Although most schools are out for break, some are still on the field looking to start their summer off on a high note. Victory Field plays host to the 45th Annual IHSAA Baseball State Finals Friday and Saturday nights.
The Class A State Championship is slated for 7:30 p.m. Friday. North Central (Farmersburg) (25-5) looks to secure its first ever state championship in any sport against Lafayette Central Catholic (25-9). North Central’s Craig Bell is among the leaders in 1A baseball in batting average and has 13 home runs on the season. However, despite the better winning percentage, North Central may be considered the underdog in the contest. Victory Field is not unfamiliar territory for Central Catholic as the Knights will play for their third straight title.
Classes 2A thru 4A will wait until Saturday to play. Games are scheduled for 1:00 p.m., 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. at Victory Field. (Game times are subject to change)
Playing in the 2A final Saturday at 1:00 p.m. is South Spencer (23-6) and Hanover Central (22-5). South Spencer has won at Victory Field twice in the last five years and hopes to win their third title in six years Saturday afternoon. Hanover Central won their first ever Sectional title on their way to the championship game. Hanover Central’s Andy Wellwerts boasts an ERA nearing 1.00.
The games continue at 4:00 p.m. in a 2008 3A title game rematch between Crawfordsville (28-6) and Mishawaka Marian (26-7). The Knights will need to stop Crawfordsville’s high powered offense if they want to avenge their state championship loss three years ago. Crawfordsville scored 326 runs this season, third best in 3A baseball.
The final game of the IHSAA Baseball State Finals offers a rematch of last year’s 4A title game. Carroll (Fort Wayne) (31-2) looks to take their second straight championship from the hands of Indianapolis Cathedral (28-2) at 7:00 p.m. Saturday night. Carroll has won 24 straight games coming into the championship game.
Even if you aren’t a fan, student, parent or player from these schools, come to Victory Field to see Indiana’s stars of high school baseball. Tickets are $9 and kids under five get into the park free. The Victory Field parking lot will be open on a first come, first serve basis for $5 per space.
By Adam Pintar