|Lanesville baseball team’s magical run ends in state finals|
By Dennis Dunn
Special CorrespondentWhen the 2016 campaign began in April, the Lanesville baseball team knew they had a chance to be a good team and didn’t think they would be in line to capture their first ever state championship.
On Saturday, June 18, the Eagles found themselves in the Class A State Finals game at Victory Field in Indianapolis against Daleville. However, it wasn’t meant to be as the Broncos claimed the 4-0 win. This was the third time this season the Eagles had been shutout.
Offensively, the Eagles can hit the ball as they scored 10 or more runs eight times this year.
“We’ve been finding a way to manufacture runs but just couldn’t do it today,” said Eagles coach Zach Payne, who just finished his second year. “They had a good pitcher (Brandon Vermillion) though. He made good pitches when he had to.”
Vermillion, now 11-4, will continue his career at Anderson University, pitched seven innings and gave up four hits, walked one and struck out 11. As for his counterpart, Brenden Bube (6-5) pitched six innings for the Eagles and gave up four runs, six hits, four walks and three strikeouts. Cameron Harvey closed out the game by pitching the seventh inning and gave up one hit.
The Eagles had a chance to get on the scoreboard in the bottom of the first inning as Ryan McCubbins smacked a double with two outs. He was then stranded on second base after the next batter flew out for the third out.
The Broncos had a doubles in the second and third innings, but couldn’t get the runner across the plate. The Eagles had a hard time putting the bat on the ball as they struck out six times in the first three innings.
In the top of the fourth inning, the Broncos T.J. Price, who was facing a 3-1 count, drilled a Bube offering over the left field fence for the 1-0 lead.
“I am blessed to be here, honestly,” Bube said. “It was a dream ever since I was a little kid, but we are not satisfied, but our goal is to work in the offseason ad get better. Hopefully we will be back here next season.
“I didn’t expect to get this far this year. I expected to win sectional and probably a game in the regional. I think we showed everyone what we can do. The ball just bounced their way today. Baseball’s a game of inches.”
The Broncos added three insurance runs in the fifth inning as they had bases loaded and Elliott Jackson cleared the bases with a triple down the right field line to make it 4-0. The Eagles failed to get a hit over the final three innings.
“We went into the postseason with a losing record,” Payne said. “We played some good teams. Down the stretch, they kind of kicked our teeth in a little bit, but our kids learned from it instead of shying away or just folding.
“We’re one of two teams playing in Class A baseball.”
McCubbins, Mitchell Bailey, Harvey and Jon Will all had hits for the Eagles, but McCubbins was the only extra base hit.
“We’re disappointed that we couldn’t come out on top because we gave ourselves a chance to stay in the game,” Payne said. “We’re one of two teams playing 1A baseball today, so we’re lucky to be here. But we wish we had got it.”
The Broncos finished the year 21-9 and the Eagles were 15-12.
Saturday, June 18,