BENNETT'S MINUTES: Baseball finals wind up school year
With today’s final three games in the high school baseball state finals, the 2016-17 Indiana High School Athletic Association school year will come to an end.
On Friday night, Indianapolis Ritter played Wapahani in the Class 2A state championship game.
Today, Lanesville plays Rossville in the Class A game, Jasper plays South Bend St. Joseph’s in the Class 3A game and Indianapolis Cathedral (the only undefeated team in the final eight at 28-0) meeting Penn in the Class 4A game.
No. 4-ranked Northview lost a 3-2 heartbreaker to Jasper in 10 innings last Saturday on a hot day at the impressive Jasper field.
Lots of discussion took place about the fairness of Jasper getting to play a final four game on its own field, when no other teams did. To me, the field is irrelevant. The dimensions are basically the same, and the advantage of knowing the nooks and crannies of strange bounces is minimal.
The reason it was wrong for Jasper to get to play at home dealt with time. The Wildcat players were able to sleep in their own beds, and were probably running on 2-3 hours more sleep than Northview’s players were going into the game. If one team is to be inconvenienced by playing two hours from home, both teams should be.
In the end, Northview just left too many runners on base and had numerous chances to win that the Knights did not convert.
Leaving the bases loaded twice (and two runners in scoring position another time), plus having one runner doubled off on a soft liner and yet another thrown out trying to steal third with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning in a tie game were much bigger issues for Northview.
The game ended on a play at the plate, but unlike “A League of Their Own” (mostly filmed at nearby Huntingburg) the catcher did not drop the ball and the runner was out. Brigham Booe was on first base with two outs in the bottom of the 10th, and Luke Lancaster followed by hitting a line shot into the left-field corner. Northview (correctly) chose to try to score Booe on the play, but two good throws were able to get him.
It was a sad ending for a large group of Knight seniors who were hoping to repeat last year’s state title, but it was a great game. I was able to depart Jasper in time to make it to Indianapolis for the Indiana All-Star basketball game.
While it was disappointing that Cooper Neese had not earned a bigger role for the Indiana squad, it was great to see him representing his school and his state. A long drive to Frankfort, Ky., the next day concluded a four-week span of driving more than 1,800 miles to bring our readers as much local sports coverage as possible. Our coverage wasn’t error-free, and likely never will be, and apologies go out to those whose times or distances were published incorrectly.
Covering big track and field meets such as the county, conference and IHSAA state tourney events is not easy, and some mistakes happened.
Take how difficult you think it is to process all the information from all the different events, factor in taking, choosing and editing photos, drive time back to the office, time to write the story, choose the photos and design the page – and then multiply it by a really big number to accurately determine the complexity of the entire process (also factoring in less editing time under deadline pressure).
Elijah Williams of Greencastle was inches away from his best throw at one stage of the state tourney, not feet, and I think even Emma Wilson’s times for one meet were typed incorrectly.
There may have been a few others that went undiscovered, but hopefully the total number was small.
Here is a brief recap of area performers in some of the other spring sports:
• Softball – One shutout and another one-run game highlighted the state finals last weekend.
Championship game scores were Tecumseh 3-0 over Tri in Class A, Indianapolis Scecina 6-2 over Elwood in 2A, New Palestine 13-6 over Kankakee Valley in 3A and Crown Point 2-1 over Avon in 4A.
Scecina routed Cascade Sectional champion South Vermillion 14-1 in the regional round, and went on to defeat South Spencer 1-0 and Henryville 10-4 to reach the finals.
Edgewood defeated Danville 4-1 in the regional round, but was also routed by an eventual state champ in a 16-0 semistate loss to New Palestine.
• Track and field – In the boys’ state meet, Ethan Roach of West Vigo placed 16th in the 100 preliminaries and 14th in the 200. Cascade’s Sean Johnson was the state runnerup in the 400 with a time of 48.71, .8 of a second behind the winner.
Brown County’s Wyatt Wyman placed 14th in the 800, while Southmont’s Brooks Long was sixth in the 1,600 – nine spots ahead of South Putnam’s Kieffer Vittetow. Another distance standout, Edgewood’s Austin Haskett, was 13th in the 3,200.
In the 4x400 relay, Cascade placed 21st and Edgewood was 26th. Brown County was 12th in the 4x800 relay. Logan Benson of Western Boone tied for eighth in the high jump at 6-4, while Noah Bise of Edgewood was 23rd in the long jump.
At the girls’ state meet, the two state titles won by Greencastle’s Wilson and the promising performance of South Putnam long jumper Aubrey Barker were thoroughly documented.
Other area performers and their results were Sullivan’s Nikki Hutchcraft (15th in 100 prelims and 16th in 200 prelims), Northview’s Eden Siples (25th in 400), Shakamak’s Jacy Collins (27th in 800), White River Valley’s Abby Denham (21st in 300 hurdles), Danville’s Kyara Black (16th in high jump) and Alicia Lombardo (21st in long jump) and Brown County’s Madison Fields (eighth in pole vault).
• Boys’ golf – Evansville North, which won the Washington Regional in which Greencastle competed, placed seventh in the state finals. Center Grove won the team title by 13 shots over runnerup Carmel.
Individually, Seeger’s Peyton Snoeberger (who won the Attica Sectional title) tied for 39th with a 154. Jackson Franchville of Cascade shot a 75 on the second day, but could not overcome an 82 on the first day and placed tied for 52nd.