Hagerstown and Winchester Community, two of the best teams in east central Indiana, played an important Tri-Eastern Conference game on Thursday, April 18 on picturesque Falcon Field. Hagerstown entered the game ranked No. 1 in the latest 2A coaches’ poll. Winchester played in the semi-state last season and returned most of their team this season.

The Falcons started with Landen Porfidio on the mound. Porfidio became the first pitcher in school history to pitch a perfect game in his last outing. The Tigers countered with hard-throwing left-hander Kaagen Kendall. Hits were expected to be hard to come by.

The Tigers struck first with two runs in the top of the first inning. After one out, Collin Beaty reached second on a two-base error. Kayne Ervin singled to drive Beaty home and Cole Tracy followed with a single to plate Ervin. Kendall struck out the side in the bottom of the inning.

The Falcons scored a single run in the bottom of the second inning.  Jace Allen singled with one out, moved to second base on a wild pitch, and scored on an RBI single from Cooper Hummel.  It turned out to be the only run the Falcons scored in the game.

The Tigers added two more runs in the top of the third inning. Beaty led off with a double off the center field fence, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Ervin and scored on an RBI single from Tracy. Tracy advanced to second on a balk, stole third and scored on a sacrifice fly from Ethan Campbell.

The Falcons loaded the bases in the bottom of the third, but Kendall was able to work his way out of trouble without surrendering a run.

The Tigers pushed their advantage to 5-1 when Wyatt Burris singled to open the fourth inning and eventually scored on an RBI single from Ervin.

Kendall pushed his strikeout total to eight through four innings before giving way to Andrew Frederick in the bottom of the fifth. Frederick only allowed two hits, no runs and struck out two of the last three batters he faced to nail down the save.

Hagerstown head coach Jay Hale said that his team beat a very good opponent. “When our pitchers eliminate walks and throw strikes, we can do good things,” Hale said. “Our hitters kept putting pressure on the defense by hitting the ball hard. We came focused and ready to play against a very good team.”  

Winchester head coach Ken Hendrickson said his team was too tentative at the plate. “We were not aggressive enough at the plate,” Hendrickson said. “We tell our kids all the time not to get called third strikes, to swing if it is close. We took a lot of called third strikes and you can’t do that and expect to beat good teams. The pitching for both teams was good. They hit the ball hard and we didn’t swing. We will learn from this and continue to improve.”

Hagerstown (10-0, 3-0 TEC)   2  0  2  1  0  0  0   5
Winchester (4-3, 2-2 TEC)       0  1  0  0  0  0  0   1

Batteries: Hagerstown: Kendall (WP), Frederick (5), Beaty and Campbell. Winchester: Profidio (LP), Allen (5) and Hummel. Hagerstown hits: Beaty, Burris (2), Carter Craig, Will Combs, Ervin (2), Tracy (2), Ben Williams. Winchester hits: Allen (2), Ian Harwick, Hummel (2), Dravin Whitehead.  

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A version of this article appeared in the April 24 2024 print edition of the Western Wayne News.

Dan Harney is a sports reporter at the Western Wayne News.