Baseball: Carmel Catholic lives to play on Saturday with regional semifinal win over Warren
Carmel vs Warren regional baseball game at Warren.
Updated: May 29, 2012 6:00PM
Years from now, the No. 1 thing fans will remember about Carmel’s 8-7 victory over host Warren on Thursday in the Class 4A baseball regional semifinals will be the home run hit by Pat Kenney in a losing cause.
Guestimated to have traveled 450 feet, it landed in the outfield of a faraway softball diamond and one-hopped that fence. It went so far that 30 minutes after the game, Carmel coach Joe May said, “Word has it, Kenney’s home run just landed.”
And he wasn’t kidding.
The seventh-inning blast pulled Warren within 8-7 with no out, but relieved Quentin Sefcik (Kenney was the first hitter he faced) retired the next three batters on a strikeout, pop up and strikeout to get Carmel (23-11) into Saturday’s regional final against Highland Park. Warren finished 17-17-1.
Carmel led 6-0 after scoring a half-dozen times in the bottom of the second. But Warren got four runs in the third, knocking out Corsair Alex Young, who was all over the map, giving up four hits and four walks.
Carmel got its six runs after there were two out and two on. Warren starter Adam Reuss walked the next four batters, and an infield error by Jimmie Nickell let two runs score and ended Reuss’ day. Nickell then came on and pitched very well the rest of the way.
After Warren made it 6-4, Carmel got a pair on junior DH Tyler Murphy’s two-run blast, his third clout of the season.
“It felt really good. I don’t know if ‘struggle’ is the right word, but the last few weeks I haven’t been hitting the ball the way I can,” Murphy said. “I’m happy coach (Joe May) kept me in the lineup and these guys had faith in me.”
In the other dugout, Warren coach praised the relief work of Nickell.
“He came in and did a great job, and we rallied behind him,” the coach said. “I thought we started playing pretty well. We gave up the two runs, but we battled back. We didn’t quit.”