Buse’s special K effort slays Tigers; Rangers roll early

From Herald Staff Reports

Sure, seniors are nice to have around in the postseason, but to solve their opening tests of the baseball postseason, Heritage Hills and Forest Park both found younger guys can have their moments, too.


While junior Daniel Lusk notched three RBIs and freshman Gavin Knust pitched Forest Park into control during its 5-2 dismissal of Perry Central in the Class 2A sectional at South Spencer, Heritage Hills sophomore Spencer Buse dazzled at Braun Stadium in Evansville with a 13-strikeout performance on the mound to trip up Class 3A No. 7 Evansville Memorial, the defending champions who hung a nine-run loss on the Patriots during the regular season. Both favorites fell in the opening night of the Evansville sectional, as Gibson Southern toppled Mount Vernon 7-6 in eight innings and Heritage Hills (13-13) followed by picking off Memorial (20-6). The Pats and Titans will tangle in the semifinals at 10 a.m. CDT Monday, with the winner to face Evansville Bosse or Boonville in the championship later on Memorial Day.

Forest Park (11-10) advanced to a showdown with No. 3 South Spencer in the semifinals, set for 6 EDT tonight on the Rebels’ home turf at Joe Hargis Field in Rockport. Evansville Mater Dei and North Posey square off in the other semifinal with the championship set for Monday night.

Heritage Hills’ end-of-season rise gained considerably more steam Thursday thanks to Buse, who helped the Pats win their fifth straight game and ninth in their last 11 outings after they stood at 4-11 a month ago today. Buse (4-4) stacked up the 13 K’s amid just two walks and six Memorial hits. And when Buse exited the game with one out in the seventh, fellow sophomore Nathan Lamar added to the strikeout total by fanning a pair of Tigers to secure the final two outs.

Memorial notched its run in the bottom of the second inning, but the Patriots retaliated with a tying tally in the third and two go-ahead runs in the fifth off Tiger reliever Drew Ashley, an Indiana University commit. Austin Schnuck scored two of the Pats’ runs and Simon Scherry came home with the other, with Scherry and Mitchel Becher each notching an RBI.

At Rockport, Forest Park accomplished all of its scoring early, scooting to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first and extending to a 5-0 cushion after three. Lusk delivered a two-RBI single in the first and drove in another run in the third. Aaron Braunecker also drove in a run as part of the Rangers’ three-spot in the third.

Braunecker also entered to pitch in the fifth inning, and he merged with Knust (3-4) to keep the Commodores at bay as each Ranger hurler surrendered just one run.

Tigers 7, Patriots 0: Heritage Hills couldn’t muster any offense off Evansville Memorial hurler Lily Beurman as the Patriots’ season came to a shutout conclusion in the Class 3A softball sectional semifinals at Boonville.

Beurman fanned eight Patriots, and Memorial (16-8) steadily built its lead by scoring in four of the seven innings. Brianna Quinn produced two hits, while Lauren Caswell recorded a double and Miranda Miller and Zoglman added singles to account for the other Patriot hits. Miller and shortstop Kayley Bauer played the final games of their careers, as they’re the only two departing seniors from a Heritage Hills team that wrapped up with an 11-15 record.

Wildcats 151, Raiders 180: With Carson Pierce firing a medalist round of 36 and teammate Jack Bies right behind at 37, Jasper topped Southridge in the second dual match this season between the county neighbors, with this one played on Raiders’ home course at Huntingburg Country Club.

Bryan Hagan (38) and Luke Lehane (39) further boosted the Wildcats, while Drew Dearing (39) and Coby Reller (44) posted the leading Raider scores.

Christmas Lake quadrangular: As Heritage Hills and Forest Park both amassed team totals of 162, Carter Cox’s 42 was the tiebreaking difference that gave the win to the Patriots via the fifth-player score. Evansville Central (175) and Tell City (205) brought up the rear.

Alex Gordon (39), Rylan Cox (40) and Dakota Deller (41) paced the Patriots while Forest Park’s Bryce Brosmer landed the day’s low score at 38 and Evan Weyer added a 39 for the Rangers.

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