Tag Archives: State Finals

IHSBCA Hall of Famer Robinson made calls at Indiana’s highest prep levels

By STEVE KRAH
http://www.IndianaRBI.com

Growing up on the southeast side of Indianapolis, James Robinson was drawn to sports.
Robinson played baseball as a junior for Woodchucks coach Ed Ward and was a basketball student manager for his last three years at Harry E. Wood High School, where he graduated in 1966.
When Robinson became an adult, he was attracted to officiating. After high school, he attended Indiana Business College in Indianapolis for two years, entered the working world and wound up in Kokomo, Ind., in the mid-1970s and began making calls.
After a few years of umpiring slow pitch softball, Robinson became a Indiana High School Athletic Association-licensed baseball umpire and a basketball referee the same year.
“Being involved in the game and being in-charge, I liked that idea,” says Robinson. “I could help the game and do the right thing.”
Doing the right thing to Robinson meant making the right call.
He also set a goal for himself.
“I wanted to work the State Finals in the three sports I had licenses for (football, basketball and baseball),” says Robinson. “I did attain that.”
Robinson, who was elected to the Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association‘s Hall of Fame in the Class of 2021 and will be honored Friday, Jan. 14, 2022 at the Sheraton at Keystone Crossing in Indianapolis along with the Class of 2022, began umpiring high school games in 1980.
He worked for 35 years with 33 sectionals, 25 regionals, 14 semistates and six State Finals — the first in 1990 (LaPorte beat Bedford North Lawrence in the final and semifinalists were Logansport and Wes-Del with Robinson working a foul line and the bases) and the last in 2007 (Jarrod Parker and Norwell beat Evansville Mater Dei in the Class 3A title game and Robinson worked the plate).
He umpired six IHSBCA North/South All-Star Series and was voted IHSBCA Umpire of the Year five times.
In 1994, Robinson was elected to the National Federation of State High School Associations Baseball Rules Committee and served from 1995-1998.
In 2002, he was named IHSAA/ NFOA Baseball Official of the Year and he was named as the National Federation Distinguished Official of the Year.
He coached Babe Ruth and American Legion baseball for 10 years.
He has been a rules clinician at the IHSBCA State Clinic since the mid-1990s. Prior to the clinic, he attends National Federation rules meetings in Indianapolis and talks with IHSAA assistant commissioner Robert Faulkens about rule changes.
Robinson went far and wide to blow a basketball whistle for 30 years.
“I tried to travel all over,” says Robinson. “I wanted to be seen by as many coaches as possible and rise in through the tournament structure.”
He’d trek as far from Kokomo as East Chicago, South Bend or New Albany. He officiated the 2001 3A state championship boys basketball game between Muncie Southside and Evansville Mater Dei.
He attends the biannual “Rosie’s Round-up” basketball dinner at Stookey’s Restaurant in Thorntown, Ind.
His 33 years as a football official included the 1993 2A title contest between West Lafayette and Providence.
In football, Robinson is now an IHSAA officials observer, Big Ten Conference replay official and back-up clock operator for the Indianapolis Colts. He worked six years in NCAA Division II and seven in the Mid-American Conference. He has also been a replay official for the MAC. He was a replay official for the 2014 National Championship game at the Rose Bowl between Florida State and Auburn.
Robinson, who turned 73 in October, is very appreciative of the recognition by the IHSBCA.
“It’s an honor,” says Robinson. “I’m very, very thrilled to be thought of with all the coaches and players who came through Indiana who played the great game of baseball and be known as an umpire where you’re supposed to be neutral.”
Jame’s wife Nada is deceased. He has one daughter and grandson — Chiquita and Kameron — in Kokomo. One of seven children (four boys and three girls), James has two living sisters residing in Indianapolis.

James Robinson.

Thoughts of American Legion baseball keep Cruz going during COVID-19 battle

By STEVE KRAH
http://www.IndianaRBI.com

Antonio “Tony” Cruz Jr., came close to losing his life and the sport that occupies much of thoughts.
The COVID-19 virus struck the husband and father of three in the first half of 2020 and he spent 25 days of May in Memorial Hospital in South Bend, Ind. — nine in the Intensive Care Unit. His oxygen level dropped to 55 and twice was not expected to make it.
One night he was visited by a doctor and nurse. Cruz recalls the doctor’s words: “Well, we’re not going to sugar-coat it. We’re going to be honest with you. You might die tonight. We’ve got a yellow legal pad right here. If there’s anything you might want to write to anybody, now’s the time.”
There was also plenty of support of his family — wife Ilka, sons Carlos and Santana and daughter Neveah and Amiyah, father Antonio Sr. (who also in the hospital with COVID but released before his son) and mother Lucy.
“It wasn’t your time,” is what Lucy Cruz told her son of why he survived and recovered.
Baseball also played a big part.
“Legion was always on my mind,” says Cruz, the manager of the South Bend American Legion Post 151 senior baseball team. “It gave me a reason to keep fighting and get out of there.”
Drawing strength from messages sent by coaching friends including John Kehoe, Joel Reinebold, Tom Washburn and Dennis Ryans.
“You don’t forget that stuff,” says Cruz. “It means a lot to me.”
While the pandemic caused American Legion Baseball to cancel its state, regional and national tournaments in 2020, Indiana teams were allowed to play games if they could provide their own insurance.
Cruz got out of the hospital and with air bottle in tow came to the place he considers his home away from home — the baseball field.
Jim Reinebold Field — named for the late Indiana High School Baaeball Coaches Association Hall of Famer —  is where the South Bend Clay High School Colonials play and Cruz serves as an assistant coach and home to Post 151, though COVID caused cancellation of the high school season and had the Legion team playing home games at South Bend’s Boland Park in 2020.
For his baseball foundation, Cruz looks back to his days at Maurice Matthys Little League, where his coach from 12 to 16 was Terry Cline.
“He is who I pattern my coaching style after,” says Cruz of Cline. “He was about caring and giving back.”
As a player at South Bend LaSalle High School, where he graduate in 1997, Cruz played for Lions head coach Scott Sill.
Cruz was a coach on Kehoe’s staff at South Bend Washington High School and also led the baseball program at Dickinson Middle School — going 23-1 in two seasons — then joined Joel Reinebold at Clay.
“Joel is so supportive,” says Cruz. “I’ve been blessed to be around him for so many years.”
Carlos Cruz (now 23) and Santana Cruz (21) both played for the Colonials, graduating in 2016 and 2018, respectively. Carlos attended Indiana State University for three years. Santana also played at Ancilla College in Donaldson, Ind.
Neveah Cruz (who turned 19 July 12) has been around Clay baseball from seventh grade until the present and has been a student manager, director of operations and coach. This summer, 2020 Clay grad and Sport and Recreation major at Trine University in Angola, Ind., is Post 51 Juniors (17U) team manager and assistant coach to her father with the Post 51 Seniors (19U).
“It’s a good bonding experience with my dad,” says Neveah. “I’ve met a lot of good people through baseball — role models.”
Being around teams has given Neveah something more.
“I have a lot of older brothers now,” says Neveah.
Youngest daughter Amiyah is 11.
This is the sixth year Tony Cruz has coached American Legion ball. When Lenny Kuespert was no longer able to manage South Bend Post 50, Cruz started Post 357. He was 357 manager for two summers and after guidance from former Bristol Post manager Jim Treadway and Legion baseball organizer Joe Kusiak and consulting with post commander Mike Vargo has led Post 151 since the 2018 season.
“Legion ball is good for families who can’t afford to play travel ball, which can be salty,” says Cruz.
Post 151 baseball is supported through $650 registration fees and fundraisers to cover things like insurance, uniforms, hat, socks, field rental, umpires and, in the advent of rain, field conditioner.
If there’s any money left over, Cruz use it to buy Legion shirts etc. for his players.
“I always give back to the kids,” says Cruz. “It’s not about me.”
Custom COVID masks were purchased as well a Post 151 visors for players’ mothers.
Believing that Legion baseball is also a tribute to veterans and patriotism, Cruz outfits his squads in red, white and blue uniforms.
American Legion teams are allowed to roster 18 players for the postseason. There is a total enrollment limit of 6,000 in the top three grades for the high schools that provide players.
Besides Santana Cruz at Ancilla, athletes who have played for Cruz and gone on to college baseball include Hunter Aker at Manchester University in North Manchester, Ind., Robbie Berger, J.P. Kehoe, Mason Ryans and Andrew Washburn at Lincoln Trail College in Robinson, Ill., Tyler Bortone at Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, Tyler Cuma at Ivy Tech Northeast in Fort Wayne, Gabe Galvan at Saint Xavier University in Chicago, Nathaniel Garcia at the University of Saint Francis in Fort Wayne, Chris Gault, Cooper Lee, A.J. Klimek, Andy Migas and Lee Timmons at Trine, Colin Greve at Earlham College in Richmond, Ind., Dylan Hensley at Indiana Tech in Fort Wayne, Roman Kuntz and Bryce Lesher at Lake Michigan College in Benton Harbor, Mich., Michael Payne at Wabash Valley College in Mount Carmel, Ill., Hunter Robinson at Purdue University Northwest in Hammond, Ind., Cole Steveken at Ancilla, Chantz Stover at Glen Oaks Community College in Centreville, Mich., Tony Valle at Bethel University in Mishawaka, Ind., Cameron Waters at Kalamazoo (Mich.) Community College and Gabe Yonto at BCA College Post Grad in Knoxville, Tenn.
Both 151 teams played about a dozen regular-season weekday games in 2021.
Thursday, July 15 at 5 p.m. and following and Friday, July 16 at 5 (if necessary), South Bend Post 151 hosts Bristol Post 143 in best-of-3 Regional 3 at Jim Reinebold Field for a berth in the eight-team State Finals Friday through Tuesday, July 23-27 at Highland Park in Kokomo.
Other feeder regionals are slated at Highland Post 180 Regional 1-2 (with Valparaiso Post 94, East Chicago Post 369/Lake Station Post 100 Region Legion Expos and South Haven Post 502), Regional 4 at Kokomo Post 6 (with Lafayette Post 11 and Muncie Post 19), Regional 5 at Terre Haute Post 346 (with Crawfordsville Post 72 and Sullivan Post 139), Regional 6 at Jasper Post 147 (with Washington Post 121) and Regional 7 at Rockport Post 254 (with Newburgh Post 44 and Boonville Post 200). As State Finals host, Kokomo will represent Regional 4 with the other highest finisher also advancing. The top two at Highland and the winner at the other sites will move on.
Vera Cruz Tree Service has tended to customers in the South Bend, Ind., area for four decades. Recently, Tony Jr. took over the running of the family business from his father.
Not long after the Legion season ends comes the Jim Reinebold Fall Baseball Camp (the instructional league is heading into its 27th year).
Between seasons and conditioning, Cruz is involved with baseball about 10 months a year.
The diamond — and what it represents — is his passion.

Neveah and Tony Cruz Jr. (Steve Krah Photo)
Tony Cruz Jr. and daughter Neveah.
Neveah and Tony Cruz Jr.
A regional title was won by South Bend American Legion Post 151 in 2018.
Tony Cruz Jr. battles COVID-19 in 2020. He was hospitalized 25 days in May, including nine in Intensive Care.
Tony Cruz Jr. had to go on high-flow oxygen during his battle with COVID-19 in 2020.
Out of the hospital after his COVID-19 battle, Tony Cruz came “home” to Jim Reinebold Field, home of South Bend Clay High School and South Bend American Legion Post 151 baseball.
Jim Treadway (left) and Tony Cruz Jr. bond over American Legion, high school baseball.

