Refresh your browser for updates. Follow us on Twitter @GDRsports
Getting set up for Class 4A regional baseball action from Evansville’s Bosse Field in IHSAA 46th Annual State Tournament Baseball Series.
Here’s the schedule (Eastern Standard Time):
Bloomington North (18-9-1) vs. Jeffersonville (18-7), noon
Castle (18-12) vs. New Palestine (23-6), 2:30 p.m.
Championship, 8 p.m.
Regional winner advances to semistate at either Plainfield or Jasper (TBD after complete semistate field is set) next Saturday
Tickets: $5 per session; $8 both sessions
Before we get started, here’s the regional preview from Friday’s Daily Reporter:
About Bosse Field
The host stadium for the baseball regional was built in 1915. It is the third oldest ballpark used for professional baseball on a regular basis in the country, surpassed only by Fenway Park (1912) in Boston and Wrigley Field (1914) in Chicago.
It is the current home of the Frontier League Evansville Otters, an independent minor league baseball team. The last team with major league affiliation to play at Bosse Field was the Evansville Triplets, the Detroit Tigers’ Triple-A affiliate from 1974-84.
The Evansville Crimson Giants of the National Football League played at Bosse Field in 1921-22.
In 1991, the historic venue was used by Columbia Pictures for game scenes in the movie “A League of Their Own.”
Construction of the stadium originally cost $65,000 and its current seating capacity is 5,181.
Bosse Field dimensions are 315 feet to the left field and right field foul poles and 415 to straightaway center.
A team-by-team breakdown
Bloomington North Cougars
In the sectional: The Cougars got by cross-town rival Bloomington South 3-1 in the semifinals, then defeated Columbus North 5-4 in nine innings to advance. Bloomington North lost to the Bull Dogs 8-1 in the regular season. The Cougars have won sectional titles in five of the last six years.
Of note: Bloomington North leads the all-time series with Jeffersonville 4-3, with North taking the most recent meeting by a 6-5 score on May 19. Jeffersonville made four errors in the loss. The teams have never met in the postseason.
Sectional titles (16): 1974, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1992, 1995, 1996, 2002 4A, 2007 4A, 2008 4A, 2009 4A, 2011 4A, 2012 4A
Regional titles (3): 1974, 1979, 2007 4A
Stud: Senior catcher Brice Stratton came through with a two-out single in the top of the ninth to score pinch-runner Max Williams with the winning run in the sectional championship. Stratton leads the Cougars with a .385 average.
Quote: “At that point in time, we weren’t playing very well as a team. We weren’t hitting the ball very well; we lost a lot of confidence. We weren’t very good with the bats. We were talking ourselves into not being good hitters, and it translated into not being good fielders and pitchers. We just weren’t very good for a while, and then we just talked ourselves into getting a little better, working a little better and we’re playing much better here toward the end.” — Bloomington North coach Richard Hurt to the Columbus Republic regarding the April 17 loss to Columbus North.
Jeffersonville Red Devils
In the sectional: Jeffersonville is the only team in this regional that had to get past three sectional opponents. Jeff defeated Floyd Central 2-0, Bedford North Lawrence 6-1 and Seymour 6-4 in the title game.
Of note: Jeffersonville’s coach, Lonnie Oldham, is also its head football coach. The Red Devils started the baseball season under the leadership of rookie coach Matthew Rigsby. After a 10-6 start, Rigsby resigned on May 14 for health reasons and Oldham, who was not on the baseball coaching staff, was named interim head coach. Oldham is 8-1 since taking over; his only loss — 6-5 to Bloomington North on May 19, the team his Jeffersonville squad will face again Saturday.
Sectional titles (22): 1969, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1976, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1993, 1998 4A, 1999 4A, 2003 4A, 2007 4A, 2008 4A, 2012 4A
Regional titles (11): 1969, 1972, 1973, 1979, 1980, 1982, 1984, 1990, 1993, 1998 4A, 2003 4A
Studs: Jeff catcher Isaac Crafton is the third-leading hitter in the state with a .554 average, while Trent Astle (6-3) has a 1.19 ERA with 76 strikeouts and 14 walks in 59 innings of on the mound. Astle will start against Bloomington North in the semifinal, according to Oldham. Should the Red Devils advance to the title game, “it’ll probably be a lot of people (in the pitching mix),” the coach told the Floyd County News and Tribune.
