Kolarik fans 14, doubles in 2 RBIs to lead Bulldogs to 5-2 Sectional semifinal win over Valparaiso

A USA-365.com Special Report by Dave Woodworth


The Crown Point Bulldogs warm up prior to their Class 4A Sectional 2 Semifinal game with the Valparaiso Vikings Friday, May 24, 2019. (Photos by Dave Woodworth)
The Bulldogs warm up with a view from their home dugout prior to their Sectional semifinal game with the Valparaiso Vikings Friday, May 24, 2019.
Members of the Valparaiso Vikings baseball team warm up in the outfield prior to their sectional semifinal game at Crown Point High School May 24, 2019. The skies were thick with clouds and rain was threatening, but the skies partially cleared up, allowing both the CP-Valpo and Portage-Hobart semifinal games to be played in near ideal 73 degree weather.
Members of the Valparaiso Vikings baseball coaching staff review game notes and plans prior to their sectional semifinal game at Crown Point High school on Friday, May 24, 2019.
Players from Crown Point and Valparaiso shake hands following the Bulldogs' 5-2 win over the Vikings 5-2. CP now advances to the sectional title game May 28 against the Portage Indians at 11 a.m. CDT. (Photos by Dave Woodworth)
Team (Record) / Inning 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
VALPARAISO (19-7, 9-5 DAC) 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 2 4 0
CROWN POINT (27-4, 9-1 DAC) 0 1 0 0 4 0 - 5 8 1

Friday, May 24, 2019 - Partly Cloudy, 73-degrees, 5 p.m. start in CROWN POINT, IN

WP - Gene Kolarik: 7 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 14 K, 2 BB
LP - Ryan Troxel: 4 2/3 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 K, 2 BB

Valparaiso Vikings (19-7, 9-5 in DAC)
Graham Gonzales (2B) 1-3, single, walk, RBI
Jack Cahill (CF) 1-3, single, RBI
Michael Jovanovic (3B) 0-3
Terry Busse (C) 0-3
Ty Gill (SS) 0-3
Spencer Reed (DH) 0-3
Ronny Morey (RF) 0-2, walk, run
Tyler Bukur (1B) 1-2, single
Noam Comstock (LF) 1-3, single, run

Crown Point Bulldogs (27-4, 9-1 DAC)
Jacob Bosse (CF) 0-3, walk, run
Josh Lindeman (DH) 2-3, 2 singles, run
Christian Mojica (3B) 1-3, single, stolen base, run
Jonathon Sabotnik (RF) 0-3, sac fly RBI
Gene Kolarik (P) 1-3, double, 2 RBIs, run
Frank Plesac (1B) 1-2, single, walk, run, RBI
Alex Rich (LF) 1-3, single
Drew Horton (2B) 1-3, single, stolen base, RBI
Zach Stubitsch (SS) 1-2, single, walk, run

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CROWN POINT (05-24-2019) The Crown Point Bulldogs started slowly in their Class 4A Sectional 2 Semifinal against their DAC rival, the Valparaiso Vikings, playing to a 1-1 tie after four innings. The Vikings briefly took a 2-1 lead in the top of the 5th before the Bulldogs' Gene Kolaric hit a two run double in the bottom of the 5th as CP too a 5-2 lead and held on with a dominant pitching performance by Kolarik, who struck out 14 Vikings.

Crown Point took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second as Frank Plesac drew a walk after two outs. Back-to-back singles by Alex Rich and Drew Horton allowed Plesac to score with Horton credited with the first RBI of the game.

Valparaiso would get the run back in a similar fashion as Noah Comstock singled a ground ball up the middle with two outs, advanced to second as Graham Comstock drew a walk, and scored on Jack Cahill's RBI single to left field.

The Vikings briefly took a 2-1 lead in the top of the 5th-inning, as Ronny Morey drew a walk, advanced to second base on Tyler Bukur's ground ball to third base after the throw to second was dropped for the Bulldogs' lone error on the night. Morey then scored on Graham Gonzales' RBI single to right field.