Valparaiso Post 94 fielding two American Legion teams in ’21

By STEVE KRAH
http://www.IndianaRBI.com

Valparaiso Post 94 is doing its part to keep American Legion Baseball in Indiana thriving.
In 2021, Post 94 counts Wayne Coil as Senior team field manager and Dan Sherman in the role of general manager/director of operations. Brian Niksch is head coach of the Valpo Juniors.
“We’re hanging in there,” says Sherman, who has been involved with the Valpo program for almost 10 years. Son Jake Sherman, a 2017 Andrean High School graduate, played for Charles Pratt Post 94. “Last year with the (COVID-19) pandemic and Indiana American Legion shutting down (its tournament series) hurt.
“We’re probably down 10 teams in Indiana (which fields 19U senior and 17U junior squads). The strongest programs are in Rockport (Post 254), Terre Haute (Post 346) and Kokomo (Post 6).”
As Post 94 GM/Director of Ops, Sherman helps raise funds, orders equipment and sets schedules. He’s even filled in as an umpire.
Artificial turf is going in at Valparaiso High School. That means that the VHS Vikings were “Road Warriors” (Senior Night was held at Valparaiso University) in the spring and the Post 94 is playing an all-away schedule.
Featuring many recent Valparaiso High graduates from the 2021 IHSAA Class 4A Chesterton Sectional champions, the Senior team plays American Legion and a few travel teams. Most games are within a 60-mile radius of Valpo.
In Indiana, there’s Crawfordsville Post 72, East Chicago Post 100/369, Highland Post 180, Hobart Post 502, Kokomo Post 6, South Bend Post 151, South Haven Post 502 (the Blaze is based in Hobart and draws high school players from Hobart, Portage, Boone Grove, Wheeler and River Forest) and, possibly, Bristol Post 143.
Michigan Legion opponents include Stevensville Post 568 and Three Oaks Post 204. There’s even Napoleon (Ohio) Post 300.
Valpo, which has a Senior (19U) and Junior (17U) squad, has or will see the Midwest Rockets, Morris Chiefs, Northwest Indiana Shockers and two Indiana Playmakers squads.
There will be regionals at sites to be determined for Senior and Junior teams. Junior regionals are July 8-11 with the State Finals July 15-18 at Terre Haute. Senior regionals are July 15-18 with the State Finals July 23-27 at Highland Park in Kokomo. The 94th American Legion Baseball World Series is slated for Aug. 12-17 in Shelby, N.C.
Valpo placed third in the 2019 senior tournament staged in Rockport, Ind.
“They play on bluegrass,” says Sherman of Joe Hargis Field, which Post 254 shares with South Spencer High School. “An army of guys to do maintenance and there’s covered stands.
“It’s top quality.”
Sherman, a former teacher and coach and a longtime attorney, played baseball at South Haven (Mich.) High School and Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Mich., then until age 29 in an adult league.
He has an affinity for promoting amateur baseball and particularly likes the American Legion brand.
“Baseball has almost become an elitist sport for some that have the money,” says Sherman. “ $250 donation (per player) pays for everything.
“A big part of promoting baseball is having good facilities that are fan-friendly.”
When the Post 94 Seniors traveled to River Valley High School in Three Oaks, Mich., Thursday, June 16 to play the Post 204 Oakers he knew that J.C. German and son Jason German would have the field prepped and fans would be there to cheer.
Coil, a music teacher at Ben Franklin Middle School in Valparaiso who joined the Post 94 coaching staff in 2018, also coaches the junior varsity at Valpo High under varsity head coach Todd Evans, who encourages all his Vikings to play Legion ball in the summer.
One of Wayne’s sons, Alex Coil (VHS Class of 2018), played for Post 94 as well as the Northwest Indiana Rippers in the Babe Ruth World Series.
A broadcast intern this summer with the independent professional Frontier League’s Florence (Ky.) Y’alls, Alex is heading into his senior year in Sports Journalism at Arizona State University.
Nolan Coil, another of Wayne’s sons and a 2021 Valpo graduate heading to Calvin University in Grand Rapids to study and play baseball, is on the current Post 94 Senior squad. Four other Post 94 players — Nick Koprcina (Calvin), Kyle Lawrence (Ohio Northern University in Ada, Ohio), Jake Nightingale (Lawrence Technological University in Southfield, Mich.) and Lucas Siewin (Kankakee, Ill., Community College) — are headed to college baseball programs in the fall.
The Post 94 Senior roster also includes Josh Brinson, Nate Guzek, Adler Hazlett, Erik Kallen, Matt Levenda, Matt Nightingale, Chris Rahn and Griffey Zborowski.
Three 2021 Valpo grads who have made college commitments not playing Legion ball this summer are Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association District Player of the Year and North/South All-Star Series selection Grant Comstock (Northwestern University), Ty Gill (Purdue University), Carter Kosiara (North Central College in Naperville, Ill.) and Elan Reid (Manchester University).
“I like the competition (of American Legion Baseball),” says Wayne Coil. “Many players have just finished their first year of college (at the senior level). The pitching is usually excellence.
“The distance to travel and expense is less than when my boys were in travel ball. We get to know the (other Legion) coaches a lot better. They are all volunteering their time. It’s a bunch of great guys.”
Coil sees Legion ball making a comeback.
“The enthusiasm is greater for it,” says Coil. “If only more high school coaches would become aware of what American Legion is all about.”
Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Famer Gene Bottorff was infielder/pitcher Coil’s coach at Muncie (Ind.) Central High School.
“He was a great mentor,’’ says 1984 MCHS graduate Coil of Bottorff. “My older brother (Class of ’82’s Neal Coil) and I learned quite a bit from him.”
Wayne Coil graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and played in a summer baseball league after college.
Niksch, a 1997 Valpo High graduate, is the freshmen baseball coach and a business teacher at VHS as well as an IHSAA-licensed umpire. Son Jake Niksch (Class of 2023) has played for the Post 94 Juniors and Seniors this summer.
While most Post 94 Juniors players go to Valpo High, New Prairie, Portage and South Central (Union Mills) are also represented on a 14-player roster.

Valparaiso American Legion Post 94 in 2020 after a road game against Bristol Post 143.
Valparaiso American Legion Post 94 with coach Dan Sherman at the 2019 State Finals in Rockport, Ind.
Valparaiso American Legion Post 94 players prepare for a 2019 State Finals game in Rockport, Ind.
Nick Caputo (Valparaiso High School Class of 2018) bats for Valparaiso American Legion Post 94 during the 2017 State Finals in Terre Haute. Dan Sherman is in the third base coach’s box.
Nolan Coil (Valparaiso Class of 2021) delivers a pitch for Valparaiso American Legion Post 94 during the 2020 CB Memorial Tournament in Stevensville, Mich.

Semistates to determine IHSAA State Finals participants

By STEVE KRAH
http://www.IndianaRBI.com

Today (June 12) four semistates will be staged at LaPorte, Kokomo, Mooresville and Jasper to determine the teams competing int he 2021 IHSAA State Finals June 21-22 at Victory Field in Indianapolis.
Here is a capsulized look at Final Four teams in Class 4A, 3A, 2A and 1A:

IHSAA SEMISTATES
Saturday, June 12
LaPorte
(Schreiber Field)
Class 1A
Washington Township (25-7) vs. Cowan (15-13), noon East Time/11 a.m. Central Time
Class 3A
Hanover Central (28-3-1) vs. Norwell (20-9), 4 p.m. ET/3 p.m. CT

Kokomo
(Municipal Stadium)

Class 2A
Eastside (22-5) vs. Delphi (26-6), 1 p.m. ET/noon CT
Class 4A
Munster (22-11) vs. Fishers (22-12), 3:30 p.m. ET/2:30 p.m. CT

South
Mooresville

Class 1A
Shakamak (16-7) vs. Borden (22-6-1), 1 p.m. ET/noon CT
Class 2A
University (23-9) vs. Providence (20-6), 3 p.m. ET/2 p.m. CT

Jasper
(Ruxer Field)

Class 3A
Brebeuf Jesuit (20-11) vs. Southridge (24-7), noon ET/11 a.m. CT
Class 4A
Mt. Vernon (Fortville) (26-6) vs. Jasper (29-2), 4 p.m. ET/3 p.m. CT

Team By Team
Washington Township Senators
— Head Coach Randy Roberts.
1A Washington Township Sectional — Kouts 7-1, Westville 4-1, Morgan Township 4-1.
1A South Bend Regional — South Central (Union Mills) 6-3, Fort Wayne Blackhawk Christian 10-1.
Sectional titles (10) — last one before 2021 — 2019. Regional titles (5) — last one before 2021 — 2019. Semistate titles (1) — 2019. State titles (0). State runner-up (1) — 2019 (Randy Roberts).

Cowan Blackhawks — Head Coach Aaron Wells.
1A Liberty Christian Sectional — Wes-Del 5-1, Daleville 4-3.
1A Carroll (Flora) Regional — Union City 3-0, Riverton Parke 9-3.
Sectional titles (7) — last one before 2021 — 2010. Regional titles (4) — last one before 2021 — 2008. Semistate titles (1) — 2008. State titles (0). State runner-up (1) — 2008 (Camden Parkhurst).

Hanover Central Wildcats — Head Coach Ryan Bridges.
3A Kankakee Valley Sectional — Kankakee Valley 9-1, Culver Academies 10-0, John Glenn 8-4.
3A Griffith Regional — South Bend St. Joseph 6-1, Northwestern 18-1.
Sectional titles (2) — last one before 2021 — 2011. Regional tittles (2) — last one before 2021 — 2011. Semistate titles (1) — 2011. State titles (0). State runner-up (1) — 2011 (Doug Nelson).

Norwell Knights — Head Coach Dave Goodmiller.
3A Bellmont Sectional — Marion 10-0, Mississinewa 13-2, Oak Hills 15-10.
3A Bellmont Regional — Wawasee 7-2, Leo 5-3.
Sectional titles (17) — last one before 2021 — 2017. Regional titles (7) — last one before 2021 — 2013. Semistate titles (3) — 2006, 2007, 2013. State titles (3) — 2003 (Kelby Weybright), 2007 (Kelby Weybright), 2013 (Andy McClain).

Eastside Blazers — Head Coach Aaron Willard.
2A Eastside Sectional — Adams Central 3-1, Bluffton 16-1.
2A Whiting Regional — Wheeler 7-1, Central Noble 18-3.
Sectional titles (6) — last one before 2021 — 2018. Regional titles (1) — 2021. Semistate titles (0). State titles (0).

Delphi Oracles — Head Coach Ryan Long.
2A Delphi Sectional — Fountain Central 14-2, Seeger 7-3.
2A Lafayette Central Catholic Regional — Rochester 12-5, Wapahani 7-2.
Sectional titles (6) — last one before 2021 — 2019. Regional titles (2) — last one before 2021 — 2010. Semistate titles (1) — 2010. State titles (0). State runner-up (1) — Delphi (Pat Lowrey).

Munster Mustangs — Head Coach Bob Shinkan (Indiana Baseball HOF inductee).
4A Merrillville Sectional — Highland 11-2, Merrillville 9-0, Lake Central 2-1.
4A LaPorte Regional — Valparaiso 6-3, South Bend Adams 9-2.
Sectional titles (13) — last one before 2021 — 2016. Regional titles (6) — last one before 2021 — 2010. Semistate titles (0). State titles (1) — 2002 (Bob Shinkan).

Fishers Tigers — Head Coach Matt Cherry.
4A Westfield Sectional — Hamilton Southeastern 7-1, Carmel 1-0, Noblesville 4-0.
4A Kokomo Regional — Homestead 8-4, Harrison (West Lafayette) 7-5.
Sectional titles (3) — last one before 2021 — 2018. Regional titles (2) — last one before 2021 — 2018. Semistate titles (1) — 2018. State titles (1) — 2018 (Matt Cherry).

Shakamak Lakers – Head Coach Jeremy Yeryar.
1A White River Valley Sectional — White River Valley 14-0, Clay City 10-0, Bloomfield 4-1.
1A Morristown Regional — Southwestern (Shelbyville) 10-1, Oldenburg Academy 13-0.
Sectional titles (26) — last one before 2021 — 2019. Regional titles (12) — last one before 2021 — 2015. Semistate titles (7) — 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2012, 2014, 2015. State titles (2) — 2008 (Matt Fougerousse), 2014 (Chip Sweet). State runner-up (5) — 2004 (Chip Sweet), 2006 (Matt Fougerousse), 2007 (Matt Fougerousse), 2012 (Chip Sweet), 2015 (Todd Gambill).

Borden Braves — Head Coach Eric Stotts.
1A South Central (Elizabeth) Sectional — Lanesville 18-1, Orleans 3-0.
1A Lanesville Regional — West Washington 17-2, Loogootee 5-2.
Sectional titles (5) — last one before 2021 — 2018. Regional titles (1) — 2021. Semistate titles (0). State titles (0).

University Trailblazers — Head Coach Chris Estep (1 state title).
2A Cascade Sectional — Covenant Christian 7-3, Cascade 8-2.
2A Cascade Regional — Centerville 12-5, Parke Heritage 8-2.
Sectional titles (5) — last one before 2021 — 2019. Regional titles (3) — last one before 2021 — 2019. Semistate titles (2) — 2018, 2019. State titles (1) — 2019 (Chris Estep). State runner-up (1) — 2018 (Chris Estep.

Providence Pioneers — Head Coach Scott Hutchins.
2A Eastern (Pekin) Sectional — Henryville 10-4, Eastern (Pekin) 11-0, Austin 10-0.
2A Evansville Mater Dei Regional — South Ripley 5-3, North Posey 8-6.
Sectional titles (19) — last one before 2021 — 2017. Regional titles (7) — last one before 2021 — 2017. Semistate titles (1) — 2016. State titles (1) — 2016 (Scott Hornung).

