Taylor tops TC in HHC tourney

KOKOMO — Tri-Central and Taylor squared off on the baseball diamond for the second time in less than two weeks. The second meeting came in the play-in game to the Hoosier Heartland Conference Tournament.

And like that first meeting, the Titans took advantage of four Trojan errors to come away with a 5-3 victory. Taylor moved on in the tournament, while TC spent the rest of the week preparing for this week’s Class A Anderson Prep Sectional.

The Trojans outhit the Titans 10-6 in last Monday’s contest. But those four errors led to three unearned runs.

The teams exchanged a run in the first with TC’s coming on Kaleb Hurt’s RBI single. Nate Cherry hit a leadoff single, advanced to second on Logan Sargent’s sacrifice bunt but was held at second on Trenton Patz’s infield single to third. Hurt then grounded a single to left to plate Cherry. The Trojans threatened to add more as Dane Adams walked to load the bases, but the next two batters struck out.

Tri-Central took a 2-1 lead in the third. With one out, Patz doubled and Hurt singled. Adams hit into a fielder’s choice, forcing Hurt at second but Patz scored.

Taylor tied the game with a run in the fourth and took a 3-2 lead with a run in the fifth. The Trojans evened the score at 3-3 when Jacob Cline slugged a two-out double, took third on a passed ball and stole home. But the Titans answered with two runs in the bottom of the sixth to take a 5-3 lead.

Sargent stroked a oneout single in the top of the seventh. But Patz grounded into a fielder’s choice and Hurt grounded out to shortstop to end the game.

Hurt had three hits and an RBI to lead TC’s offense. Patz doubled and singled. Cline also doubled, while Cherry, Sargent, Izzy Fowler and Brody Arnold had base hits.

Adams pitched 4.1 innings, giving up two unearned runs on two hits. He struck out seven and walked four. Cherry pitched 1.2 innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on four hits. He struck out two and walked three.

Hunter Williams pitched all seven innings for the Titans, allowing three runs (two earned) on 10 hits. He fanned four and walked one.

Tri-Central will take an 8-11 record into Thursday’s 5:30 p.m. sectional matchup against Liberty Christian.