This story will be updated.
PLAINFIELD — Gibson Southern plated four runs in the fifth inning and two more in the sixth to come back for an 8-5 Class 3A semistate win over New Palestine Saturday.
The Dragons (23-10) were in command most of the way, thanks to a two-out RBI double by Keegan Watson in the first inning (for a 2-0 lead), a two-out RBI single by Logan Gilvin in the third (to make it 3-0) and a two-out double by Evan Hickman in the fifth (for a 5-2 lead).
Evan Vance started for New Palestine and kept the No. 9-ranked Titans (27-7) in check through the fourth inning, save for a bloop single that accounted for a pair of Gibson Southern runs in the bottom of the third. But, with just four hits through the first four innings, the Titans broke out for a four-hit, four-run fifth frame, highlighted by a two-out, two-RBI double by designated hitter Matthew Harpenau off NP reliever Cameron Clark that gave the Titans their first lead at 6-5. Clark took over for Vance with one out, two runs in and two runners on base. All four runs in the inning were Vance's.
Gibson Southern's Dillon Whitten earned the complete-game win. The senior allowed five earned runs on 10 hits, eight strikeouts, two walks and four hit batters. The Dragons left 10 runners on base, including bases-loaded squanders in the third and sixth.
Watson, Gilvin and Hickman — the Dragons' No. 5, 6 and 8 hitters, respectively — had two hits apiece. That trio will return next season, as will Jason Hall-Manley, New Palestine's No. 7 hitter who went 1-for-3 Saturday. The Dragons 5-8 hitters went 7-for-12 off Whitten. New Palestine 1-4 hitters graduated a week ago.
Gibson Southern advanced to face No. 1-ranked Andrean (30-5) in the State Finals next weekend at Victory Field. New Palestine was attempting to force a 10-year rematch: in 2004 the Dragons beat Andrean 3-2 to win the Class 3A state title, the lone baseball championship in program history. Andrean went on to win state titles in 2005, 2009 and 2010.
Gibson Southern has never won a baseball state title or reached the championship game. The Titans and many of their fans left Plainfield Saturday for Ben Davis, where the Gibson Southern softball team faced Leo for the Class 3A state title. The Titans' baseball game began at 1 p.m. and the 3A softball championship was scheduled for 4 p.m.
Victory Field, 501 W. Maryland Street, Indianapolis | Website
Dates: Friday, June 20 and Saturday, June 21, 2014.
Admission: $9 each day.
Home Team: The winner of the southern semi-state is the designated home team.
Note: Game assignments will be determined on Sunday, June 15.
Television: All four state championship games will air live on Fox Sports Indiana.
Webstream: For viewers outside of the Fox Sports Indiana coverage area, a live stream will be available at IHSAAtv.org. For those within the FSI coverage area, the stream will be available only on delayed basis following the conclusion of the telecast.
Friday, June 20
Class 4A | Noblesville (28-8) vs. Terre Haute North (25-7) | 7:30 pm ET
Saturday, June 21
Class A | Rockville (28-3) vs. Shakamak (26-6) | 1 pm ET
Class 2A | Wapahani (29-4) vs. Evansville Mater Dei (23-9) | 4 pm ET
Class 3A | Andrean (30-4) vs. Gibson Southern (24-7) | 7 pm ET
Softball State Finals results, Saturday at Ben Davis
Class A State Championship Game
Final (10 innings) | North Miami 3, North Daviess 1.
Class 2A State Championship Game
Final | South Spencer 1, Southmont 0
Class 3A State Championship Game
Final | Leo 2 vs. Gibson Southern 0
Class 4A State Championship Game
Final | Bloomington South 6, Hamilton Southeastern 2
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