Brebeuf Jesuit Braves — Head Coach Jeff Scott.
3A Brebeuf Sectional — Danville 5-0, Tri-West Hendricks 15-1.
3A Danville Regional — Indianapolis Bishop Chatard 10-0, Northview 17-2.
Sectional titles (15) — last one before 2021 — 2017. Regional titles (4) — last one before 2021 — 2012. Semistate titles (1) — 2012. State titles (0). State runner-up (1) — 2012 (Andy McClain).

Southridge Raiders — Head Coach Gene Mattingly.
3A Southridge Sectional — Pike Central 10-0, Washington 1-0.
3A Southridge Regional — Silver Creek 2-1, Evansville Memorial 7-2.
Sectional titles (6) — last one before 2021 — 2019. Regional titles (3) — last one before 2021 — 2019. Semistate titles (2) — 2018, 2019. State titles (0). State runner-up (2) — 2018 (Gene Mattingly), 2019 (Gene Mattingly).

Mt. Vernon Marauders — Head Coach Brad King.
4A Pendleton Heights Sectional — Muncie Central 19-0, Pendleton Heights 8-0.
4A Mt. Vernon Regional — Franklin Central 6-2, Indianapolis Cathedral 6-3.
Sectional titles (8) — last one before 2021 — 2011. Regional titles (2) — last one before 2021 — 1971. Semistate titles (0). State titles (0).

Jasper Wildcats — Head Coach Terry Gobert (Indiana Baseball HOF inductee; 5 state titles).
4A Evansville Reitz Sectional — Castle 6-1, Evansville North 5-4, Evansville Central 10-0.
4A Jasper Regional — Floyd Central 2-1, Center Grove 7-4.
Sectional titles (39) — last one before 2021 — 2017. Regional titles (26) — last one before 2021 — 2017. Semistate titles (14) — 1967, 1968, 1981, 1986, 1991, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2006, 2010, 2013, 2015, 2017. State titles (5) — 1996 (Terry Gobert), 1997 (Terry Gobert), 1998 (Terry Gobert), 2000 (Terry Gobert), 2006 (Terry Gobert). State runner-up (4) — 2010, 2013, 2015, 2017.

King, Mt. Vernon Marauders making history in 2021

By STEVE KRAH
http://www.IndianaRBI.com

Mt. Vernon High School in Fortville, Ind., carries the nickname Marauders.
Head baseball coach Brad King has another monicker: Trailblazers.
The 2021 squad has made history along its path to the one-game IHSAA Class 4A Jasper Semistate on Saturday, June 12 against Jasper (29-2). The winner of the 4 p.m. game moves on to the State Finals either Monday or Tuesday, June 21 or 22 at Victory Field in Indianapolis.
At 26-6, Mt. Vernon has surpassed the previous school record for single-season victories by five.
The 2021 Marauders won their first outright Hoosier Heritage Conference championship (Mt. Vernon shared the HCC title with New Palestine in 2009). Other HCC members are Delta, Greenfield-Central, New Castle, Pendleton Heights, Shelbyville and Yorktown.
In winning sectional and regional crowns, the Marauders broke through at those stages for the first time since 2011 and 1971.
“It’s a big deal playing in semistate,” says King, who was hired in the fall of 2019 after 23 seasons — the last 16 as head coach — at New Castle and is coaching his first Mt. Vernon season on the field after the COVID-19 pandemic took he 2020 campaign away. “There will be a lot of electricity at Jasper. But the kids won’t be overwhelmed. We just beat (Indianapolis) Cathedral (in the regional championship game).
“We’re trying to go through the best to be the best.”
Mt. Vernon opened the season by going 2-1 in the Noblesville Invitational, playing Noblesville, Columbus North and Franklin Community and went on to go 12-2 in the conference and play a solid non-conference schedule.
“These kids have kept gaining confidence as the season has gone on,” says King, whose squad is 15-1 in its last 16 games.
At the Pendleton Heights Sectional, the Marauders blanked Muncie Central 19-0 and Pendleton Heights 8-0 then downed Franklin Central 6-2 and Cathedral 6-3 to take the Plainfield Regional. This brought Mt. Vernon’s all-time totals to eight sectional titles and two regionals. The Marauders have never won a semistate or appeared in the State Finals.
Led by seniors Hunter Dobbins (.560, 10 home runs, 39 runs batted in) and Joel Walton (.485, 5 HR, 38 RBI) and sophomore Eli Bridenthal (.366, 15 stolen bases), Mt. Vernon hits .321 as a team and averages 8.6 runs per game.
Junior Landon Clark (.297, 44 runs, 17 stolen bases) sets the table table as the Marauders’ lead-off hitter. Senior A.J. Swingle (.276, 23 RBI) hits No. 2, puts the ball in play and moves runners. Senior Jake Stank (.308, 4 HR, 28 RBI) is the clean-up hitter.
“We’re just really solid offensively, field the ball at 95 percent and have four or five really good (pitching arms),” says King. “We’re really blessed.”
Senior left-hander Swingle (9-0, 1.60 earned run average, 80 strikeouts in 61 1/3 innings) and senior right-hander Eli Clodfelter (8-1, 3.29 ERA, 81 K’s, 51 IP) are Mt. Vernon’s leaders on mound.
Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association North/South All-Star Series selection Dobbins is bound for Ball State University.
Other seniors with college commitments are Walton (Trine University), Stank (Anderson University), Clodfelter (Volunteer State Community College in Gallatin, Tenn.), Carson Augustinovicz (Ohio Dominican University in Columbus, Ohio) and Nate Weaver (Concordia University in Seward, Neb.).
Recent Mt. Vernon graduates with college baseball programs include Nolan Bowser (Saint Louis University), Griffin Garwood (Manchester University), Matt Lood (Indiana University South Bend), Shaun Shipley (committed to Florida Gulf Coast University after playing at Hillsborough Community College in Tampa, Fla.) and Jake Stadler (Purdue University).
King’s coaching staff features Tony Gregory, Wayne Graham, Jerry Grill, Scott Blanchard and Shane Douglas. Varsity assistants Gregory and Graham were with King throughout his head coach run at New Castle. Grill leads the junior varsity team with the help of Blanchard. Douglas is the C-team coach. Mt. Vernon were 25-1 at the JV level and 8-7 in C-team contests this spring.
The last day of school was June 8 so the team has been keeping something a normal schedule during the postseason. King says Marauder practices have been brief.
Mt. Vernon’s feeder system includes Mt. Vernon Optimist (T-ball through age 13), the Marauder Baseball Club (a travel program for Mt. Vernon players through 14U and Mt. Vernon Middle School (seventh and eighth grade teams).
King, who is still Dean of the Freshmen Academy at New Castle, stepped down as baseball coach because of health issues in his family.
“After those issues went away it opened up the possibility for me to get back into coaching,” says King.
Since New Castle had hired a new head coach, King looked for nearby opportunities.
Mt. Vernon intrigued him.
Athletic director Brandon Ecker served in the same capacity during part of King’s coaching tenure at New Castle.
King was approved for hire with the Marauders in August 2019 and had players attending their first workouts in September. Because of the shutdown he never got to lead a talented team in 2020.
“We thought we were going to be very good,” says King. The prevailing feeling outside the Mt. Vernon camp was that the team would be “a little down” in 2021.
“I didn’t feel that way at all,” says King. “That’s the way we approached our offseason workouts.
“The guys were focused and had the same goals as the previous years (win conference, sectional, regional and maybe more). So far they’ve done what they wanted to accomplish.”

It’s been an historic baseball season in 2021 for the Brad King-coached Mt. Vernon (Fortville) Marauders. The team has set a school record for wins and won its first outright Hoosier Heritage Conference title and first sectional and regional crowns since 2011 and 1971.

First-year head coach Yeryar has Shakamak Lakers in semistate

By STEVE KRAH
http://www.IndianaRBI.com

Shakamak Junior-Senior High School in Jasonville, Ind., has established a tradition of excellence on the baseball diamond.
As the Lakers go into the one-game IHSAA Class 1A Mooresville Semistate against first-time regional winner Borden (22-6-1) at 1 p.m. Saturday, June 12, they can count all-time totals of 26 sectionals, 13 regionals, seven semistates and two state titles (2008 and 2014).
The Shakamak-Borden winner moves on to the State Finals to play Washington Township (25-7) or Cowan (15-13) either Monday or Tuesday, June 21 or 22 at Victory Field in Indianapolis.
In 2021, Shakamak beat White River Valley 14-0, Clay City 10-0 and Bloomfield 4-1 to win the White River Valley Sectional and Southwestern (Shelbyville) 10-1 and Oldenburg Academy 13-0 to reign at the Morristown Regional.
The Lakers were 2-4 in the six games before sectional.
“We got hot at the right time,” says Jeremy Yeryar (pronounced YIRE), Shakamak’s first-year head coach. “The kids got hot at the right time. The way we approach it we’re 5-0.
“The postseason. That’s when it really matters.
“The pitching’s been really good and solid. The defense and the bats have really come alive lately. We switched up things in practice and kept us in game mode.
“We’re playing for those seven seniors. Everybody who’s been at this school would like to put that uniform on one more time. I don’t want to let go of the seniors just yet.”
The Class of 2021 is represented by Ethan Burdette, Logan Burris, Trevor Ellingsworth, Brevon Fulford, Bryce Jenkins, Clayton “Buddy” Stone and Peyton Yeryar (cousin to Jeremy).
There have been plenty of success, but Yeryar is not taking credit for those.
“It’s my motto: Players win; Coaches lose,” says Yeryar. “If we lose, that’s on me. If we win, that’s on the kids.”
Yeryar, a 1993 Shakamak graduate who played for Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Famer Chip Sweet.
“The program that I played under him is a lot of the program I’m running,” says Yeryar. “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.
“We teach more than a game. We teach life lessons along the way. Baseball is not fair at times and neither is life. You can come up short at times. Baseball is a game of failure.
“We hold our athletes to a high standard. You should lead at school or anywhere out in the public.”
Yeryar, who was a Lakers assistant for Sweet and his successor Todd Gambill, asks his players to give their all each time out.
“They know what’s at stake,” says Yeryar. “We lost a whole year last year (to the COVID-19 pandemic) and it can happen again.
“So if this was the last time I got to play this game was I satisfied with the way I did it?”
Shakamak graduates Dylan Collins (Class of 2015), Jake Walters (Class of ’15), Brent Yeryar (Class of ’95), Brett Yeryar (Class of ’14), Braxton Yeryar (Class of ’15) and Tanner Yeryar (Class of ’17) and Bloomfield alum Jason Pegg (mid-1990’s) are also part of the 2021 coaching staff.
Brent and Brett are Jeremy’s cousins. Braxton and Tanner are the youngest sons of Jeremy and wife Stacy (a Shakamak cafeteria worker). The oldest son — Braden Cox (Class of ’13) — also played baseball for the Lakers.
Collins played at Vincennes University and Purdue Northwest. Brett and Tanner Yeryar played at VU.
Another former Laker player — Braden Scott (Class of ’16) — pitched out of the bullpen the past few seasons for Indiana University.
While not committed, Burdette and Peyton Yeryar have drawn interest from college program.
Shakamak (enrollment around 200) is a member of the Southwestern Indiana Athletic Conference (with Bloomfield, Clay City, Eastern Greene, Linton-Stockton, North Central of Farmersburg, North Daviess and White River Valley).
The Lakers are part of an IHSAA Class 1A sectional grouping with Bloomfield, Clay City, Eminence, North Central and White River Valley (the 2021 host).
Besides conference and postseason opponents, Shakamak has played Bloomington North, Jasper, Martinsville, Owen Valley, Riverton Parke, Sullivan, Terre Haute North Vigo, Terre Haute South Vigo, Washington and West Vigo.
“We play a very brutal schedule,” says Yeryar. “We always have.”
The Lakers play just one game each against SWIAC teams to free them up to play a strong non-conference slate. It gets them ready for the postseason and is beneficial to their opponents.
“Shakamak travels well,” says Yeryar, who also does utilities for the City of Jasonville. “Coaches always keep us on the schedule. They say, ‘you make a game out of everything.’
“We take a lot of pride in that.”
The Lakers plays home games on-campus. The field got plenty of attention from coaches and players the past year.
“The kids do the field work with me,” says Yeryar. “If you work on the field you’ll respect it and take pride in it.”
Shakamak Youth League (T-ball to age 12), the Shakamak Lakers travel team and a junior high program (grades 6-8) all go into feeding high school baseball.

Braden Cox (left), Stacy, Jeremy, Tanner and Braxton Yeryar.