Quote: “Well, obviously, most people, me being the football coach, they don’t think I can coach baseball, but in my opinion, coaching is coaching. And the main thing about coaching is, 90 percent of coaching is being organized, being disciplined, providing structured leadership. I do that with football, so doing it with the baseball kids … trying to provide the same type of leadership for them, observant leadership, being organized, structured and mainly dealing with kids — 14- to-18-year old kids — that’s what I like doing.” — Oldham to the News and Tribune
New Palestine Dragons
In the sectional: The Dragons won their first-ever 4A sectional title in dramatic fashion, first surviving a 1-0 pitchers’ duel in a semifinal win over Franklin, then scoring four runs in the top of the seventh inning to vanquish Greenwood 6-3 in the championship.
Of note: Among players with at least 50 innings pitched, New Palestine’s Brian Page ranks seventh in the state with a 1.05 ERA. Page pitched a seven-inning, four-hit shutout in the Dragons’ sectional semifinal win.
Sectional titles (14): 1969, 1983, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1994, 1996, 2000 3A, 2003 3A, 2004 3A, 2008 3A, 2009 3A, 2010 3A, 2012 4A
Regional titles (4): 1994, 2003 3A, 2004 3A, 2010 3A
Studs: With his team trailing 3-2 and with three outs remaining in his high school baseball career, New Palestine senior Jacob Barnes hit a three-run home run to send the Dragons on the way to the title. Barnes also had two doubles on the night, finishing 4-for-4 with four RBIs, and he’s leading the team with a .446 average, eight home runs and 31 RBI.
Perhaps the hottest player in the Dragons’ lineup is Connor Swain. In The sophomore right fielder went 2-for-3 in the sectional semifinal win over Franklin (picking up two of the team’s three total hits) and collected what turned out to be the game-winning RBI in the first inning. In the win, Swain extended a 10-game hitting streak, which was broken in the championship. Over those 10 games, Swain hit .500 (14-for-28) and his season average is up to .398, second-best on the team behind Barnes.
Quote: “I think we’ve had 1A and 1B all year and it didn’t matter who we started. They’ve both taken turns in terms of pitching gems this year. They’ve kind of lived up to expectations going into this year, because we knew we’d go as far as those two would take us.” — New Palestine head coach Shawn Lyons on starters Page (7-0) and Reid Clark (6-2, 1.25 ERA). Page will start against Castle.
“I don’t think so. Our athletic director (Al Cooper) has done a great job of making accommodations for us down in Evansville. We’ll get down there (Friday afternoon) and practice, get acclimated with the area. I and some of the coaches, we’ve been to Jasper once and Southridge once with past teams, so we’ve kind of been through it. We’ll try to keep the kids level headed. I think they showed up to practice (Wednesday) expecting us to tell them how great they are, and we had, I think, one of the toughest practices we’ve had so far. We just said, ‘Hey, we’ve got bigger goals. And if you’re satisfied, shame on you.’” — Lyons on if playing so far away from home will have an effect on the team.
“I’ve felt strongly about Connor from day one. He’s been consistent for us all year in the five spot as a sophomore, along with another sophomore batting right behind him, Cameron Clark (.371). They’ve been a force in the middle part of the lineup, coming up with some big hits. As the season went on, we started to hit 1-9, and that’s made a difference in our offensive approach.” — Lyons on Swain and the team’s depth.
In the sectional: The Knights went 0-4 combined against Evansville Reitz and Evansville North in the regular season, but they beat North 12-0 in the semifinal and Reitz 5-3 to win the championship.
Of note: The Castle basketball team defeated the New Palestine boys 69-58 in the regional semifinal, March 10 at Shelbyville. The Knights went on to win the regional before losing to Pike at semistate.
Sectional titles (12): 1969, 1971, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1985, 1997, 2001 4A, 2004 4A, 2007 4A, 2009 4A, 2012 4A
Regional titles (6): 1980, 1985, 2001 4A, 2004 4A, 2007 4A, 2009 4A
Stud: Castle pitcher Kennan Barnett (8-1, 29 K, 3.69 ERA) picked up both of the Knights’ wins in the sectional, starting and throwing five shutout innings against North, then returning in relief in the final two innings of the championship, allowing one earned run. The Knights’ No. 2 pitcher is senior Conor Bugher (42 strikeouts).
