Archive for July 31, 2012



INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Mustangs improved their record to 3–0 with a hard-fought 16–10 overtime victory over the Indiana Generals (1–2) on July 29. The Generals defense shut down the Mustangs high-octane offense for nearly four quarters, an offense that was averaging 48 points per game in their first two games. Trailing 10–0 in the fourth quarter, the Mustangs finally hit pay dirt when quarterback Eric Hooks (North Central High School/University of St. Francis) hit two-way player Paul Carter (Northwest/St. Francis) for a 19-yard touchdown reception with eight minutes left in regulation. The Mustangs were able to tie the score at 2:20 left in the game with a 22-yard field goal by kicker Jon Pruesz.

The Mustangs home crowd’s prayers were answered when the Mustangs defense created a fumble by the Generals at the Mustangs four-yard line with 28 seconds left in the game, allowing the Mustangs one more chance to win in regulation. But with eight seconds left in the contest, Hooks threw his sixth interception of the night allowing the Generals one more opportunity. Generals kicker Ian McGarvey then lined up to attempt a potential game-winning 56-yard last-second field goal that was blocked. The blocked kicked was returned by Paul Carter III 75 yards, where an exhausted Carter, with one man to beat, was caught and tackled at the Generals 13 yard line by kicker McGarvey as time expired in regulation.

The coin toss in overtime was won by the Mustangs and during the Mustangs first possession of the overtime period, Hooks hit receiver Gavin Wisel (Trine University) for a 66-yard scoring strike to lock up the Mustangs third consecutive win 16-10, and remain undefeated.

Defensively the Mustangs were led by Jeep Adams (Ben Davis H.S.), who was credited with one sack and one fumble recovery, and safety Stefan Osby who finish the night with four tackles. The entire Mustangs defense stifled the Generals offense, holding their veteran team to only 136 yards of total offense.  Special teams also shined for the Mustangs with William Stubbs (Cathedral/Marian University) blocking a General’s punt, and Russell Peterson (Arlington/Hanover College) blocking two field goal attempts to assist in allowing the Mustangs offense to shine late in the fourth quarter.

Offensively, Mustangs quarterback Eric Hooks overcame a difficult passing day which included six interceptions to throw for 316 yards, including the big 66 yard strike to Gavin Wisel (Garrett/Trine) in overtime to lock in the win. Wisel finished the game with 171 yards on seven receptions including the game winner. On the season, Wisel is averaging 140 yards receiving per game while becoming one of Hooks favorite targets. Carter (Northwest/St. Francis) is another of Hooks favorite targets, catching seven passes for 56 yards and one touchdown.

The Mustangs are scheduled to play the Indiana Nighthawks on Saturday, Aug. 4 at Roncalli High School in a double-header with the Indiana General hosting the Lake Geneva Generals in the nightcap. Kickoff for the Mustangs vs. Nighthawks game is 5 p.m. The Indiana Nighthawks are in their first year and are hungry for a win standing winless at 0-3.

The Mustangs are looking for dedicated volunteers and corporate sponsors.  Advertising opportunities are available ranging from $75-1,500. For more information on the Indiana Mustangs, please contact General Manager Rich Castanias (317) 908-8399.


UCT is the 2012 Cal Ripken Ohio Valley Regional 12-under champions.


KOKOMO, Ind. – Two consecutive undefeated seasons – complete with UCT league and David A. Kasey Memorial Howard County Youth Baseball Tournament titles – were not enough for Jack Perkins. On July 30, he took his superior play one step further by throwing a no-hitter in the Ohio Valley Regional championship game to send the UCT 12-under all-stars to the Cal Ripken Major/60 World Series in Winchester, Mass. The local squad defeated the Kentucky champions from Scott County 7-0 at Southside’s major league diamond in Highland Park. UCT will play for the 12-under world title in the 46/60 division – which refers to the distance of the pitcher’s mound and base paths, respectively.

“It feels great,” said Perkins, who struck out six in the dominating win. “I worked hard for this; I even practiced with a pitching coach before the game. We worked really hard to get where we are today. It just feels great. To no-hit those guys; they are awesome hitters.”

Scott County manager Kevin Robb told Perkins after the game, “That was absolutely incredible what you did to us. To no-hit our kids who score a ton of runs is incredible. Take that with you to the World Series because you will have fun.”

Robb knows a little about the World Series as his squad tamed the Cal Ripken universe two years ago to capture the 10-under world title. That is what made this win a little sweeter for UCT – that and the fact this same team dominated UCT 17-1 last year in the Ohio Valley Regional.

“Oh, man, what can I say,” said UCT manager Jason Hurlock. “After getting beat by these guys last year, we just kept telling our kids that anything is possible. Just keep fighting – what else can I say. We came to play against a team (averaging 16 runs a game).”

UCT wasted little time getting on the scoreboard. As the visiting team, they grabbed a two-run lead on a Nate Hemmerich rocket that hit the right centerfield fence in the air – tearing down a sponsor banner in the process. The double scored Perkins and Noah Hurlock and was all the offense Perkins needed on the 85-degree Monday evening. The righty struck out the first two Scott County hitters, setting the tone for the rest of the night.

