Two more state baseball champions were crowned Saturday at Victory Field in Indianapolis.
Third-ranked Lafayette Central Catholic scored twice in the bottom half of the first inning which proved to be all it needed to snag a record eighth state championship with its 4-1 win over unranked Tecumseh.
In the first, the Knights’ Owen Munn led off with a double down the right field line. Evan Dienhart then bunted back to the pitcher who overthrew the first baseman which allowed Munn to score while Dienhart advanced to second. Dienhart later stole third base and scored on Ryan Schummer’s sacrifice fly to centerfield.
It was all the Knights (27-6) would eventually need as the team won a record-tying eighth state championship (tied with LaPorte and Andrean). All eight have come under the guidance of 25th-year coach Tim Bordenet. LCC is 8-2 all-time in state championship games.
Tecumseh (19-13) pulled within 2-1 in the fourth inning when Brody Julian scored from third on a fielding error by the Central Catholic shortstop. The Braves were able to load the bases with one out but winning pitcher Ben Mazur (9-1) struck out the next batter and induced a fly out to centerfield to end the uprising.
Central Catholic added runs in the fourth and fifth innings to provide the final margin.
Tecumseh, which was looking for its second baseball title (2003), was looking for the school’s third state championship of the school year and matching the softball team’s title of last weekend. The Braves were coached by fifth-year leader Ted Thompson.
Central Catholic’s Justin Brady named Mental Attitude recipient
Following the game, members of the IHSAA Executive Committee announced Justin Brady of Lafayette Central Catholic High School as the recipient of this year’s Phil Gardner Mental Attitude Award in Class 1A Baseball.
The first baseman for the Knights, Justin is a two-sport, four-year athlete starting for both the football and baseball teams. He graduated Magna Cum Laude with a 3.89 GPA. He was president of Central Catholic’s Champions Together program for Special Olympians, was senior class vice president, and a member of the National Honor Society.
Justin is the son of Scott and Cathy Brady of Lafayette, Indiana, and will attend Purdue University to study Accounting in the fall.
The award is annually presented to an outstanding senior participant in each state championship game who has best demonstrated excellence in mental attitude, scholarship, leadership, and athletic ability in baseball.
The award is named in honor of retired IHSAA Assistant Commissioner Phil Gardner who served 27 years with the IHSAA. He spent 18 years as a member of its Board of Directors and nine more years as assistant commissioner administering the baseball state tournament during that time.
Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance, the IHSAA’s corporate partner, presented $1,000 to the general scholarship fund at Central Catholic High School in the name of Justin Brady.
Please click on this link for the 1A state championship box score.
Penn pitcher Ben Gregory threw a gem shutting down a hot Cathedral offense for a 3-0 victory in the 4A state championship game.
Gregory (4-1) threw a complete game allowing just three hits and struck out seven Irish batters. Cathedral had entered the championship game scoring 10 or more runs in each of its last five games.
The Kingsmen (26-6) scored in the first, second, and fourth innings to win their 12th straight contest and ended the season on top in 14 of their final 15.
It was the fifth baseball state championship for Penn and its first since 2015, all of which have come with 35th-year coach Greg Dikos leading the team. Cathedral won the 2017 title matchup between the two schools.
Cathedral (18-11-2), under sixth-year coach Ed Freije, was looking for the fourth state title for the program and fell shy of becoming just the second team to win the triple crown of a football, basketball, and baseball title in the same year. Fort Wayne Bishop Luers in 2007-08 remains the only school to achieve the feat.
Penn’s Ben Gregory named Mental Attitude recipient
Following the game, members of the IHSAA Executive Committee announced Ben Gregory of Penn High School as the recipient of this year’s Bob Gardner Mental Attitude Award in Class 4A Baseball.
Ben is an outstanding student recently graduating Magna Cum Laude with a 4.1 GPA and was a member of the National Honor Society.
After a terrific junior season as Penn’s number one pitcher, earning the MVP Award from his team and the Northern Indiana Conference, Ben had to undergo surgery on his Ulnar Collateral Ligament (UCL) last September. With a diligent rehabilitation, he worked showed resilience in working his way back. Coming into today, nine months post-surgery, he has thrown 417 pitches in 27 innings, coming in clutch during the state tournament and starting on the mound in the championship game.
Ben is the son of Chad and Laura Gregory of Granger, Indiana. He plans to attend Maryville University of St. Louis to play baseball and study Sports Business Management.
The award is annually presented to an outstanding senior participant in each state championship game who has best demonstrated excellence in mental attitude, scholarship, leadership, and athletic ability in baseball. This is the first year the award has been named in honor of Bob Gardner, who served as commissioner of the IHSAA from 1995-2000 and spent a total of 15 and a half years on the IHSAA Executive Staff.
Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance, the IHSAA’s corporate partner, presented $1,000 to the general scholarship fund at Penn High School in the name of Ben Gregory.
Please click here for the link to the 4A state championship box score.
(We thank the IHSAA for the state finals information.)