Archive for Indianapolis

INDIANA MUSTANGS IMPROVE TO 3-0

COURTESY OF THE INDIANA MUSTANGS

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.

WESTERN PANTHERS HEAD FOR FIRST-EVER BASEBALL TITLE GAME

Western Panthers, Class 3A North Semi-State Champions! (SJ Photo: William Gibson)

BY DEAN HOCKNEY

KOKOMO, Ind. – After 35 seasons, 638 wins, 15 sectional championships and an induction into the Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame, Western High School baseball coach Ty Calloway had one thing missing from his resume – a trip to the IHSAA state finals. Win number 639 changed that. In a wild thriller at the Kokomo Class 3A North Semi-State last Saturday at cfd Investments Stadium in Highland Park, the Panthers pulled a stunner and rallied to topple Bellmont 11-6, and in the process, punch their ticket to Victory Field this Friday evening. After the big win, Calloway reflected on a few short words.

“I talked to the kids about the shortest commencement speech ever made,” said Calloway, with obvious emotion on his face. “It was nine words made by Winston Churchill. He got up and said, ‘Never give up. Never give up. Never give up.’ And that has been our motto the last three weeks.”

It is a good thing the Black Attack adopted the motto. After Jake Florek doubled and scored the go-ahead run on an Adam Bolen sacrifice fly in the top of the sixth, the Panthers lost the lead as Bellmont’s Brian Hakes rocked a long homer for a one run lead after six. And that is where the “never give up” motto came into play. While some teams might have folded under the pressure, the Panthers stood tall in the top of the seventh.

Dakota LaMott was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, Drew Bellus walked, and Austin LaFollette singled to load the bases with no outs. No. 7 hitter Devon Eaker then became a Western legend with a long single high off the stadium’s signature 30-foot right field fence, scoring LaMott and Bellus to take a 7-6 lead – a lead they would not relinquish.

“We were going to try and take a few pitches there, and we did and got a couple of guys on base with a hit by pitch and a walk,” said Calloway. “Give Eaker credit; that was a huge hit by a sophomore.”

By the time the dust had settled, Western posted six runs and held a commanding 11-6 lead going into the bottom of the seventh. After walking the leadoff Bellmont hitter, Evan Warden retired the final three Brave batters, sending the Panthers to the programs first-ever state championship game.

“I will take this. I will take this over all of the others,” said Calloway when asked how this win stacked up against his first 638. “They have all been sweet. We have been close a few times, but it sure was nice to get over the hump. Give these kids credit, they kept working hard and we got it done.”

Florek had a monster day for the Panthers, going 3 for 4 with a pair of doubles, two runs scored and three RBI’s. In fact, the numbers six, seven and eight hitters – LaFollette, Eaker and Florek – combined to go 8 for 11 at the plate, with six RBI’s, six runs scored and three extra base hits.

“It was for the team,” said Florek. “We played No. 5 Zionsville this year and got down 2-0 and we came back and scored 10 runs the next inning. We knew we had to repeat that. We had to stay calm and do what he knew we could do.”

Bolen was another key ingredient to the win, getting things started for the Panthers with a first inning triple, then scoring on a LaMott base hit. He added an RBI double in the fourth and a sacrifice fly in the sixth.

“All I had to do was keep calm and not let my emotions take over,” said Bolen. “I had faith in our guys. I knew we would get it done. We like to call it ‘beast mode.’ It just gets us pumped up and confident. We just have to stay confident and play solid baseball.”

Western (24-9) will play the Braves of Indianapolis Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School (21-8) on Friday at 7:30 p.m. for the Class 3A state title at Victory Field in Indianapolis. Brebeuf upset No. 3-ranked Greensburg 10-9 in the Plainfield South Semi-State to advance to the finals.

“We played Brebeuf in the Benton Central tournament a few years back, so we know the program although the players will be different,” said Calloway.

And now the quest for Ty Calloway’s 640th career win is on – and that win would bring with it the first baseball state championship for the Western Panthers. Never give up …

DARIO FRANCHITTI WINS THIRD INDIANAPOLIS 500

Under a yellow finish, Dario Franchitti leads Scott Dixon and Tony Kannan across the Yard of Bricks to win his third Indianapolis 500.

BY DEAN HOCKNEY

INDIANAPOLIS – On a day when all eyes seemed to be on the temperature gauge, in the end, they returned to the track to watch the new Dallara chassis cross the Indianapolis 500 yard of bricks for the first time as Dario Franchitti captured his third the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.

“What a race. What a race,” exclaimed Franchitti shortly after stepping out of his No. 50 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car. “This means the world. This is Indianapolis. To be on this trophy on either side of Dan (Wheldon), that means more than anything.”

Franchitti won the 96th running of the Indy 500 in record fashion, as the race saw 34 lead changes – breaking the previous race high of 31. But it was the final attempt at a pass that was the most thrilling. Shortly after taking the white flag, Takuma Sato attempted to pass Franchitti on the low side of Turn 1, but lost traction and spun, narrowly missing Franchitti before smashing into the short shoot wall nose first. Franchitti would win under caution, while teammate Scott Dixon finished second and good friend Tony Kannan third.

“I moved over and I saw he was coming,” said the three-time milk drinker. “I came back over and I moved up the track. He got loose underneath me. It kind of reminds me of Emerson (Fittipaldi) and Little Al (Unser) at the end there.

Franchitti said three-time Indy 500 champion Johnny Rutherford had presented him a copy of his book, which he read this week.

“I’ve been studying my buddy JR’s book, and he said he hoped to welcome me into the three-time club,” said Franchitt, who also won in 2007 and 2010. “To be in the company of guys like that means so much. What a great race today.”

“After being cleared by the track medical staff, Sato said, “I was going for the win. I kept pushing and overtaking. On the very last lap, I had a good tow from Dario. I thought I had the job done, but he kept pushing and didn’t give me enough room so that I was below the white line. It was a very exciting race and an incredible weekend.”

For the complete story, see the May 29 issue of the Sports Journal of Central Indiana. And don’t miss Photo Editor William Gibson’s sensational picture of the Sato spin next to Franchitti.