LAGRANGE – Wawasee’s baseball season came to a close after a 13-0, five-inning loss to NorthWood in the first semifinal of the Class 3A Lakeland Sectional Friday night.
The Warriors had two threats to get on the scoreboard; Rieder Hunley led off the game with a single and a stolen base, and one out later Chase Rookstool drew a walk. After two were out in the third inning Jamie Slabaugh walked, Rookstool doubled and Jacob Garza drew the second free pass of the inning from Panther pitcher Drew Minnich.
The other three innings the Warriors went down in order.
On the other hand NorthWood battered Wawasee’s young pitching staff for a total of 15 hits, including nine that went for extra bases. Panther senior Tanner Cleveland homered twice, the second time on the front end of back-to-back jacks with Brant Mast in the third inning. Drake Gongwer led off the botton of the fourth with a homer, and NorthWood scored in all four innings they came to bat.
Wawasee coach Brent Doty pulled his starter, sophomore Jacob Garza, after the first hitter of the second inning, NorthWood’s 10th batter of the game, in an attempt to stop the bleeding, but to no avail.
The Warriors finished their season at 8-20-1. NorthWood advances to the sectional final at 11 a.m. Monday, when they will face Fairfield, who beat host Lakeland 7-1 in the other semifinal.
NORTHWOOD 13, WAWASEE 0
(5 inn.)
W    000    00    –    0    3    1
N    324    4x    –    13    15    0
Wawasee – Jacob Garcia (L. 1-plus IP, 6H, 4R, 4ER, 0BB, 0K), Rieder Hanley (2.1 IP, 8H, 8R, 8ER, 1BB, 2K), Cayden Wegener (0.2IP, 1H, 1R, 1ER, 1BB, 0K)
NorthWood – Drew Minnich (W, 3IP, 3H, 0R, 0ER, 2BB, 1K), Chad Sellers (1 IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, OK), Drake Gongwer (1 IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 1K)
2B – Minnich (N), Brant Mast (N), Sellers (N), Chase Rookstool (W), Payton Bear (N), Vincent Miranda (N)
HR – Tanner Cleveland 2 (N), Mast (N), Gongwer (N)
Records: Wawasee 8-20-1, NorthWood 16-8