Shakamak baseball seniors for 2021 (from left): Logan Burris, Trevor Ellingsworth, Brevon Fulford, Buddy Stone, head coach Jeremy Yeryar, Peyton Yeryar, Bryce Jenkins and Ethan Burdette.

IHSAA makes tourney draw; Who adds to trophy case?

By STEVE KRAH

http://www.IndianaRBI.com

The Indiana High School Athletic Association made an early draw for its 2021 baseball state tournament.

The draw was made Sunday, May 2 for an event that begins with sectional games on Wednesday, May 26. Regionals are Saturday, June 5, semistates Saturday, June 12 and the State Finals Monday and Tuesday, June 21-22.

The Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association North/South Series follows the State Finals with festivities in Evansville.

Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic wiped out the 2020 season so this is the first state tournament series since 2019.

IHSAA BASEBALL TOURNAMENT

(2021)

Sectionals

Wednesday-Monday, May 26-31

Class 4A

Merrillville 

Game 1: Munster vs. Highland.
Game 2: Merrillville vs. East Chicago Central. 

Game 3: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner.
Game 4: Hammond Morton vs. Lake Central. 

Championship: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner. 

Titles Won (Most Recent): Lake Central 20 (2019), Merrillville 13 (2001), Highland 12 (2000), Munster 12 (2016), Hammond Morton 10 (2015), East Chicago Central (0).

Chesterton 

Game 1:  Valparaiso vs. Portage.
Game 2:  Hobart vs. Andrean.
Game 3:  Lowell vs. Crown Point.
Game 4:  Chesterton vs. Game 1 winner.
Game 5: Game 2 winner vs. Game 3 winner. 

Championship: Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner. 

Titles Won (Most Recent): Andrean 29 (2019), Crown Point 21 (2019), Valparaiso 20 (2012), Chesterton 19 (2018), Lowell 9 (1994), Portage 8 (2013), Hobart 6 (2014).

Plymouth 

Game 1: Plymouth vs. Mishawaka.
Game 2: LaPorte vs. South Bend Riley.
Game 3: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner.
Game 4: Michigan City vs. South Bend Adams. 

Championship: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner. 

Titles Won (Most Recent): LaPorte 36 (2017), Plymouth 23 (2006), Mishawaka 8 (2019), South Bend Adams 6 (2009), South Bend Riley 2 (1991), Michigan City 1 (2002).

Northridge 

Game 1: Goshen vs. Penn.
Game 2: Elkhart vs. Concord.
Game 3: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner.
Game 4: Northridge vs. Warsaw Community. 

Championship: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner. 

Titles Won (Most Recent): Penn 22 (2018), Goshen 17 (2008), Warsaw 11 (2010), Northridge 7 (2019), Concord 4 (2014), Elkhart 0.

Carroll (Fort Wayne) 

Game 1: Carroll (Fort Wayne) vs. Fort Wayne Snider. 

Game 2: East Noble vs. Fort Wayne Northrop.
Game 3: DeKalb vs. Game 1 winner.
Championship: Game 2 winner vs. Game 3 winner. 

Titles Won (Most Recent): DeKalb 19 (2002), East Noble 15 (1995), Northrop 15 (2016), Carroll 14 (2019), Snider 11 (2017).

Huntington North 

Game 1: Huntington North vs. Fort Wayne North Side. 

Game 2: Fort Wayne South Side vs. Homestead.
Game 3: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner.
Game 4: Fort Wayne Wayne vs. Columbia City. 

Championship: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner. 

Titles Won (Most Recent): Huntington North 20 (2017), Homestead 14 (2016), Columbia City 9 (2007), Wayne 7 (1992), South Side 3 (2019), North Side 0.

Lafayette Jeff

Game 1: McCutcheon vs. Lafayette Jeff.
Game 2: Harrison (West Lafayette) vs. Logansport. 

Game 3: Kokomo vs. Game 1 winner.
Championship: Game 2 winner vs. Game 3 winner. 

Titles Won (Most Recent): Logansport 29 (2019), Lafayette Jeff 17 (2013), Kokomo 13 (2010), Harrison 11 (2015), McCutcheon 11 (2014).

Westfield 

Game 1: Carmel vs. Zionsville.
Game 2: Hamilton Southeastern vs. Fishers. 

Game 3: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner.
Game 4: Westfield vs. Noblesville. 

Championship: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner. 

Titles Won (Most Recent): Hamilton Southeastern 15 (2019), Noblesville 14 (2014), Zionsville 14 (2018), Carmel 13 (2016), Westfield 5 (2011), Fishers 2 (2018).

Pendleton Heights

Game 1: Pendleton Heights vs. Greenfield-Central. 

Game 2: Richmond vs. Anderson.
Game 3: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner.
Game 4: Mt. Vernon (Fortville) vs. Muncie Central. 

Championship: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner. 

Titles Won (Most Recent): Richmond 29 (2011), Pendleton Heights 17 (2018), Greenfield-Central 14 (2019), Muncie Central 14 (2000), Anderson 7 (2012), Mt. Vernon 7 (2011).

Ben Davis 

Game 1: Indianapolis Cathedral vs. Indianapolis Crispus Attucks. 

Game 2: Pike vs. Indianapolis Arsenal Tech.
Game 3: Lawrence Central vs. Ben Davis.
Game 4: North Central (Indianapolis) vs. Lawrence North. 

Game 5: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner.
Game 6: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner. 

Championship: Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner. 

Titles Won (Most Recent): Indianapolis Cathedral 23 (2019), Ben Davis 12 (2014), North Central 11 (2006), Pike 10 (2010), Lawrence Central 8 (2004), Lawrence North 8 (2016), Arsenal Tech 1 (1970), Crispus Attucks 0.

Franklin Central 

Game 1: Southport vs. Roncalli.
Game 2: Perry Meridian vs. Franklin Central. 

Game 3: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner.
Game 4: New Palestine vs. Warren Central. 

Championship: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner. 

Titles Won (Most Recent): New Palestine 16 (2015), Roncalli 14 (2018), Southport 13 (2008), Warren Central 9 (1991), Franklin Central 8 (2018), Perry Meridian 8 (2007).

Plainfield 

Game 1: Terre Haute North Vigo vs. Decatur Central. 

Game 2: Plainfield vs. Terre Haute South Vigo.
Game 3: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner.
Game 4: Brownsburg vs. Avon. 

Championship: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner. 

Titles Won (Most Recent): North Vigo 19 (2015), Decatur Central 16 (2019), Brownsburg 14 (2013), South Vigo 14 (2018), Plainfield 8 (1997), Avon 5 (2019).

Mooresville 

Game 1: Center Grove vs. Martinsville.
Game 2: Franklin Community vs. Mooresville.
Game 3: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner.
Game 4: Whiteland Community vs. Greenwood Community. 

Championship: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner. 

Titles Won (Most Recent): Center Grove 19 (2016), Martinsville 15 (2019), Mooresville 10 (2004), Whiteland 10 (2014), Greenwood 8 (1984), Franklin 5 (2013).

Bloomington North 

Game 1: East Central vs. Columbus North.
Game 2: Shelbyville vs. Columbus East.
Game 3: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner.
Game 4: Bloomington South vs. Bloomington North. 

Championship: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner. 

Titles Won (Most Recent): Columbus East 19 (2019), Bloomington South 18 (2016), Bloomington North 17 (2013), Shelbyville 10 (2005), Columbus North 13 (2017), East Central 6 (2006).

Floyd Central 

Game 1: New Albany vs. Jennings County.
Game 2: Seymour vs. Floyd Central.
Game 3: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner.
Game 4: Jeffersonville vs. Bedford North Lawrence. 

Championship: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner. 

Titles Won (Most Recent): Jeffersonville 26 (2019), New Albany 22 (2016), Bedford North Lawrence 14 (2017), Seymour 14 (1995), Floyd Central 13 (2015), Jennings County 11 (2006).

Evansville Reitz 

Game 1: Jasper vs. Castle.
Game 2: Evansville North vs. Evansville Harrison. 

Game 3: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner.
Game 4: Evansville Reitz vs. Evansville Central. 

Championship: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner. 

Titles Won (Most Recent): Jasper 38 (2017), Castle 15 (2019), Central 9 (2017), Harrison 7 (2016), North 5 (2013), Reitz 5 (2015).

Class 3A

Griffith 

Game 1: Hammond Gavit vs. Hammond Clark. 

Game 2: Calumet vs. Griffith.
Game 3: Hammond vs. Game 1 winner. 

Championship: Game 2 winner vs. Game 3 winner. 

Titles Won (Most Recent): Griffith 17 (2019), Clark 9 (2011), Hammond 7 (1999), Gavit 5 (1997), Calumet 3 (1990).

Kankakee Valley 

Game 1: Knox vs. Culver Academies.
Game 2: Hanover Central vs. Kankakee Valley. 

Game 3: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner.
Game 4: River Forest vs. Glenn. 

Championship: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner. 

Titles Won (Most Recent): Glenn 9 (2017), Culver Academies 4 (1997), Kankakee Valley 4 (1999), Hanover Central 1 (2011), Knox 1 (1996), River Forest 0.

South Bend Clay 

Game 1: South Bend Clay vs. South Bend St. Joseph. 

Game 2: Mishawaka Marian vs. New Prairie. 

Championship: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner. 

Titles Won (Most Recent): St. Joseph 15 (2019), Clay 12 (2013), Mishawaka Marian 9 (2016), New Prairie 3 (2005).

Northwestern 

Game 1: Peru vs. Western.
Game 2: Twin Lakes vs. Benton Central.
Game 3: West Lafayette vs. Maconaquah. 

Game 4: Northwestern vs. Game 1 winner.
Game 5: Game 2 winner vs. Game 3 winner. 

Championship: Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner. 

Titles Won (Most Recent): Benton Central 25 (2009), Western 20 (2019), Twin Lakes 12 (1993), Northwestern 9 (2014), West Lafayette 9 (2011), Peru 5 (2018), Maconaquah 3 (1994).

Wawasee 

Game 1: Jimtown vs. Tippecanoe Valley.
Game 2: Lakeland vs. Wawasee.
Game 3: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner.
Game 4: West Noble vs. NorthWood. 

Championship: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner.

Titles Won (Most Recent): NorthWood 12 (2018), Lakeland 11 (2008), Jimtown 9 (2007), West Noble 8 (2006), Wawasee 6 (1997), Tippecanoe Valley 5 (2012).

Garrett 

Game 1: Angola vs. Fort Wayne Bishop Luers.
Game 2: Garrett vs. Fort Wayne Concordia Lutheran. 

Game 3: Leo vs. Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger.
Game 4: New Haven vs. Game 1 winner.
Game 5: Game 2 winner vs. Game 3 winner.
Championship: Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner. 

Titles Won (Most Recent): New Haven 13 (2019), Dwenger 11 (2016), Concordia 8 (2018), Leo 8 (2012), Luers 7 (2012), Angola 5 (2019), Garrett 3 (1973).

Bellmont 

Game 1: Marion vs. Norwell.
Game 2: Mississinewa vs. Heritage.
Game 3: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner.
Game 4: Bellmont vs. Oak Hill. 

Championship: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner. 

Titles Won (Most Recent): Marion 20 (1998), Bellmont 19 (2016), Norwell 16 (2017), Heritage 9 (2015), Mississinewa 3 (2006), Oak Hill 3 (2006).

Yorktown 

Game 1: Hamilton Heights vs. Delta.
Game 2: Jay County vs. Guerin Catholic.
Game 3: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner.
Game 4: New Castle vs. Yorktown. 

Championship: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner. 

Titles Won (Most Recent): Yorktown 17 (2019), Delta 13 (2016), New Castle 13 (2014), Jay County 9 (2019), Hamilton Heights 2 (2012), Guerin 0.

North Montgomery 

Game 1: Crawfordsville vs. Lebanon.
Game 2: North Montgomery vs. South Vermillion. 

Game 3: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner.
Game 4: Northview vs. Frankfort.
Championship: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner. 

Titles Won (Most Recent): Crawfordsville 17 (2013), Frankfort 13 (2019), North Montgomery 12 (2018), Lebanon 11 (2014), South Vermillion 10 (2019), Northview 9 (2017).

Brebeuf Jesuit 

Game 1: Greencastle vs. Danville Community.
Game 2: Indianapolis Cardinal Ritter vs. Tri-West Hendricks. 

Game 3: Brebeuf Jesuit vs. Game 1 winner.
Championship: Game 2 winner vs. Game 3 winner. 

