Whiteland graduate Ashton Perritt was named the Most Valuable Player in the Big South baseball tournament after leading the Flames in hitting and pitching on their way to the championship and an automatic bid to the NCAA Division I Championship Tournament.
Liberty, the No. 5 seed, lost its first game 6-3 to Radford but then won five straight games, four of them one-run decisions, to claim the title.
As a pitcher, Perritt recorded saves in all four one-run wins, pitching 5-1/3 innings and giving up three hits, no walks and no earned runs, while striking out 10. For the season he has a 3-1 pitching record with nine saves, a 1.35 ERA and an opponents’ batting average of .171.
At the plate, Perritt hit a team-high .400 (10 for 25) with two home runs and two game-winning hits. In the championship game against top-seed Campbell, with the score 1-1 and two outs in the top of the ninth inning, he singled in the lead run and then earned a save by holding Campbell scoreless in the bottom of the ninth, striking out two.
He leads the Flames in hitting with a .338 batting average (53 for 157).
Liberty opened double-elimination NCAA Championship play Friday against Clemson in a game that was televised on ESPN3 and Watch ESPN. The Flames are seeded third in the South Carolina regional. Clemson is the No. 2 seed, South Carolina the No. 1 seed, and St. Louis the No. 4 seed.
The winners of Friday’s games play at 8 p.m. today. The losers play at 2 p.m. in an elimination game. All of the games can be watched on ESPN3. Today’s games and thereafter will be part of an ESPNU special, which will provide unlimited highlights and cut-ins from all of the games.
Indiana State freshman sprinter Katie Wise qualified for the NCAA Division I Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Ore., June 5-8, by finishing 10th of 48 in the NCAA East Regional 100-meter dash with a time of 11.325. She is the first Sycamore to qualify for the NCAA Championships 100 meters in 14 years, and her time was the best in her short collegiate career. She competed in the 200 preliminaries and just missed advancing to the quarterfinals with a time of 24.06. She also was a member of the Indiana State 400 meter relay team, which finished 15th of 24 teams.
Franklin’s Anna Murdock finished 17th of 22 runners in the 800 meters at the NCAA Division III National Championships at LaCrosse, Wis., with a time of 2:13.50. The time that was required to reach the final was 2:12.14.
Indiana University diver Casey Johnson teamed with IU teammate Conor Murphy to finish in fourth place at the U.S. World Diving Championship Trials in synchronized platform diving and qualify for the World University Games to be conducted in July at Kazan, Russia.
Wisconsin middle-distance runner Austin Mudd qualified for the NCAA Division I Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Ore., by finishing third of 48 contestants in the 1,500 meters in 3:48.75 in the NCAA West Regional at Austin, Texas.
Competing at the NCAA East Track and Field Regionals, Indiana pole vaulter Sydney Clute was 22nd of 46 contestants with a vault of 12-7½. The winning height was 13-5¼. The Hoosiers’ Nick Stoner was a member of the 400-meter relay team which finished ninth in a field of 24.
Indianapolis’ Kyle Schwartz was a member of the Greyhounds’ 1,600-meter relay team, which failed to finish at the NCAA Division II National Track and Field Championships.
The Evansville baseball team won two and lost two at the Missouri Valley Conference tournament. Senior Chris Pearson had four hits in 17 at-bats in the tournament and finished the season with a .299 batting average (63 for 211).
Walt Vanderbush is a retired principal of Franklin Community High School.