 10-1 lead with four two-out runs in the fourth.
VanBeek cracked a one-out single and scored on Corcoran’s two-out single. Courtesy runner Vis (running for Corcoran) scored on an error that allowed DeJong to reach base. VanRoekel singled in DeJong. Barker’s bases-loaded walk forced home VanRoekel.
The Vikings scored twice in the third inning for a 6-1 advantage.
After putting two runners on against senior right-hander Logan Drook — DeJong (hit by pitch) and VanRoekel (walk), junior righty Jacob Crowe was brought in to pitch for Centerville.
Drook (5-1) gave up six runs (two earned) and one hit with four walks over two innings and 54 pitches. Crowe pitched four innings and 76 pitching, giving up five hits, four runs (one) and striking out two and walking three.
“(Drook and Crowe) had been amazing all year,” said Crull. “That is very uncharacteristic. We had some control issues early and hit a couple batters. I wasn’t concerned because I knew these kids would keep battling through a 4-1.”
Walters got on by fielder’s choice. When Meyer lofted a sacrifce fly deep to right field both DeJong and Walters scored on the play.
Illiana Christian went down in order in the bottom of the second as did Centerville in the top of the third.
The Vikings turned a double play for the first two outs in the Centerville second.
Crowe led off the frame by being plunked by a pitch. He was doubled up when junior Collin Clark hit a line drive to senior second baseman Levi Hescott who flipped to first baseman DeJong.
Illiana Christian tallied four runs in the bottom of the first inning for a 4-1 lead.
Isaac VanderWoude drew a one-out walk, Corcoran reached on an error and was spelled by courtesy runner Vis and DeJong walked to load the bases
VanderWoude scored when VanRoekel was hit by a pitch. Vis scored on a wild pitch. Walters’ groundout plated DeJong. Meyer’s single drove in VanRoekel
Centerville went up 1-0 with a run in the top of the first inning.
Drook rapped a one-out single, moved to second and third on pitches in the dirt and scored on senior Jamari Pamplin’s two-out triple.
The Bulldogs were playing with caps that had “Emma’s Light” emblazoned on the back — a design by senior players. Emma Ulm, a volleyball and basketball player who would have been in the Class of 2022, was killed in a 2020 worksite accident at 16.
“(The seniors) wanted to make sure she was recognized throughout the year,” said Crull. “It was critical.”