Titles Won (Most Recent): Ritter 17 (2019), Brebeuf 14 (2017), Greencastle 12 (1994), Danville 8 (2015), Tri-West Hendricks 7 (2018).

Beech Grove 

Game 1: Indianapolis Bishop Chatard vs. Beech Grove. 

Game 2: Indianapolis Shortridge vs. Herron.
Game 3: Indianapolis George Washington vs. Game 1 winner. 

Championship: Game 2 winner vs. Game 3 winner. 

Titles Won (Most Recent): Indianapolis Bishop Chatard 11 (2007), Beech Grove 6 (2014), Indianapolis Washington 2 (1978), Herron 0, Shortridge 0.

Owen Valley 

Game 1: West Vigo vs. Owen Valley.
Game 2: Edgewood vs. Indian Creek.
Game 3: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner.
Game 4: Sullivan vs. Brown County. 

Championship: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner. 

Titles Won (Most Recent): Sullivan 16 (2015), West Vigo 14 (2018), Edgewood 12 (2019), Indian Creek 6 (2019), Brown County 1 (1993), Owen Valley 1 (1975).

Lawrenceburg 

Game 1: South Dearborn vs. Batesville.
Game 2: Greensburg vs. Connersville.
Game 3: Rushville Consolidated vs. Lawrenceburg. 

Game 4: Franklin County vs. Game 1 winner.
Game 5: Game 2 winner vs. Game 3 winner.
Championship: Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner. 

Titles Won (Most Recent): Lawrenceburg 20 (2017), Connersville 18 (2010), Batesville 12 (2018), South Dearborn 12 (2019), Greensburg 9 (2016), Franklin County 7 (2013), Rushville 5 (1999).

Silver Creek 

Game 1: Silver Creek vs. Charlestown.
Game 2: Scottsburg vs. Corydon Central.
Game 3: Brownstown Central vs. Salem.
Game 4: Madison Consolidated vs. North Harrison. 

Game 5: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner.
Game 6: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner.
Championship: Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner. 

Titles Won (Most Recent): Madison 22 (2009), North Harrison 9 (2015), Silver Creek 9 (2019), Scottsburg 6 (1996). Salem 3 (1996), Brownstown Central 2 (2016). Charlestown 2 (2009), Corydon Central 2 (2010).

Southridge 

Game 1: Washington vs. Princeton Community. 

Game 2: Gibson Southern vs. Vincennes Lincoln. 

Game 3: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner.
Game 4: Pike Central vs. Southridge. 

Championship: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner. 

Titles Won (Most Recent): Vincennes Lincoln 17 (2019), Gibson Southern 9 (2014), Washington 9 (2018), Princeton 6 (1991), Southridge 5 (2019), Pike Central 1 (1989).

Evansville Bosse 

Game 1: Evansville Bosse vs. Evansville Memorial. 

Game 2: Heritage Hills vs. Boonville.
Game 3: Mt. Vernon vs. Game 1 winner. 

Championship: Game 2 winner vs. Game 3 winner. 

Titles Won (Most Recent): Memorial 29 (2019), Mount Vernon 17 (2015), Boonville 12 (2017), Heritage Hills 7 (2011), Bosse 3 (2010).

Class 2A

Whiting 

Game 1: Wheeler vs. Bowman Academy.
Game 2: Lake Station Edison vs. Whiting.
Game 3: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner.
Game 4: Illiana Christian vs. Hammond Bishop Noll. 

Championship: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner. 

Titles Won (Most Recent): Noll 27 (2018), Wheeler 5 (2008), Lake Station Edison 4 (2005), Whiting 4 (2019), Bowman Academy 0, Illiana Christian 0.

Hebron 

Game 1: North Newton vs. Hebron.
Game 2: North Judson-San Pierre vs. Rensselaer Central. 

Game 3: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner.
Game 4: Boone Grove vs. Winamac Community. 

Championship: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner. 

Titles Won (Most Recent): Boone Grove 13 (2018), North Newton 12 (2019), North Judson 8 (2006), Rensselaer Central 7 (2003), Hebron 4 (2017), Winamac 3 (1999).

Westview 

Game 1: LaVille vs. Bremen.
Game 2: Central Noble vs. Prairie Heights. 

Game 3: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner.
Game 4: Fairfield vs. Westview. 

Championship: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner. 

Titles Won (Most Recent): Bremen 11 (2016), Westview 9 (2014), Fairfield 6 (2010), LaVille 4 (2019), Central Noble 3 (2012), Prairie Heights 2 (1984).

Eastside 

Game 1: Churubusco vs. Bluffton.
Game 2: South Adams vs. Woodlan.
Game 3: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner.
Game 4: Adams Central vs. Eastside. 

Championship: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner. 

Titles Won (Most Recent): Churubusco 10 (2015), South Adams 9 (2018), Adams Central 8 (2016), Bluffton 5 (2019), Eastside 5 (2018), Woodlan 2 (2006).

Wabash 

Game 1: Wabash vs. Carroll (Flora).
Game 2: Rochester Community vs. Lewis Cass. 

Game 3: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner.
Game 4: Whitko vs. Manchester. 

Championship: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner. 

Titles Won (Most Recent): Rochester 11 (2014), Wabash 10 (2019), Manchester 9 (2016), Carroll 6 (2015), Lewis Cass 6 (2018), Whitko 1 (2017).

Delphi Community 

Game 1: Seeger vs. Western Boone.
Game 2: Lafayette Central Catholic vs. Clinton Prairie. 

Game 3: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner.
Game 4: Delphi Community vs. Fountain Central. 

Championship: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner. 

Titles Won (Most Recent): Lafayette Central Catholic 17 (2018), Fountain Central 10 (2009), Delphi 5 (2019), Seeger 5 (2015), Clinton Prairie 4 (1993), Western Boone 2 (1983).

Eastern (Greentown) 

Game 1: Tipton vs. Eastbrook.
Game 2: Blackford vs. Madison-Grant.
Game 3: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner.
Game 4: Eastern (Greentown) vs. Taylor. 

Championship: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner. 

Titles Won (Most Recent): Blackford 17 (2017), Taylor 7 (2015), Tipton 7 (2009), Madison-Grant 6 (2012), Eastbrook 4 (2004), Eastern (Greentown) 2 (1999).

Lapel 

Game 1: Muncie Burris vs. Lapel.
Game 2: Monroe Central vs. Frankton.
Game 3: Alexandria Monroe vs. Winchester Community. 

Game 4: Wapahani vs. Elwood Community.
Game 5: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner.
Game 6: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner.
Championship: Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner. 

Titles Won (Most Recent): Wapahani 16 (2019), Alexandria 9 (2019), Elwood 8 (2014), Frankton 7 (2018), Lapel 7 (2015), Monroe Central 1 (2014), Muncie Burris 1 (1982), Winchester 1 (1986).

Centerville 

Game 1: Union County vs. Centerville.
Game 2: Shenandoah vs. Northeastern.
Game 3: Hagerstown vs. Game 1 winner. 

Championship: Game 2 winner vs. Game 3 winner. 

Titles Won (Most Recent): Shenandoah 12 (2006), Hagerstown 11 (2019), Union County 8 (2018), Centerville 7 (2011), Northeastern 4 (2004).

Heritage Christian 

Game 1: Triton Central vs. Indianapolis Scecina. 

Game 2: Eastern Hancock vs. Heritage Christian. 

Game 3: Knightstown vs. Game 1 winner. 

Championship: Game 2 winner vs. Game 3 winner. 

Titles Won (Most Recent): Scecina 9 (2019), Heritage Christian 8 (2017), Knightstown 6 (2016), Triton Central 3 (2012), Eastern Hancock 1 (1976).

Cascade 

Game 1: Monrovia vs. Park Tudor.
Game 2: Speedway vs. Cascade.
Game 3: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner.
Game 4: University vs. Covenant Christian (Indianapolis). 

Championship: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner. 

Titles Won (Most Recent): Speedway 9 (2019), Park Tudor 7 (2013), Cascade 6 (2005), University 4 (2019), Covenant Christian 2 (2018), Monrovia 0.

Southmont 

Game 1: South Putnam vs. Parke Heritage. 

Game 2: Cloverdale vs. North Putnam.
Game 3: Southmont vs. Game 1 winner. 

Championship: Game 2 winner vs. Game 3 winner. 

Titles Won (Most Recent): Southmont 6 (2017), Cloverdale 4 (1984), North Putnam 4 (2007), South Putnam 4 (2010), Parke Heritage 0.

South Ripley 

Game 1: Switzerland County vs. Milan.
Game 2: North Decatur vs. South Ripley.
Game 3: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner.
Game 4: South Decatur vs. Southwestern (Hanover). 

Championship: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner. 

Titles Won (Most Recent): South Ripley 7 (2008), Switzerland County 4 (2018), Milan 3 (2015), South Decatur 2 (1976), North Decatur 1 (2011), Southwestern 1 (1999).

Eastern (Pekin) 

Game 1: Henryville vs. Providence.
Game 2: Clarksville vs. Eastern (Pekin).
Game 3: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner.
Game 4: Austin vs. Crawford County. 

Championship: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner. 

Titles Won (Most Recent): Providence 18 (2017), Clarksville 14 (2018), Austin 8 (2019), Henryville 6 (2008), Eastern 4 (2012), Crawford County 1 (1977).

Mitchell 

Game 1: South Knox vs. Linton-Stockton.
Game 2: Paoli vs. Mitchell.
Game 3: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner.
Game 4: North Knox vs. Eastern Greene. 

Championship: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner. 

Titles Won (Most Recent): Mitchell 10 (2006), Linton-Stockton 9 (2017), Paoli 8 (1995), North Knox 6 (1998), Eastern Greene 5 (2013), South Knox 3 (2007).

Tell City 

Game 1: Tell City vs. Forest Park.
Game 2: Perry Central vs. South Spencer.
Game 3: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner.
Game 4: North Posey vs. Evansville Mater Dei. 

Championship: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner. 

Titles Won (Most Recent): South Spencer 23 (2017), Tell City 16 (1997), Evansville Mater Dei 12 (2014), North Posey 9 (2019), Forest Park 4 (2002), Perry Central 0.

Class 1A

Washington Township 

Game 1: Westville vs. Covenant Christian (DeMotte). 

Game 2: Kouts vs. Washington Township.
Game 3: Marquette Catholic vs. Morgan Township. 

Game 4: Hammond Academy of Science & Technology vs. 21st Century Gary. 

Game 5: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner.
Game 6: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner. 

Championship: Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner. 

Titles Won (Most Recent): Washington Township 9 (2019), Kouts 5 (2011), Morgan Township 4 (2018), Marquette Catholic 3 (2007), Covenant Christian 0, HAST 0, 21st Century 0, Westville 0.

LaCrosse 

Game 1: South Central (Union Mills) vs. Culver Community. 

Game 2: LaCrosse vs. Argos.
Game 3: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner.
Game 4: Oregon-Davis vs. Triton. 

Championship: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner. 

Titles Won (Most Recent): South Central (Union Mills) 16 (2019), Culver Community 8 (2013), Triton 4 (2015), LaCrosse 3 (2002), Argos 1 (1998), Oregon-Davis 1 (1976).

Fremont 

Game 1: Fort Wayne Canterbury vs. Bethany Christian.
Game 2: Elkhart Christian Academy vs. Fort Wayne Blackhawk Christian. 

Game 3: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner.
Game 4: Fremont vs. Lakewood Park Christian.
Championship: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner. 

Titles Won (Most Recent): Fort Wayne Blackhawk Christian 14 (2017), Fremont 7 (2019), Canterbury 2 (2014), Bethany Christian 1 (1987), Elkhart Christian 1 (2013), Lakewood Park Christian 0.

Caston 

Game 1: Southwood vs. Northfield. 

Game 2: West Central vs. Pioneer.
Game 3: North White vs. North Miami. 

Game 4: Caston vs. Game 1 winner. 

Game 5: Game 2 winner vs. Game 3 winner. 

Championship: Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner. 

Titles Won (Most Recent): Northfield 10 (2018), North White 10 (2016), Southwood 4 (2014), Caston 1 (2012), North Miami 1 (2019), Pioneer 1 (2016), West Central 1 (1975).

Riverton Parke 

Game 1: Covington vs. Attica.
Game 2: Faith Christian vs. North Vermillion. 

Game 3: Riverton Parke vs. Game 1 winner. 

Championship: Game 2 winner vs. Game 3 winner. 

Titles Won (Most Recent): Covington 12 (2018), Riverton Parke 9 (2019), Attica 8 (2017), North Vermillion 5 (1997), Faith Christian 0.

