The Warsaw squad, made up of players from Warsaw Community High School and Wawasee High School, defeated Brownsburg 8-4 to finish a perfect 3-0 in pool play of the 10-team tournament.
Warsaw advances to the second semifinal game Saturday at 1 p.m. (CST). The championship game is set for Saturday at 6 p.m. (Portage time).
The winners got a strong 1-2 pitching punch from Drew Milligan and Justin Oberlin. Milligan started and allowed just one run on two hits through the first four innings. Oberlin then relieved and finished the contest.
Warsaw used a pair of key double plays on defense to thwart scoring chances by Brownsburg in their first close game of the tournament. The winners turned a double play to end the fourth frame and then got a huge play from left fielder Kyle Heckaman to end the fifth inning. Heckaman caught a fly ball and then fired a perfect strike to catcher Nik Anderson to throw out a runner at the plate for a 7-2 double play to end a threat as Brownsburg had the bases loaded.
“Our pitching was good and our defense was great tonight,” said Warsaw manager Dave Milligan in a phone interview late Friday night. “The play by Kyle was really big. They had already scored two runs that inning.
“It was just a good, tight game and we beat a good team. The guys are just focused and keeping on an even keel. They want to win this thing Saturday.”
Warsaw took control of the game by plating five runs in the first inning. Their first six batters reached base in the opening frame with the key hits being a pair of two-run hits by Caleb Moneyheffer and Pat Navarro.
Warsaw, which is now 8-0 overall in postseason play, added a pair of insurance runs in the sixth inning. They won pool B in the state tourney by outscoring their three foes by a combined total of 36-10.