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State bound - Again

Jun. 9—JASPER — For the Barr-Reeve Vikings, a GPS will not be needed to find the way back to Victory Field. They will just take the same route they took last year.

For coach Trevor McConnell and his Vikings (27-6), B-R will be back in in the Class A state finals — again.

Barr-Reeve posted a 9-2 win for their 27th win of the season, as the Vkings had 11 hits against Indianapolis Lutheran for the second win of the day. Matt Lashley and Jake Pauw combined to hold back Indianapolis Lutheran and limit them to just two runs.

After a 1-0 win over Shakamak, B-R bats opened in the second game, securing a rematch with Lafayette Central Catholic Friday.

"I think we were never going to be arrogant. We preach humility and staying hungry. We were never going to talk about it out loud too much, but I think collectively, inside the walls of our facility and in our dugout, everybody wanted to get back there. We had a sour taste in our mouth of losing 1-0 on a balk and we felt like we belonged up there and played our tails off. I think all of us way down in the depths of our depths, just hoping you get back there and get another shot at it," said McConnell.

"In baseball, particularly, one pitcher can really change things. Jax Cox (of Shakamak) had us on the ropes. If they get a timely hit or two, we may have gone home in the morning. Baseball is just a funny game and it takes a lot of luck, and you've got to be good. We were fortunate today, but you make your own luck in some ways. We've got veteran guys who've been there and they know what to expect. They've been in these environments. Last year, it was all new to us, and just like today, knowing exactly what the routine was going to be helped. Going into next week, we know what the routine is going to be, so it's not all new. There's no price tag you can put on just going through it and living it last year."

Lashley had a quick first inning throwing for B-R and the offense staked him a run after Ethan Stoll opened the bottom of the inning with a single, he found himself on third and then scored on a Seth Wagler sacrifice.

Hurler Lashley was helped by a double play in the top of the second, but the bottom of the second quickly became more about umpire rulings than the play on the field. There were questions about Kylan Lengacher's bat, and after a double from Braydon Knepp, he was called out on the hidden ball trick, but that too was overturned.

In the bottom of the third, a single from Ethan Graber quickly ended up with him on third. Seth Wagler then doubled in his second run of the night. Levi Lester added a single and Kendall Graber singled in two runs to make it 4-0. Lutheran brought in Gehrig Whitlock to replace starter Owen Lechner. Lengacher added a single to drive in Kendall Graber and B-R made it 5-0. Lashley hit a batter to open the fourth, but immediately doubled up the next batter on a shot blasted back at Lashley. He then got a K and finished off the inning on just 10 pitchers.

Stoll and Graber then reached and Pauw was was hit, while Lester drove two more runs on an error and B-R took a 7-0 lead.

In the top of the fifth, Lashley loaded the bases and Pauw came in with one out. Hudson Mills singled in Lutheran's first two runs of the night, but Pauw, got the next two batters on eight pitchers and put out the fire.

Kylan Lengacher singled and scored and triple from Seth Wagler drove in the ninth run as B-R went up 9-2. Pauw had two strikeouts in the top of the sixth and Lutheran was down to its final three outs. Pauw left little to the imagination in the seventh with two Ks and guaranteed B-R's trip back to Indianapolis.

B-R will take on LCC (27-6) at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, followed by Brebeuf Jesuit (25-9) vs. New Prairie (26-5) in the 3A game.

Admission is $15 per person per day. Children, age 5 and younger admitted free. All ticket sales will be digital only through the Indianapolis Indians at IndyIndians.com.