Frontier 

Game 1: Rossville vs. Frontier.
Game 2: Sheridan vs. South Newton.
Game 3: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner.
Game 4: Tri-County vs. Clinton Central. 

Championship: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner. 

Titles Won (Most Recent): South Newton 8 (2017), Frontier 7 (2014), Rossville 6 (2019), Tri-County 6 (2011), Clinton Central 1 (2005), Sheridan 1 (2004).

Liberty Christian 

Game 1: Liberty Christian vs. Wes-Del.
Game 2: Daleville vs. Tri-Central.
Game 3: Southern Wells vs. Anderson Preparatory. 

Game 4: Cowan vs. Game 1 winner.
Game 5: Game 2 winner vs. Game 3 winner.
Championship: Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner. 

Titles Won (Most Recent): Daleville 11 (2019), Cowan 6 (2010), Wes-Del 5 (2011), Tri-Central 3 (2004), Anderson Prep 0, Liberty Christian 0, Southern Wells 0.

Seton Catholic 

Game 1: Union City vs. Tri.
Game 2: Seton Catholic vs. Randolph Southern.
Game 3: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner.
Game 4: Blue River Valley vs. Cambridge City Lincoln. 

Championship: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner. 

Titles Won (Most Recent): Tri 4 (2007), Blue River Valley 3 (2019), Seton Catholic 3 (2014), Cambridge City Lincoln 2 (1994), Union City 2 (2018), Randolph Southern 1 (2010).

White River Valley 

Game 1: Clay City vs. Eminence.
Game 2: Shakamak vs. White River Valley.
Game 3: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner.
Game 4: North Central (Farmersburg) vs. Bloomfield. 

Championship: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner. 

Titles Won (Most Recent): Shakamak 25 (2019), North Central (Farmersburg) 8 (2011), Bloomfield 2 (1971), Clay City 2 (2016), Eminence 1 (2005), White River Valley 1 (2014).

Bethesda Christian 

Game 1: Bethesda Christian vs. Providence Cristo Rey. 

Game 2: Tindley vs. Traders Point Christian.
Game 3: Indiana Deaf vs. Game 1 winner.
Championship: Game 2 winner vs. Game 3 winner. 

Titles Won (Most Recent): Bethesda Christian 2 (2011), Indiana Deaf 0, Providence Cristo Rey 0, Tindley 0, Traders Point 0, 

Morristown 

Game 1: Southwestern (Shelbyville) vs. Indianapolis Lutheran. 

Game 2: Greenwood Christian Academy vs. Edinburgh.
Game 3: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner.
Game 4: Waldron vs. Morristown. 

Championship: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner. 

Titles Won (Most Recent): Indianapolis Lutheran 13 (2019), Edinburgh 4 (2017), Greenwood Christian 3 (2016), Morristown 2 (2008), Southwestern 1 (1999), Waldron 1 (2001).

Jac-Cen-Del

Game 1: Oldenburg Academy vs. Trinity Lutheran. 

Game 2: Jac-Cen-Del vs. Rising Sun.
Game 3: Hauser vs. Game 1 winner.
Championship: Game 2 winner vs. Game 3 winner. 

Titles Won (Most Recent): Jac-Cen-Del 8 (2016), Rising Sun 7 (2019), Trinity Lutheran 6 (2019), Hauser 5 (2018), Oldenburg Academy 4 (2010).

South Central (Elizabeth) 

Game 1: Lanesville vs. Christian Academy of Indiana. 

Game 2: Orleans vs. South Central (Elizabeth).
Game 3: Borden vs. Game 1 winner.
Championship: Game 2 winner vs. Game 3 winner. 

Titles Won (Most Recent): Orleans 9 (2018), South Central (Elizabeth) 7 (2019), Lanesville 5 (2019), Borden 4 (2018), Christian Academy 2 (2009).

West Washington 

Game 1: Crothersville vs. New Washington.
Game 2: Shawe Memorial vs. West Washington. 

Championship: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner. 

Titles Won (Most Recent): Shawe Memorial 3 (2001), New Washington 1 (1998), Crothersville 0, West Washington 0, 

North Daviess 

Game 1: Shoals vs. Loogootee.
Game 2: Vincennes Rivet vs. North Daviess. 

Game 3: Barr-Reeve vs. Game 1 winner. 

Championship: Game 2 winner vs. Game 3 winner. 

Titles Won (Most Recent): Loogootee 21 (1994), Barr-Reeve 12 (2019), North Daviess 7 (2015), Vincennes Rivet 9 (2014), Shoals 0.

Northeast Dubois 

Game 1: Northeast Dubois vs. Tecumseh.
Game 2: Wood Memorial vs. Cannelton.
Game 3: Springs Valley vs. Game 1 winner. 

Championship: Game 2 winner vs. Game 3 winner. 

Titles Won (Most Recent): Springs Valley 17 (2004), Tecumseh 15 (2019), Northeast Dubois 10 (2017), Cannelton 5 (1993), Wood Memorial 3 (2011).

Regionals

Saturday, June 5

Class 4A

LaPorte 

Game 1: Chesterton winner vs. Merrillville winner. 

Game 2: Northridge winner vs. Plymouth winner. 

Championship: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner. 

Kokomo 

Game 1: Carroll (Fort Wayne) winner vs. Lafayette Jefferson winner. 

Game 2: Huntington North winner vs. Westfield winner. 

Championship: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner. 

Plainfield 

Game 1: Pendleton Heights winner vs. Franklin Central winner. 

Game 2: Ben Davis winner vs. Plainfield winner. 

Championship: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner. 

Jasper 

Game 1: Mooresville winner vs. Bloomington North winner. 

Game 2: New Albany winner vs. Evansville Reitz winner. 

Championship: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner. 

Class 3A

Griffith 

Game 1: Griffith winner vs. Northwestern winner.
Game 2: Kankakee Valley winner vs. South Bend Clay winner. Championship: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner. 

Bellmont 

Game 1: Garrett winner vs. Yorktown winner. 

Game 2: Bellmont winner vs. Wawasee winner. 

Championship: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner. 

Danville 

Game 1: North Montgomery winner vs. Owen Valley winner. 

Game 2: Beech Grove winner vs. Brebeuf Jesuit winner. 

Championship: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner. 

Southridge 

Game 1: Silver Creek winner vs. Southridge winner.
Game 2: Evansville Bosse winner vs. Lawrenceburg winner. 

Championship: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner. 

Class 2A

Whiting 

Game 1: Eastside winner vs. Whiting winner. 

Game 2: Hebron winner vs. Westview winner. 

Championship: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner. 

Lafayette Central Catholic 

Game 1: Lapel winner vs. Eastern (Greentown) winner. 

Game 2: Delphi Community winner vs. Wabash winner. 

Championship: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner. 

Cascade 

Game 1: Cascade winner vs. Centerville winner.
Game 2: Heritage Christian winner vs. Southmont winner. 

Championship: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner. 

Evansville Mater Dei (Bosse Field) 

Game 1: South Ripley winner vs. Eastern (Pekin) winner. 

Game 2: Mitchell winner vs. Tell City winner. 

Championship: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner. 

Class 1A

South Bend Washington (Four Winds Field) 

Game 1: LaCrosse winner vs. Washington Township winner. 

Game 2: Caston winner vs. Fremont winner.
Championship: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner. 

Carroll (Flora) 

Game 1: Seton Catholic winner vs. Liberty Christian winner. 

Game 2: Riverton Parke winner vs. Frontier winner. 

Championship: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner. 

Morristown 

Game 1: White River Valley winner vs. Morristown winner. 

Game 2: Jac-Cen-Del winner vs. Bethesda Christian winner. Championship: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner. 

Lanesville 

Game 1: North Daviess winner vs. Northeast Dubois winner. Game 2: South Central (Elizabeth) winner vs. West  Washington winner.
Championship: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner. 

Semistates

(Teams TBD)

Saturday, June 12

North 

LaPorte
Kokomo (Municipal Stadium) 

South 

Mooresville
Jasper (Ruxer Field) 

State Finals

Monday, June 21
Class TBA — North Semi-State winner vs. South Semi-State winner, 5 p.m. ET /4 p.m. CT.

Class TBA — North Semi-State winner vs. South Semi-State winner, 8 p.m. ET/ 7 p.m. CT.

Tuesday, June 22
Class TBA — North Semi-State winner vs. South Semi-State winner, 5 p.m. ET/4 p.m. CT.

Class TBA — North Semi-State winner vs. South Semi-State winner, 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT.

IHSAA releases baseball state tournament series sites

By STEVE KRAH

http://www.IndianaRBI.com

Where is your team going come sectional time?

What if they make the regional or semistate?

Who hosts the semistates?

When are the State Finals planned?

Those questions were answered as IHSAA Executive Committee minutes from Feb. 19 were released March 8.

According to the IHSAA website, Assistant Commissioner Robert Faulkens reported on the general format, sites and other preliminary plans for the 2020-21 Baseball Tournament Series. 

Faulkens was notified by the Indianapolis Indians that their schedule is now set by Major League Baseball rather than the International League and has the team set for home games on the dates of this year’s IHSAA State Finals. The plan now will be to play this year’s state championship games on the following Monday and Tuesday (June 21-22). 

Earlier, the Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association announced its plans to have its Futures Game and North/South All-Star Series that same week in Evansville.

The first IHSAA practice date is March 15. The first contest date is March 29.

IHSAA TOURNAMENT

Sectionals
Class 4A
1. Merrillville (6): East Chicago Central, Hammond Morton, Highland, Lake Central, Merrillville, Munster.
2. Chesterton (7): Andrean, Chesterton, Crown Point, Hobart, Lowell, Portage, Valparaiso.
3. Plymouth (6): LaPorte, Michigan City, Mishawaka, Plymouth, South Bend Adams, South Bend Riley.
4. Northridge (6): Concord, Elkhart, Goshen, Northridge, Penn, Warsaw Community.
5. Carroll (Fort Wayne) (5): Carroll (Fort Wayne), DeKalb, East Noble, Fort Wayne Northrop, Fort Wayne Snider

6. Huntington North (6): Columbia City, Fort Wayne North Side, Fort Wayne South Side, Fort Wayne Wayne, Homestead, Huntington North.
7. Lafayette Jefferson (5): Harrison (West Lafayette), Kokomo, Lafayette Jefferson, Logansport, McCutcheon.
8. Westfield (6): Carmel, Fishers, Hamilton Southeastern, Noblesville, Westfield, Zionsville.
9. Pendleton Heights (6): Anderson, Greenfield-Central, Mt. Vernon (Fortville), Muncie Central, Pendleton Heights, Richmond.

10. Ben Davis (7): Ben Davis, Indianapolis Arsenal Technical, Indianapolis Cathedral, Lawrence Central, Lawrence North, North Central (Indianapolis), Pike
11. Warren Central (6): Franklin Central, New Palestine, Perry Meridian, , Roncalli, Southport, Warren Central.
12. Plainfield (6): Avon, Brownsburg, Decatur Central, Plainfield, Terre Haute North Vigo, Terre Haute South Vigo.
13. Mooresville (6): Center Grove, Franklin Community, Greenwood Community, Martinsville, Mooresville, Whiteland Community.
14. Bloomington North (6): Bloomington North, Bloomington South, Columbus East, Columbus North, East Central, Shelbyville.
15. New Albany (6): Bedford North Lawrence, Floyd Central, Jeffersonville, Jennings County, New Albany, Seymour.
16. Evansville F.J. Reitz (6): Castle, Evansville Central, Evansville F.J. Reitz, Evansville Harrison, Evansville North, Jasper.

Class 3A
17. Griffith (6): Calumet, Gary West Side, Griffith, Hammond, Hammond Clark, Hammond Gavit.
18. Kankakee Valley (6): Culver Academies, Glenn, Hanover Central, Kankakee Valley, Knox, River Forest.
19. South Bend Clay (5): Mishawaka Marian, New Prairie, South Bend Clay, South Bend Saint Joseph, South Bend Washington.
20. Northwestern (7): Benton Central, Maconaquah, Northwestern, Peru, Twin Lakes, West Lafayette, Western.

21. Wawasee (6): Jimtown, Lakeland, NorthWood, Tippecanoe Valley, Wawasee, West Noble.
22. Garrett (7): Angola, Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger, Fort Wayne Bishop Luers, Fort Wayne Concordia Lutheran, Garrett, Leo, New Haven.
23. Bellmont (6): Bellmont, Heritage, Marion, Mississinewa, Norwell, Oak Hill.
24. Yorktown (6): Delta, Guerin Catholic, Hamilton Heights, Jay County, New Castle, Yorktown.
25. North Montgomery (6): Crawfordsville, Frankfort, Lebanon, North Montgomery, Northview, South Vermillion.