Quote: “We know they’re a good ballclub, which they are every year. They just don’t make mistakes. They probably do a little old-school bunting and advancing runners. They just play the game the way it should be played. I mean, you hear about them every year. They had another good year this year, they were in the rankings. We know we’re going to get their best. We know they’re going to be a good ballclub.” — Castle coach Curt Welch on the New Palestine baseball program
Complete Castle stats weren’t available when we compiled the preview, but we’ve since tracked them down (thanks to Andrew Macke of the Boonville Standard and Gordon Engelhardt of the Evansville Courier & Press for the help). Here are a few of the Castle hitting leaders:
>>Joe Redburn, junior shortstop and leadoff hitter: 111 AB, 46 hits, .414 average, 2 HR, 11 2B, 5 3B (leadoff batter)
>>Bryson Jenkins, junior infielder, second baseman/third baseman: .411, 39 hits, 22 RBI, team-high 9 SB
>>Seth Gorman, junior outfielder/P, cleanup hitter: leads team with 25 RBI
>>Kyle Pitlick, senior outfielder: leads team with 6 triples
Of note, no one on the Castle squad has more than two home runs this season.
Kennan Barnett, junior, 8-1 (that’s his up-to-date record), 29 K, 3.69 ERA (he’s been top pitcher last month or so)
Conor Bugher, senior, 42 strikeouts (No. 2 pitcher)
Here’s New Palestine’s sectional lineup. Should be similar for the regional; we’ll verify as soon as lineup cards are turned in:
1. Alex Rejer (2B, senior) .329, 22 R
2. Brian Page (P, senior) .370, 24 R /7-0, 1.05 ERA
3. Jacob Barnes (C, senior) .446, 8 HR, 31 RBI
4. Reid Clark (1B, senior) .352, 23 RBI
5. Connor Swain (RF, sophomore) .398, 21 RBI
6. Cameron Clark (3B, sophomore) .371 21 RBI
7. Nick Ulrey (LF, junior) .344, 29 RBI
8. Steven Clark (DH, sophomore) OR Stephen Ochs (DH, senior) .313/.349 for Nick Butcher (shortstop, sophomore)
9. Alec Shull (CF/senior) .272, 27 R
Okay, that’s it for now. I’ll update again upon arrival in Evansville. Starting the four-hour journey bright an early in the a.m. I’ll be back online with a Bloomington North-Jeffersonville update/result, and then begin with inning-by-inning updates of the New Palestine-Castle game and continue on through the championship, should New Palestine advance.
12:06 p.m. (Evansville/Central Time)
Made what Mapquest said was a 3.5 hour trip to Evansville in 3 hours. Getting situated in press box right at first pitch of first semifinal game between Jeffersonville and Bloomington North. BN has the bases loaded with one out in the top of the first inning.
New Palestine arrived in town Friday, practiced and spent the night. NP had by far the most distance to travel to the regional. NP coaches in the stands scouting this first game. NP will be the home team in their game versus Castle, and should be the home team again in the championship, if the bottom team listed in the bracket is always the home team.
BN has just taken a 1-0 lead on Jeff in the top of the first, two outs, bases still loaded.
A few notes on the New Pal-Castle game, courtesy of NP sports information director and HancockCountySports.com Internet broadcast operator Andrew Smith, while BN and Jeff battle:
* NP semifinal starting P Brian Page has never lost a start in high school school career.
* NP has 10-straight 20-win seasons, with previous nine under current athletic director Al Cooper. Longtime assistant Shawn Lyons took over the program this season.
* Dragons lead the state in triples (19).
* Know your Clarks: New Palestine's Reid Clark, Cameron Clark and Steven Clark are NOT related. Cameron is the younger brother of recently retired Texas Rangers minor leaguer and NP grad Andrew Clark. (Now I'm trying to think of a situation where the headline "Clark Bar" would make sense).
Back to game action and Jeff has tied BN at 1-1 in the bottom of the first. Unofficially, I'm predicting a Jeff 3-1 victory.
Through the fourth inning, Jeffersonville 1, Bloomington North 1. Each team has four hits, no errors. New Palestine did not face either team in the regular season.
Jeffersonville scored two runs on three hits in the bottom of the fifth to take a 3-1 lead. BN No. 1 pitcher Colby Stratton replaced by Michael Oliphant.
BN's Brice Stratton hits a solo home run in top of sixth, ruins a 3-1 victory prediction. Jeff 3, BN 2, through the top of sixth. Jeff coming up to bat in bottom of 6th,
Jeffersonville 3, Bloomington North 2
2 runs on 5 hits, 0 errors for BN.
3 runs on 7 hits, 0 errors for Jeff.
2-run 5th inning was the difference for Jeffersonville, which awaits winner of upcoming New Palestine-Castle semifinal.
Here's New Palestine's lineup:
4. R Clark/1B
6. C Clark/3B
8. Ochs/DH (Butcher/SS)
And for Castle:
2. Bush/DH (Arteberry/C)
Nearing first pitch. This game is being streamed live on web cam at http://www.evansvilleotters.com/ Click on the Watch Live icon at the top of the page. Not great quality, but it's something.