The Bulldogs had a big 5th-inning as Zach Stubitch led off with a single. After the next batter struck out, back-to-back singles by Josh Lindeman and Christian Mojica loaded up the bases. Jonathon Sobotnik hit a sacrifice fly to score Stubitch, tying up the game 2-2. That set the stage for the heroics by Kolarik. The tall right-handed pitcher lined a 1-0 pitch into the gap in right center field for a stand-up double, scoring Lindeman and Mojica for a 4-2 lead. Kolarik then scored on a follow-up single to right center by Plesac for the 5-3 lead and eventual final score.

The solid go-ahead double hit by Kolarik seemed to energize his pitching the following two innings, as he struck out six of the next seven Vikings' batters to wrap up the game. Kolarik finished with an impressive 14 strikeouts and just two walks.

The Vikings starting pitcher Ryan Troxel also started strong, recording three strikeouts in the first two innings, before finishing  with four strikeouts after 4 and 2/3rds innings. Grant Comstock gave up the final run in relief with two strikeouts as he pitched the final 1 and 1/3rd inning for Valpo.

With the win, Crown Point improved to a 27-4 record and will meet Portage in the Sectional Championship game Memorial Day Monday, May 27 at 11 a.m., CDT. Portage advanced with a 1-0 win over the Hobart Brickies in Friday night's late semifinal game.

USA-365.com Broadcast Note: We plan to follow the Crown Point Bulldogs boys baseball team throughout the IHSAA tournament, as long as they remain alive in the post-season, subject to our broadcast team limitations. (See schedule and season results below.) Crown Point's next baseball game is against the Portage Indians for the Sectional Championship on Monday, May 27 at Crown Point High School. Our Internet radio coverage on USA-365.com begins with the pregame show at 10:45 a.m., and the first pitch scheduled for 11 a.m., CDT.

2019 CROWN POINT Bulldogs (27-4)
21-8 (2018) 19-9 (2017) 19-9 (2016), 25-6 (2015)
Coach Steve Strayer (23rd year)
All games at 4:30 unless otherwise indicated, DAC games in CAPS
3-26 (W) 4-1 at Hanover Central (6-1)
3-28 (W) 18-2 (5 inn.) Bishop Noll (3-4)
3-30 (Rain) 2A No. 3 Boone Grove (4-1)
4-2 (W) 11-4 CHESTERTON
4-3 (W) 8-5 at CHESTERTON

Lafayette Invitational

4-5 (W) 11-5 at Jefferson (5-7)
4-6 (W) 9-2 at McCutcheon (4-4)
4-6 (W) 14-4 (6 inn.) at Harrison (4-4)

4-9 (W) 11-3 LAKE CENTRAL (16-5)
4-10 (L) 5-6 (6 inn.) at 4A LAKE CENTRAL (16-5)
4-13 (W) 1-0 (8 inn.) Penn (6-2)
4-13 (W) 12-6 Concord (2-4)

4-16 (W) 4-1 MICHIGAN CITY
4-17 (W) 10-0 (5 inn.) at MICHIGAN CITY
4-23 (W) 11-0 (5 inn.) LaPORTE
4-24 (W) 6-0 at LaPORTE
4-25 (W) 10-0 Kankakee Valley
5-4 (W) 3-1 VALPARAISO (13-5)
5-4 (L) 0-1 Andrean (17-1)
5-6 (W) 7-5 at VALPARAISO (13-5)
5-7 (W) 10-2 MERRILLVILLE (10-10)

5-8 (W) 7-5 (8 inn.) at MERRILLVILLE (10-11)
5-10 (W) 7-1 at Hobart (11-10)
5-14 (W) 11-3 at PORTAGE (12-9-1)
5-15 (L) 1-3 PORTAGE (12-9-1)
5-16 (W) 6-3 Munster (15-5)
5-18 (W) 20-6 Plymouth (at McCutcheon)
5-18 (L) 6-7 at McCutcheon
5-20 (Mon) Illiana Christian (cancelled)

Class 4A Sectional 2 (at Crown Point)
5-22 (W) 2-1 (10-inn.) Chesterton (quarterfinal)
5-24 (W) 5-2 Valparaiso (semifinal)
5-27 (Mon) Portage 11 a.m. (championship)

Class 4A Regional (at LaPorte)

6-1 (Sat) 10 a.m. semifinals
6-1 (Sat) 7 p.m. championship

Class 4A Semi-State (at Kokomo or Plymouth)

6-8 (Sat) 10 a.m. semifinals
6-8 (Sat) 7 p.m. championship

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Revised: May 26, 2019.