26. Brebeuf Jesuit (5): Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory, Danville Community, Greencastle, Indianapolis Cardinal Ritter, Tri-West Hendricks.
27. Beech Grove (5): Beech Grove, Herron, Indianapolis Bishop Chatard, Indianapolis Emmerich Manual, Indianapolis Shortridge.
28. Owen Valley (6): Brown County, Edgewood, Indian Creek, Owen Valley, Sullivan, West Vigo.
29. Lawrenceburg (7): Batesville, Connersville, Franklin County, Greensburg, Lawrenceburg, Rushville Consolidated, South Dearborn.
30. Silver Creek (8): Brownstown Central, Charlestown, Corydon Central, Madison Consolidated, North Harrison, Salem, Scottsburg, Silver Creek.
31. Southridge (6): Gibson Southern, Pike Central, Princeton Community, Southridge, Vincennes Lincoln, Washington 

32. Evansville Bosse (5): Boonville, Evansville Bosse, Evansville Reitz Memorial, Heritage Hills, Mt. Vernon.

Class 2A
33. Whiting (6): Bowman Leadership Academy, Gary Roosevelt, Hammond Bishop Noll, Lake Station Edison, Wheeler, Whiting.

34. Hebron (6): Boone Grove, Hebron, North Judson-San Pierre, North Newton, Rensselaer Central, Winamac Community.
35. Westview (6): Bremen, Central Noble, Fairfield, LaVille, Prairie Heights, Westview.
36. Eastside (6): Adams Central, Bluffton, Churubusco, Eastside, South Adams, Woodlan.
37. Wabash (6): Carroll (Flora), Lewis Cass, Manchester, Rochester Community, Wabash, Whitko.
38. Delphi (6): Clinton Prairie, Delphi Community, Fountain Central, Lafayette Central Catholic, Seeger, Western Boone.
39. Eastern (Greentown) (6): Blackford, Eastbrook, Eastern (Greentown), Madison-Grant, Taylor, Tipton.
40. Lapel (8): Alexandria Monroe, Elwood Community, Frankton, Lapel, Monroe Central, Muncie Burris, Wapahani, Winchester Community.
41. Centerville (5): Centerville, Hagerstown, Northeastern, Shenandoah, Union County.
42. Heritage Christian (6): Eastern Hancock, Heritage Christian, Indianapolis Scecina Memorial, Knightstown, Triton Central.
43. Cascade (6): Cascade, Covenant Christian (Indpls), Monrovia, Park Tudor, Speedway, University.
44. Southmont (5): Cloverdale, North Putnam, Parke Heritage, South Putnam, Southmont.
45. South Ripley (6): Milan, North Decatur, South Decatur, South Ripley, Southwestern (Hanover), Switzerland County.
46. Eastern (Pekin) (6): Austin, Clarksville, Crawford County, Eastern (Pekin), Henryville, Providence.

47. Mitchell (6): Eastern Greene, Linton-Stockton, Mitchell, North Knox, Paoli, South Knox.
48. Tell City (6): Evansville Mater Dei, Forest Park, North Posey, Perry Central, South Spencer, Tell City.

Class 1A
49. Washington Township (8): 21st Century Charter-Gary, Covenant Christian (DeMotte), Hammond Academy of Science & Technology, Kouts, Marquette Catholic, Morgan Township, Washington Township, Westville.

50. LaCrosse (7): Argos, Culver Community, LaCrosse, Oregon-Davis, South Bend Career Academy, South Central (Union Mills), Triton.
51. Fremont (7): Bethany Christian, Elkhart Christian Academy, Fort Wayne Blackhawk Christian, Fort Wayne Canterbury, Fremont, Hamilton, Lakewood Park Christian
52. Caston (7): Caston, North Miami, North White, Northfield, Pioneer, Southwood, West Central.
53. Riverton Parke (5): Attica, Covington, Faith Christian, North Vermillion, Riverton Parke.
54. Frontier (6): Clinton Central, Frontier, Rossville, Sheridan, South Newton, Tri-County.
55. Liberty Christian (7): Anderson Preparatory Academy, Cowan, Daleville, Liberty Christian, Southern Wells, Tri-Central, Wes-Del.
56. Seton Catholic (6): Blue River Valley, Cambridge City Lincoln, Randolph Southern, Seton Catholic, Tri, Union City.
57. White River Valley (6): Bloomfield, Clay City, Eminence, North Central (Farmersburg), Shakamak, White River Valley
58. Bethesda Christian (6): Bethesda Christian, Indiana School for the Deaf, Irvington Preparatory Academy, Providence Cristo Rey, Tindley, Traders Point Christian.
59. Morristown (6): Edinburgh, Greenwood Christian Academy, Indianapolis Lutheran, Morristown, Southwestern (Shelbyville), Waldron.
60. Jac-Cen-Del (6): Hauser, Jac-Cen-Del, Oldenburg Academy, Rising Sun, Trinity Lutheran.
61. South Central (Elizabeth) (5): Borden, Christian Academy of Indiana, Lanesville, Orleans, South Central (Elizabeth).
62. West Washington (4): Crothersville, New Washington, Shawe Memorial, West Washington.
63. North Daviess (5): Barr-Reeve, Loogootee, North Daviess, Shoals, Vincennes Rivet.
64. Northeast Dubois (5): Cannelton, Northeast Dubois, Springs Valley, Tecumseh, Wood Memorial.

Regionals 

Class 4A 

1. LaPorte
Feeder Sectionals: Chesterton, LaPorte, Merrillville, Northridge.
2. Kokomo
Feeder Sectionals: DeKalb, Huntington North, Lafayette Jefferson, Westfield.
3. Plainfield
Feeder Sectionals: Ben Davis Pendleton Heights, Terre Haute South Vigo, Warren Central.
4. Jasper
Feeder Sectionals: Bloomington North, Evansville F.J. Reitz, Jennings County, Mooresville.

Class 3A 

5. Griffith
Feeder Sectionals: Griffith, Kankakee Valley, South Bend Clay, Northwestern.
6. Bellmont
Feeder Sectionals: Wawasee, Garrett, Bellmont, Yorktown.
7. Danville
Feeder Sectionals: Beech Grove, Brebeuf Jesuit, North Montgomery, Owen Valley.
8. Southridge
Feeder Sectionals: Evansville Bosse, Lawrenceburg, Silver Creek, Southridge.

Class 2A
9. Whiting 

Feeder Sectionals: Whiting, Eastside, Hebron, Westview.

10. Lafayette Central Catholic
Feeder Sectionals: Delphi, Eastern (Greentown), Lapel, Wabash.
11. Park Tudor/Cascade
Feeder Sectionals: Cascade, Centerville, Heritage Christian, Southmont.
12. Evansville Mater Dei (Bosse Field)
Feeder Sectionals: Eastern (Pekin), Mitchell, South Ripley, Tell City.

Class 1A 

13. South Bend Washington
Feeder Sectionals: Caston, Fremont, LaCrosse, Washington Township.
14. Carroll (Flora)
Feeder Sectionals: Frontier, Liberty Christian, Riverton Parke, Seton Catholic.
15. Morristown
Feeder Sectionals: Bethesda Christian, Jac-Cen-Del, Morristown, White River Valley.
16. Lanesville
Feeder Sectionals: North Daviess, Northeast Dubois, South Central (Elizabeth), West Washington.

Semi-States 

1. LaPorte
2. Kokomo
3. Mooresville 

4. Jasper 

State Finals 

Victory Field (Indianapolis), 501 W. Maryland Street, Indianapolis
The eight (8) winning teams of the semi-state tourneys shall constitute the participants in the state tourney. 

Turner taking nothing for granted as Indiana Tech assistant

By STEVE KRAH

http://www.IndianaRBI.com 

Gordon Turner grew up in Anderson, Ind., with athletic ambition.

Turner played at Anderson High School, where he graduated in 2005, then two seasons at Kishwaukee College in Malta, Ill., before transferring to Indiana Tech in Fort Wayne, Ind. He played one season (2009) on the field with the Warriors before an injury and spent eligibility put an end to the middle infielder’s playing career.

“I’m not going to lie, I cried,” says Turner. “It hurt.”

But the next day Indiana Tech head coach Kip McWilliams asked Turner to join the coaching staff. He’s been there ever since. The 2021 season is his 11th. It’s Williams’ 14th leading the Warriors program.

“Once you’re done playing, you can always spread the knowledge of the game to somebody else and make them better,” says Turner — aka GT. “I’ve got the privilege to be a college coach. Not everyone gets that opportunity. 

“I’m not going to take it for granted.”

Turner calls McWilliams the “heart and soul” of the Indiana Tech program and somebody who is always learning something new about baseball and passing it along.

“I’ve learned a lot from Coach Mac,” says Turner. “He has changed the culture. He looks into (recruiting) high-character guys who are coachable. He’s done a great job over the years. 

“It’s nothing but positivity. It’s a great environment. He’s got his standards and he holds his players and coaches to them.”

Indiana Tech has varsity and developmental players and the NAIA program typically carries a large roster that has counted as many as 65 players.

Turner is the head reserve coach and leads that team in games against NAIA, NCAA and NJCAA competition. 

But while some might be varsity and other junior varsity, all Tech players are on equal footing.

“We try to keep our guys involved,” say Turner. “Our developmental guys practicing with varsity. We keep them on the same page. We don’t want anybody to lose focus.

“It’s like family. You don’t want to leave nobody out.”

Turner notes that 2016 first-team NAIA All-American Brian Hakes started out on the developmental roster.

Tech has begun its 2021 season. A typical week at this time of the year means taking Monday off if the Warriors are coming off a weekend series. This gives players a chance to rest and to catch up with their studies.

There are sometimes mid-week games with practices to fix flaws and stay sharp.

“We try to get outside as much as possible,” says Turner. “Sometimes we use the turf soccer field and field fly balls and ground balls and do PFP (Pitcher’s Fielding Practice). 

“We work on anything (the coaching staff says) we need to work on.”

There’s also in-seaon weight lifting to maintain strength. 

Once the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference season starts, there are intense weekend series.

“It’s a grind for 55 games as a northern team,” says Turner. 

In the off-season, Turner has worked at camps both at Tech and other places.

He is also a substitute teacher in Fort Wayne Community Schools. This year, was at Lakeside Middle School, where cousin Alan Jones (who played basketball at Muncie Central High School and Taylor University and earned his masters degree at Indiana Purdue-Fort Wayne) is the principal. 

Turner, who received his bachelor’s degree from Indiana Tech in 2012, has taught multiple subjects, but favorite is social studies.

“There’s something about geography,” says Turner. “Show me a place and I’ll show you 10 different ways to get there.”

Turner has also helped Tech players in graduate school to get substitute teaching jobs.

Terry Turner, who has won two IHSAA state titles at Daleville (2016 and 2018), was the Anderson head coach when GT played for the AHS Indians.

“T-Squared — that’s what we call him — was very laid-back,” says Gordon Turner. “If he saw senior had leadership and were taking control of the team, he let it happen. He let us play our game.”

That doesn’t mean the veteran coach did not have control.

“He was holding guys accountable,” says Turner. “If you show up, he’s going to let you know.”

Turner played with some talented players at AHS. In his class was Michael Lucas (who went on to Lincoln Trail College and Ball State University) and Zane Sparks (who played at Kishwaukee and is now with the Anderson Police Department). A year ahead of Turner and his classmates was Brandon Meadows (who played at Anderson University).

Michael Earley, a Class of 2007 graduate, went on to play at Indiana University and in pro ball  is now on the coaching staff at Arizona State University.

Turner played at Kishwaukee for Josh Pethoud (now an assistant at Northern Illinois University).

“You really had to be tough to play for him,” says Turner. He had a lot of passion for the game and he knew how to accelerate guys’ games. 

“He was very intense, Off the field, he’d give you the shirt off his back. I had a very good relationship with that guy.”

Turner values relationships.

“There’s trust in knowing someone has your back at all times,” says Turner. “There’s someone to help you out during struggles.”

Since he was 15, Turner has occupied parts of his summer playing fast pitch softball. In recent years, he’s been with Anderson-based Diamond In The Rough.

Two nephews have excelled in sports. Lawrence North High School graduate Harold Jones is on the football team at Ball State. LN senior Anthony Hughes is a two-time IHSAA Wrestling State Finals qualifier.  

Turner lives in Fort Wayne with girlfriend Shelby Knepper. Together, they have a daughter — Aria Grace Knepper-Turner (2).

Tuesday, March 2 would have been Charles Turner’s 67th birthday. Gordon’s father died of pancreatic cancer Aug. 16, 2018 — about a month before his daughter was born.