“He has nerves of steel,” said assistant coach Scott Perkins, the father of the winning pitcher. “He can accomplish anything and he wants to win so badly. Sometimes that overrides the talent, but he was on tonight. To no-hit this Scott County team is unbelievable. No one does that.”

In the second inning, Perkins walked Cameron Stiglich with one out, but Ryan Hannabach hit a one-hopper to Noah Hurlock at short, who stepped on second for one out and fired to first for the inning-ending double play. It was one of two DP’s UCT would register in the six-inning game.

“I think our defense was better than the no-hitter,” said Perkins. “They were awesome tonight.”

UCT put an insurance run on the board in the fourth inning as Hemmerich singled and scored on an RBI single up the middle by No. 9 hitter Luke Cameron. UCT then put the game away in the fifth. Brian Harding led off the inning with a deep home run to left center field. Perkins reached on a fielder’s choice and Hemmerich reached on a throwing error. That set up Breven Sanford, and he delivered the knockout punch with a high, long home run to left field to give Perkins and UCT a 7-0 lead – to which Perkins slammed the coffin shut by completing his no-no.

“We told our kids before the game that if we get up, they will come back at us,” said Coach Perkins. “They can score in waves. We expected that to come. So we didn’t expect this outcome – a no-hitter. It was an amazing team effort. Wow!”

After pool play, UCT entered the single-elimination portion of the OVR as the No. 5 seed. They downed No. 12 Southside, No. 4 Henderson, Ky. (13-0), and No. 1 Russiaville (11-1) to advance to the championship game. Scott County downed No. 7 Escanaba, Mich. (13-3) and No. 6 Green Bay, Wis. (6-3) to reach the finals.

UCT is the second Kokomo squad to win a Cal Ripken Ohio Valley Regional. In 1995, Southside won the Bambino OVR (Bambino was renamed Cal Ripken in 2000) and finished as the World Series runners-up. Now it is UCT’s turn to travel to Massachusetts and show the world what Kokomo baseball is about.

The World Series runs from Aug. 9-16 with opening ceremonies for the 10-team field scheduled for Aug. 8 at Robert J. Nutile Field. UCT is schedule to play its first pool play game against the New England champion on Aug. 9 at 5:30 p.m. The top three teams in each division advance to the single elimination finals.

If Jack Perkins, Nate Hemmerich and the rest of the UCT stars play offense and defense like they did at Southside, look for them to be one of those top three teams advancing out of the American Division of the Cal Ripken World Series. Enjoy the ride!


Jimmie Johnson leaves a trail of smoke as he burns his tires down the front stretch of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway after winning his fourth Brickyard 400. (Photo by Dean Hockney)


SPEEDWAY, Ind. – It is Jimmie Johnson, again! For a record-tying fourth time, JJ crossed the famed Yard of Bricks with the checked flag high above to capture the Brickyard 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Driving the No. 48 Lowe’s/Kobalt Chevrolet, Johnson tied his longtime Hendrick Racing teammate Jeff Gordon with four victories at the Brickyard.

“To come here and win is a huge honor,” said Johnson. “And to win four – four wins! I’m at a loss for words. It was a total team effort. We put it on them today. It was nice.”

Johnson joins the elite company of A.J. Foyt, Rick Mears, Al Unser and Jeff Gordon as a four time winner on the historic oval. Michael Schumacher won the United States Grand Prix Formula One race five times at Indy. Johnson led 99 of the 160 laps today in a race that saw 17 lead changes among 9 drivers.

“It’s wild,” Johnson said of joining the elite group of Indy champions. “It’s really wild for me to get my start in a Cup car for (Gordon). I just hoped to come here and race. I can remember watching the 500 on the couch with my grandfather, and I remember him telling me he came to Indy. It’s nice to create my own family memories here.”

Gordon, who had a strong car all afternoon, congratulated his teammate.

“My car was really tight, but it was fast – really fast,” said Gordon. “We will take a top five here in Indy. Congrats to Jimmie and Chad (Knaus) and those guys. They are a great team and they deserve to be in victory lane.”

Johnson was followed by Kyle Busch, Greg Biffle, Earnhardt and Gordon. Two other Hoosier drivers Ryan Newman (seventh) and Tony Stewart (10th) finished in the top 10.

“I don’t know that you can go around this place that fast,” said Busch of Johnson’s dominating win. “You talk about guys being in their own zip code, he was in his own country today.”

Earnhardt, a third top five car from the Hendrick stable, now tops the NASCAR Sprint Cup points lead after a fourth place finish. It is the first time he has held the season points lead since 2004. Earnhardt passed Matt Kenseth for the top spot and now holds a 14 point lead. Greg Biffle is third (22 points behind).

“If you run in the top five or top 10 enough, you will get points. But we would like to win some more races,” he said. “I know our fans would like us to win some more races. We are working real hard, really happy with our result today.”