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updated: 4/1/2014 10:30 PM

Kristan's clout key for Carmel

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  • Warren's Chris Mathieu, left, dives back to first, beating the tag by Carmel's Andrew Wienke on Tuesday at Warren.

      Warren's Chris Mathieu, left, dives back to first, beating the tag by Carmel's Andrew Wienke on Tuesday at Warren.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Carmel's Andrew Wienke, right, is safe at home after a collision with Warren catcher Andrew Nickell on Tuesday at Warren.

       Carmel's Andrew Wienke, right, is safe at home after a collision with Warren catcher Andrew Nickell on Tuesday at Warren.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Carmel's Matt Skarzynski lays down a bunt on Tuesday at Warren.

       Carmel's Matt Skarzynski lays down a bunt on Tuesday at Warren.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Carmel's Billy Winegard, left, is tagged out by Warren first baseman Stephen Binstock on Tuesday at Warren.

       Carmel's Billy Winegard, left, is tagged out by Warren first baseman Stephen Binstock on Tuesday at Warren.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Carmel's player gesture to a teammate after getting a double at Warren on Tuesday.

       Carmel's player gesture to a teammate after getting a double at Warren on Tuesday.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Warren's Dominic Cuevas, right, is stunned by the call as Carmel's Quinten Sefcik is safe at second on Tuesday at Warren.

       Warren's Dominic Cuevas, right, is stunned by the call as Carmel's Quinten Sefcik is safe at second on Tuesday at Warren.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

 
 

That was just plain cold.

Colder than the unseasonably cool weather Warren's baseball team encountered on its spring-break trip downstate last week.

In their home opener Tuesday, the Blue Devils got chilled by a game-tying solo homer by Carmel Catholic's Ian Kristan in the seventh inning.

When Warren failed to plate a run in its half of the seventh, the nonconference game was called due to darkness. Which meant the 2½-hour contest ended in a 4-4 tie.

"It hurts more than a loss," Blue Devils junior outfielder Chris Mathieu said.

Carmel wasn't celebrating either, despite Kristan's clutch blast.

"It doesn't feel close to a win," Kristan said. "We were playing well for a bit, and then their pitchers (starter Andrew Hill and Wes Gordon) did a great job of throwing strikes and competing."

A 3-run fourth inning, which included Ben Dinter's 2-run double to put his team in front, had Warren up 4-3. Gordon, who was seeking to save the game for Hill, took that lead into the seventh. He retired the first hitter. Then up stepped Kristan, who got what he called a "center-cut fastball" and pulled it over the fence in right field. It was the second career home run for the Corsairs' Bradley-bound lefty-hitting catcher.

"I was just looking for a pitch to hit hard somewhere," said Kristan, who was batting third in the order. "I happened to get the right pitch and put a good swing on it. Everything went the right way."

"Huge," Carmel coach Dann Giesey said of Kristan's 11th hit in eight games this season. "He was locked in on that one. He was sitting on (a fastball), and they gave it to him. I was surprised they didn't pitch around him with a 1-run lead, but they obviously didn't want to put a runner on."

Junior right-hander Garett McClellan, Carmel's third pitcher following starter Dalton Wright and Jordan Fuller, gave the Corsairs a chance to come back by pitching 3 scoreless innings. McClellan, who won two games in relief on the team's spring-break trip to St. Louis, allowed only 1 hit and struck out three.

"We feel we're 12 (pitchers) deep," Giesey said. "Any one of those guys can go out there and pitch. They all put in a lot of time in the off-season."

Carmel (5-2-1) staked Wright to a 3-0 lead. The Corsairs scored all three runs (all unearned against Hill) in the second after Andrew Wienke led off by reaching on an error. Cal Coughlin followed with a double, before perfectly executed bunts by Andy Kantor and Billy Winegard gave the visitors a 2-0 lead. One out later, Quinten Sefcik stroked an RBI single.

Dinter's first of 2 doubles got Warren (4-2-1) on the board in the third. Then in the bottom of the fourth, after two out, Wright nearly struck out Mathieu on a pitch on the corner. Mathieu walked on the next pitch. With Dominic Cuevas (2-for-2) at the plate, Mathieu took off for second base. Kristan's throw down tailed and hit Mathieu in the left shin, and the ball ricocheted into shallow left field. Mathieu never stopped running and scored, just beating a one-hop throw home.

"Actually, I tried to stop him," Warren coach Clint Smothers said with a laugh. "The ball was going away from the (infielder), to the outfield, and the wind was blowing 25 mph. So (the infielder) had to make a bang-bang play at home. Luckily, he short-hopped (the throw home) and we got the run in.

"I stopped (Mathieu) way too late," Smothers added. "I was sending him the whole way until the very, very end. It was a good read by him."

"I was just thinking, 'I got to get this run,' " Mathieu said. "He stopped me, but I just kept going. I knew I had it."

Warren -- which went 4-2 on its trip to southern Illinois, where it played five games at Rent One Park and one at Smothers' alma mater, Marion -- outhit Carmel 8-6. Besides Dinter, Cuevas and Gordon also doubled. Starting shortstop Matt Burch, who sprained his ankle on the trip downstate, sat out again. Burch, who was on crutches Tuesday, started on varsity as a freshman last year and hit .360.

Carmel got a pair of hits, including a double, from sophomore Cooper Johnson, who batted in the cleanup spot.

"They're very talented and well-coached," Smothers said of the Corsairs. "They got a great team. We're young (16 juniors, 2 sophomores). Our goal is to compete. So to come out and compete with (Carmel) was a great thing for us."

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