New Prairie’s big fourth inning secures first state title

by | Jun 15, 2024 | Baseball, Featured, Headlines, RRSN News | 0 comments

Anna Kayser, Special to IHSAA.org

INDIANAPOLIS – Down to his final strike with two outs in the fourth inning, New Prairie sophomore Reed Robinson laced a two-run single to lead the Cougars to their first IHSAA baseball state championship with a 7-2 win over the Brebeuf Jesuit Braves on Friday night at Victory Field.

“I was… just trying to do whatever I can,” Robinson said. “Our team has been working for this moment and putting all the practice and work in the offseason into the game. It’s a big situation, obviously, but I love those situations and I love being in those moments. I love the pressure and I’m sure everyone on our team loves the pressure, and that’s what makes us so special.”

Robinson was central to the Cougars run-scoring effort in their first trip to the state championship game in school history. On a double-steal in the bottom of the first inning with Robinson acting as the lead runner, a throwing error by catcher Will Loftus allowed him to score the game’s opening run. A sacrifice fly by nine-hole hitter Colin Wind plated another in the next frame.

Brebeuf didn’t go quietly, knotting the game in the top of the fourth inning when Aiden Holtzapple reached safely on a fielding error by the shortstop Wind to plate two.

“I went out to the mound right after they tied it up, and before I could get there the guys were talking to each other like, ‘Hey, we knew it wasn’t going to be easy. We knew we were going to face some adversity.’” New Prairie head coach Mark Schellinger said. “You’ve just got to respond and that’s exactly what we did.”

The first two outs to New Prairie in the bottom of the fourth came on five quick pitches before the offense started rolling. A single by Colin Laskowski and back-to-back walks loaded the bases for Robinson, who was tied for the third-most RBI (41) in the state of Indiana this season. Three pitches after Robinson’s two-run single, three-hole hitter Jordan Davis matched the effort to extend the Cougars’ lead to four runs.

Errors by both teams assisted the scoring, with New Prairie plating its seventh run – third via error – in the bottom of the fifth.

Cougars starting pitcher Tyson Greenwood received a standing ovation coming off the field with one batter on in the top of the seventh inning. The senior tossed 6.0 two-run innings (one earned) with two walks and seven strikeouts in his quest to go to the distance. Joe Kinney entered in relief and clinched the championship with a strikeout to strand the bases loaded.

Christian Forniss and Maverick Geske combined to counter for the Braves, with Geske tossing a pair of scoreless innings in relief to close out the contest.

“Really, [the strategy] was going right at them,” Greenwood said. “We were talking about it the whole time before, it’s really just another baseball game. What was going to make us special was doing what we do, no matter the conditions. We were just going to overcome all of the challenges and face all of the adversity.”

The Braves defeated No. 1 Guerin Catholic in sectionals and No. 9 Crawfordsville in semi-state before meeting up with the No. 8-ranked Cougars in the championship. New Prairie’s path to the title featured no top-10 ranked opponents in either the regular season or bracket play. The Cougars’ stretch also featured 12 consecutive wins dating back to May 6.

The victory was New Prairie’s second state title regardless of sport in school history. The softball team brought home the school’s first title in 2023.

“It’s unbelievable,” Schellinger said. “Credit goes to the guys – Our last loss was kind of a gut-check moment. We were having a good year, the guys were playing well, but we knew we weren’t playing as well as we could. We talked about it a little bit and they fixed it.

“We were able to get out and play really well heading into the tournament, and we ended up here.”

Class 3A State Championship Records

None

New Prairie’s Tyson Greenwood named Mental Attitude recipient

At the conclusion of the game, Tyson Greenwood of New Prairie High School was announced as the recipient of the L.V. Phillips Mental Attitude Award for Class 3A Baseball.

The L.V. Phillips Award is annually presented to an outstanding senior participant in each state championship game who has best demonstrated excellence in mental attitude, scholarship, leadership and athletic ability in baseball.

Tyson graduated as part of the National Honors Society, was selected for the Leadership Committee LaPorte County by the corporation’s teachers, and was on the Dean’s list.

He was a second team All-Northern Indiana Conference pitcher, was Academic All-State by the Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association, and was selected to the North/South All-Star team this year.

Tyson is the son of Tyson Sr. and Lindsey Greenwood of New Carlisle, IN and will attend Purdue University Fort Wayne to study business and play baseball.

The award is named in honor of the late L.V. Phillips, who served as the second commissioner of the IHSAA from 1945-62.

Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance, the IHSAA’s corporate partner, presented $1,000 to the general scholarship fund at New Prairie High School in the name of Tyson Greenwood.

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