“Before he passed away he told me that he was proud of me,” says Gordon. “I’m trying to be a better man as every day comes.”

Gordon Turner is in his 11th season as an Indiana Tech baseball assistant coach in 2021. The Tech graduate is in charge of the Warriors reserves. (Indiana Tech Photo)

Former pro slugger Zapp giving back to baseball as youth coach

RBILOGOSMALL copy

BY STEVE KRAH

http://www.IndianaRBI.com

A.J. Zapp is like so many baseball coaches. He is anxious to practice with his team.

Hopeful that time will come soon, Zapp gives an indication of how that session might go.

“We like to get into a lot of fundamentals early on — things like PFP (Pitchers Fielding Practice), bunt defense, baserunning and defensive outfield play,” says Zapp. “We run multiple stations during batting practice. We keep (players) busy and avoid a lot of standing around.

“We like to keep practices short and sweet. Get your work done and get out of there.”

Zapp likes practices to take 1:30 to 1:45.

“After that you lose their attention,” says Zapp. “It’s not the number of reps, it’s the quality of reps you want to be taking.

“It requires the right mindset. Kids must come to practice to work.”

A.J. and wife Nikki Zapp reside in Greenwood and have three children — Evan (15), Ellen (13) and Emilie (10).

Evan Zapp (Center Grove High School Class of 2023) plays on the Indiana Bulls 15U Grey travel baseball team with his father as an assistant to head coach Zach Foley.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has teams separated now, there is hope they might be able to play in the latter half of June. Zapp’s team is supposed to play three of four events at Grand Park in Westfield, Ind., with out-of-town tournaments in Bloomington, Ind., and the Atlanta and Kansas City areas.

A.J. has coached his son on the diamond since Evan was 6, including some time with the Indiana Astros and Indiana Bulls.

Like his father, Evan throws with his right arm and bats from the left side.

“I encouraged him to be left-handed hitter,” says A.J.

In 2019, A.J. Zapp was Bulls 14U Red head coach. For eight years — seven with the Astros and one with the Bulls — A.J. coached with Phil Milto (uncle of former Roncalli and Indiana University pitcher and current Chicago White Sox farmhand Pauly Milto). Doug Zapp, A.J.’s father, was bench/pitching coach for seven seasons.

A former baseball player at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Ind., Doug Zapp is a member of the Athletic Hall of Fame. Doug and Linda Zapp have an older son named David.

Eighth-grader-to-be Ellen Zapp and sixth-grader-to-be Emilie Zapp play for the Circle City Volleyball Club in Plainfield, Ind.

Zapp, who turned 42 in April, got his organized baseball start at Center Grove Little League (now know as Center Grove Youth Baseball) in Greenwood, Ind. In 1992 and 1993, he was on Center Grove Senior League squads that went to the Senior World Series in Kississimmee, Fla.

Up until high school, A.J. was coached by his father. The younger Zapp was a catcher when he was younger. At 12 or 13, he moved to first base.

With a stacked Center Grove High varsity team, A.J. got just 10 varsity at-bats as a sophomore then began turning heads with the Indiana Bulls in the summer of 1994. He also shined on the CG varsity in the spring of 1995 and with the Bulls that summer.

In the fall of 1995, Zapp signed a letter of intent to play for head coach Paul Mainieri at the University of Notre Dame. As his senior season approached, he was hearing from that he might be taken high in the draft.

“I had a tough decision to make,” says Zapp, who helped his pro ball status with a 1996 season that saw him hit .524 with 16 home runs and be named first-team All-American, first-team all-state and Indiana Mr. Baseball. Center Grove won the Franklin Sectional, Franklin Regional and Richmond Semistate before bowing to eventual state champion Jasper at the IHSAA State Finals.

Zapp did not make an early verbal college commitment.

“It’s a little bit different now,” says Zapp. “We have (high school) freshmen and sophomores committing now.

“It makes it tough on the college recruiters to have to evaluate players at 15 and 16. But it’s the times we live in.”

Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Famer Dave Gandolph was Zapp’s head coach at Center Grove.

“Coach Gandolph ran a great practice,” says Zapp. “He was well-prepared for the games. All the players loved playing for him.

“He’s just a good guy and a great baseball guy.”

Andrew Joseph “A.J.” Zapp was selected in the first round (27th overall) of the 1996 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft by the Atlanta Braves.

South Spencer High School right-handed pitcher Josh Garrett (No. 26 by the Boston Red Sox) was also a first-rounder in 1996. He pitched in affiliated baseball through 2001, reaching the Double-A level.

Both Zapp and Garrett signed pro contracts prior to the 1996 Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association North/South All-Star Series.

Zapp played 1,046 games in the minors (1996-2006) in the Braves (seven seasons), Seattle Mariners (two), Cincinnati Reds (one) and Los Angeles Dodgers (one) systems with 136 home runs and 542 runs batted in.

He socked 26 homers and drove in 92 at Double-A San Antonio as a Texas League postseason all-star in 2003 and belted 29 homers and plated 101 while hitting .291 at Triple-A Tacoma in 2004. On Aug. 20 of that year, he drove in nine runs and vaulted the Rainiers to victory with a walk-off grand slam.

Zapp is one of the few players to launch a homer over the tall wall in center field at Cheney Stadium – the “Blue Monster.”

Notable Zapp teammates included Mike Hessman (Minor League Baseball home run king with 433), Rafael Furcal, Mark DeRosa, Matt Kemp, Edwin Encarnacion and Marcus Giles.

Brian Snitker, who is now the manager in Atlanta, was Zapp’s manager at Low-A Macon in 1998, High-A Myrtle Beach in 2000 and Double-A Greenville in 2002.

Former Florida Marlins and Atlanta Braves manager and current Baltimore Orioles bench coach Fredi Gonzalez was Zapp’s manager at Triple-A Richmond in 2002. After that season, Zapp was granted free agency and signed with the Mariners.

Former major leaguers Paul Runge (Greenville in 2002), Dan Rohn (Tacoma in 2004), Rick Sweet (Louisville in 2005) and John Shoemaker (Jacksonville in 2006) also managed teams that included Zapp.

Some of Zapp’s hitting coaches were Franklin Stubbs, Glenn Hubbard, Tommy Gregg and Sixto Lezcano in the Braves organization, Adrian Garrett with the Reds and Mike Easler with the Dodgers.

Zapp played on pennant winners at Myrtle Beach (Carolina League in 2000) and San Antonio (Texas League in 2003). Jacksonville (Southern League in 2006) lost in the finals.

He also played winter ball in Australia (voted MVP), Puerto Rico and Venezuela.

As baseball goes about streamlining Minor League Baseball, the 2020 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft scheduled for June 10-11 will be just five rounds — down from the 40 of the past several years.

“Those days can change a kid’s life,” says Zapp. “Losing out on that many rounds, I’m not a fan of it.

“There will be a lot of free agent signs.”

An unlimited amount of undrafted players can be signed for $20,000 each.

Kris Benson was the No. 1 overall pick by the Pittsburgh Pirates out of Clemson University. Besides Zapp, first-round high school draftees were Texas pitcher John Patterson (No. 5 by the Montreal Expos), Pennsylvania pitcher Matt White (No. 7 by the San Francisco Giants), California third baseman Eric Chavez (No. 10 by the Oakland Athletics), Washington pitcher Adam Eaton (No. 11 by the Philadelphia Phillies), Florida pitcher Bobby Seay (No. 12 by the Chicago White Sox), California outfielder Robert Stratton (No. 13 by the New York Mets), New York outfielder Dermal Brown (No. 14 by the Kansas City Royals), Virginia shortstop Matt Halloran (No. 15 by the San Diego Padres), Louisiana shortstop Joe Lawrence (No. 16 by the Toronto Blue Jays), Louisiana pitcher Todd Noel (No. 17 by the Chicago Cubs), Georgia pitcher Jake Westbrook (No. 21 by the Colorado Rockies), Louisiana pitcher Gil Meche (No. 22 by the Seattle Mariners), Kansas third baseman Damian Rolls (No. 23 by the Los Angeles Dodgers), Florida pitcher Sam Marsonek (No. 24 by the Texas Rangers) and Pennsylvania outfielder John Oliver (No. 25 by the Cincinnati Reds).

Sandwich first-rounders in 1996 included North Carolina outfielder Paul Wilder (No. 29 by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays), California pitcher Nick Bierbrodt (No. 30 by the Arizona Diamondbacks), Florida pitcher Matt McClendon (No. 33 by the Reds), Canadian pitcher Chris Reitsma (No. 34 by the Red Sox) and New York pitcher Jason Marquis (No. 35 by the Braves).

Benson (70 wins in 10 seasons), Patterson (18 victories in six seasons), Chavez (260 home runs in 17 seasons), Eaton (71 wins in 11 seasons), Seay (11 wins in eight seasons), Brown (271 games in eight seasons), Lawrence (55 games in 2002), Westbrook (105 wins in 14 seasons), Meche (84 wins in 10 seasons), Rolls (266 games in five seasons), Marsonek (one appearance in 2004), Bierbrodt (six wins in five seasons), Reitsma (32 wins and 37 saves in seven seasons) and Marquis (124 in 17 seasons) all made it the bigs. Bierbrodt made a stop with the 1997 South Bend Silver Hawks along the way.

Stratton and McClendon made it as high as Triple-A, Halloran Double-A, Noel and Wilder Advanced-A and Oliver Low A.

In 2019, there were 13 high schoolers drafted in the first round — Texas shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. (No. 2 by the Royals), Florida outfielder Riley Greene (No. 5 by the Detroit Tigers), Georgia shortstop C.J. Abrams (No. 6 by the Padres), Texas corner infielder Brett Baty (No. 12 by the Mets), California third baseman Keoni Cavaco (No. 13 by the Minnesota Twins), Washington outfielder Corbin Carroll (No. 16 by the Diamondbacks), Illinois pitcher Quinn Priester (No. 18 by the Pirates), Georgia Premier Academy/Panamanian pitcher Daniel Espino (No. 24 by the Cleveland Indians), North Carolina pitcher Blake Walston (No. 26 by the Diamondbacks) and New Jersey shortstop Anthony Volpe (No. 30  by the New York Yankees).

North Carolina high school pitcher Brennan Malone (No. 33 by the Diamondbacks) was a compensation first-round selection.

Competitive balance first-round picks from high school were Texas pitcher J.J. Gross (No. 36 by the Rays) and Pennsylvania outfielder Sammy Siani (No. 37 by the Pirates).

Abrams played for the Fort Wayne TinCaps in 2019.

Indiana’s three 2019 first-rounders came from the college ranks — University of Kentucky pitcher Zack Thompson (No. 19 by the St. Louis Cardinals), Tulane University third baseman Kody Hoese (No. 25 by the Dodgers) and Ball State University pitcher Drey Jameson (No. 34 by the Diamondbacks). Thompson (Wapahani), Hoese (Griffith) and Jameson (Greenfield-Central) are prepped in the Hoosier State.

Generally speaking, there are more right-handed pitchers out there. That means lefty swingers will see pitches breaking into them. Of course, the opposite is true with righty hitters against lefty pitchers.

Zapp sees big leaguers try to combat this trend.

“The two-seamer and cutter very popular in Major League Baseball now,” says Zapp. There’s also been plenty of lefty vs. lefty and righty vs. righty. “Games lasting longer because of the match-ups late in the game. Relievers have wipe-out sliders. Every reliever seems to throw 95 mph-plus with their fastball.”

When Zapp was playing, the gas increased as he went up in levels.

“A lot of those big arms are starters early in their careers and they move to the bullpen,” says Zapp.

Looking at how the youth baseball scene has changed over the years, Zapp says in the impact of social media and entities like Perfect Game USA and Prep Baseball Report give players so much exposure.

“The training, too,” says Zapp. “Kids are training all year-round. There’s a lot of hard workers.

“The competition is getting better. It’s a very competitive sport.”

Zapp, who was head baseball coach at Franklin (Ind.) Community High School in 2007, is around sports during his day job, too. As a sale representative for BSN Sports — the largest Nike and Under Armour team dealer in the country — he talks all day with athletic directors and coaches and sells practice gear, football, uniforms, spirit wear and more.

AJZAPPCARD

A.J. Zapp graduated from Center Grove High School in Greenwood, Ind., and was selected in the first round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft in 1996. (Best Card Image)

AJZAPPFAMILYNikki and A.J. Zapp are surrounded by their three children (from left): Evan, Emilie and Ellen. A.J. was Indiana Mr. Baseball at Center Grove High School in 1996, played 11 professional seasons and is now a coach with the Indiana Bulls with Evan on the team.