Through top of 1
Castle 1, New Palestine 0
NP's Page walked the leadoff hitter and hit the No. 2 hitter to put runners at 1-2 with no outs. No. 3 hitter Jenkins hit a fly ball that landed just inside the right-field line, scoring leadoff man Redburn. No. 2 hitter Bush was thrown out at home after getting caught in a rundown. The Dragons turned a nice double play to get out of the half inning trailing only 1-0 after Page walked 2, hit one and gave up a hit to the first four hitters.
Castle 1, New Palestine 0
Dragons go down in order in bottom of first.
Castle 3, New Palestine 0
In the top, Castle put together three hits for two runs. A pickoff from Page to 1B Clark ended the inning. Defense, with a throw out at home, a double play and a pickoff thru the first two innings have kept this thing from getting out of hand. If Dragons rally, defense will have been a key.
In the bottom, Reid Clark walked to open the inning, but was later caught off first on a double play. Except for the walk, Dragons have hit the ball hard in all 6 plate appearances. Just hitting it right at the Castle defense. They can definitely hit the Castle pitcher.
Castle 3, New Palestine 3
No hits for Castle in the top of the frame. Page could be settling into a groove.
In the bottom, the New Palestine line drives finally started falling. Ulrey singled, Ochs doubled and both scored on a double from Rejer to make it 3-2. Rejer advanced to third on a Page single, and Rejer scored on a sac fly from Barnes to make it 3-3. Page was picked off first base to end the inning.
New Palestine 7, Castle 3
In the top, Castle draws two walks, but Page works his way out of it with no damage.
Reid Clark got an infield single (lifted for pinch-runner Andrew Rejer) to open the 4th for NP. Rejer advanced to second on a passed ball. Swain was hit by a pitch, putting runners on 1 and 2 for Cameron Clark, who plated Rejer with the go-ahead run with an RBI single to left. Ulrey bunted for a base hit, loading the bases for Ochs with no outs. After Ulrey's bunt, Castle P Barnett came out of the game with an injury. Not sure, but he could have been injured attempting to field Ulrey's bunt . New pitcher is Bugher, formerly the LF. Right-hander takes over with bases loaded, 1 out and Alec Shull at bat. Shull drew a walk to score Swain, making it 5-3. Then Alex Rejer hit a fly ball to shallow right field that the 2B and RF collided trying to catch. Swain scored, 6-3. Page followed with a sac fly to CF that plated Ulrey, 7-3 Dragons.
New Palestine 7, Castle 3
A walk, a HBP and a fielders choice loaded the bases for Castle with one out. NP coach Shawn Lyons made a visit to Page on the mound with Martin up for Castle. Martin promptly hit into a double play.
One hit by Swain in the bottom of the frame, but he's stranded and we have the first scoreless full inning of the game.
New Palestine 7, Castle 3
Second straight inning with a double play for the NP defense keeps Castle scoreless in the top of the inning after Page issues a walk. His pitch count has to be high, but he's recovered nicely after that rocky start.
Nothing for Dragons in bottom. Moving right along, looking like a red-and-white Dragons vs red-and-white Red Devils championship matchup.
New Palestine 7, Castle 3
Page shuts down the Knights in the 7th to end the game. Page improves to 9-0 on the year. Page gave up 3 earned runs on 7 hits, 6 walks with 3 strikeouts. Dragons made one error (that didn't lead to any runs) and turned three double plays, plus a pick off and a throw out at the plate.
Final New Pal leaders:
Alex Rejer, double, 3 RBI
Reid Clark, 2-3
Ulrey, 2-3, 2 runs
Dragons had seven runs on eight hits and one error
Knights had three runs on seven hits and one error
Reid Clark (6-2, 2.26 ERA) will get the start for the Dragons in the championship. Jeffersonville doesn't have a clear No. 2 starter after Trent Astle, who started for Jeff in the regional opener today. So, we'll have to wait to see who the Red Devils sent to the mound.
Thanks for following along. Updates will return as the championship approaches around 8 p.m. Now, time for a nap in the car.
Before I go check on availability of coffee, here's lineups for the championship.
New Palestine (will be home team)
1. Al. Rejer/2B
3. Barnes/DH (Evans/1B)
4. R Clark/P
6. C Clark/3B
And for Jeffersonville:
7. Garwood/DH (Bott/2B)
Gallagher is a junior left-hander. According to available stats, which only include about half the season, Gallagher is 2-0 with a 1.91 ERA in 11 innings.
If you've got time to kill, head over to www.ihsaa.org and check out the baseball regional results from across the state. New Palestine, if it wins tonight, we be slotted into either the Jasper or Plainfield semistate one week from today, depending on who else is still alive in postseason play. New Pal will play the winner of the Roncalli (21-8)-Brownsburg (18-10) regional championship, which is being played tonight at Avon. The other 4A regional matchups tonight are FW South (20-7)-Zionsville (27-5) and Penn (22-10)-Lake Central (29-1)
End of 1st
Jeffersonville 2, New Palestine 0
In the top of the inning, Jeff SS Ellis hit a two-out, 1-0 pitch over the left field wall for the first home run today in 3 games. Astle followed with a single, advanced on a walk to Burke and came around to score on a single by Gallagher to make it 2-0. But, NP trailed Castle 3-0 this afternoon before rallying. So, there's still a long way to go.
New Palestine left runners on second and third, on a Rejer double and Barnes walk and a FC, to end the first.
Jeffersonville 2, New Palestine 0
Jeff put two on base with two outs, but Clark got Ellis to pop up to CF to end the threat.
In the bottom, NP retired in order.
New Palestine 4, Jeffersonville 2
The first 1-2-3 inning for Clark, as he sets down the Red Devils on three straight pop ups.
The Dragons broke through, as Shull opened with a walk, as did Rejer. Page bunted for a base hit to load the bases and Shull scored on an error by the 3B on a Barnes grounder to make it 2-1. That left the bases loaded, still no outs, for Reid Clark, who hit a sac fly to score Rejer, squaring the game at 2-2. With 2 outs, Cameron Clark made it 3-2 by driving in Page with a single. Then Barnes stole home without a play at the plate to make it 4-2 as the Jeff catcher tried to throw out Cameron Clark stealing second base.
This just in: Roncalli beat Brownsburg 5-4 in regional championship at Avon, will meet New Pal-Jeffersonville winner in semistate, NP beat Roncalli 5-4 in regular season.
New Palestine 7, Jeffersonville 6
The Red Devils collected four hits and took advantage of three New Palestine infield errors to register a four-run top of the fourth.
The Dragons took advantage of an error in the bottom of the inning as Rejer, who walked with two outs and advanced on a walk to Page, scored from second on a fly ball by Barnes that the Jeff LF dropped to make it 6-5. With runners on second and third, Reid Clark singled to drive in Page and Barnes and New Pal went back on top 7-6.
New Palestine 9, Jeffersonville 6
With one out, Jeffersonville draws back-to-back walks and NP coach Lyons pulls Clark. Senior left-hander Ryan Evans (3-0, 2.50 ERA) comes from 1B to pitch. Evans induces a pop up and then intentionally walks Crafton to load the bases for Ellis, the home-run hitter from the 1st inning. But Ellis manages only a deep fly out to CF.
In the bottom of the inning, New Pal loaded the bases on three straight singles by Ochs, Shull and Rejer. Page came up with bases juiced and planted a single up the middle to score Ochs for an 8-6 lead. Reid Clark drove in Shull to make it a 9-6 contest.
New Palestine 9, Jeffersonville 6
New regional results: Zionsville (28-5) and Lake Central (30-1) have advanced out of their regionals, will meet in 4A semistate. Roncalli vs New Palestine/Jeff winner makes up other 4A semisate next Saturday. Location/times TBA Sunday or Monday by IHSAA.
Jeff does nothing in top of inning, down to final 3 outs.
After this game ends, I'll be down to the field quickly to talk to players and coaches. Look for a complete wrap up in Tuesday's Daily Reporter and, assuming a New Pal win, we'll have our full semistate preview later in the week.
No runs for New Palestine in bottom of 6th.
New Palestine 11, Jeffersonville 9
Jeff puts first two runners on base, so Lyons puts Clark back on the mound to finish the game and sends Evans back to first base. Jeff scores to runs to make it 9-8 on a RBI double by Crafton to score Oliver, and a sac fly by Ellis to plate Conway. Astle lined out to Clark for the 2nd out. Burke drives in Crafton with a single to right to tie the game at 9-9.
Dragons coming to bat now with chance to win it, or send to extra innings.
Shull leads off and is hit by a pitch. Alex Rejer layed down a good sac bunt and Shull appeared to beat a throw to second base, but he was called out. Page at bat with Rejer at 1st, one out. Page hits into FC, Rejer out at 2nd, two outs. Barnes up with Page at 1st.
HE DOES IT AGAIN! Barnes 2-run walk off home run gives New Palestine an 11-9 win