Class A, No. 7 Southwestern moved one step closer to capturing the baseball program’s first sectional championship in 22 years with a 12-5 victory Wednesday over Indianapolis Lutheran at the Morristown Sectional.
The Spartans built a 7-0 lead, sputtered in the fourth inning and allowed four runs, but kept on the offensive pressure and moved into the sectional semifinal round Saturday morning.
Now a program-record 20-4, the Spartans will face Greenwood Christian, a 14-0 winner over winless Edinburgh Wednesday, at 10 a.m. Saturday in the first semifinal game.
The host Yellow Jackets will face Waldron in the second semifinal.
The championship game is scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday.
Anick Hartsell improved to 7-0 this season after working five innings. Jordan Jones pitched the final two innings to close out the win.
With six seniors in the lineup, head coach Chris Ingels was impressed with how well his team settled into playing their first elimination game of the season.
“I thought we were really good at the beginning,” said Ingels. “It helps that these guys have all played in sectional and regional soccer games, and several have played in sectional and regional basketball games so they’ve been in the big, tough moments.
“Winning the county tournament and being co-conference champions also gave us a lot confidence.”
The Spartans are averaging 9.8 runs per game this season but Ingels watched Greenwood Christian (12-12) show its own offensive firepower Wednesday in its quarterfinal victory.
“They hit the ball really well,” said Ingels. “I don’t know what their next pitcher will look like but they put the ball in play so we will have to be ready to make plays and not compound mistakes. We have to keep our heads and not give up a big inning.”
Matthew Clements (2-2, 2.66 earned run average) will get the start for Southwestern. Hartsell was kept under 80 pitches Wednesday and could pitch Saturday if needed.
Jones (4-2, 2.12 ERA) and Christian DeArmitt (3-0, 3.50 ERA) also will be available.
Heritage Christian Sectional
Triton Central got a two-run single from Kevin Ramsey in the top of the seventh inning to take its first lead of the game and Hayden Kermode shut down Scecina in the bottom half of the inning for a 7-4 victory Wednesday in the only sectional quarterfinal game at the Heritage Christian Sectional.
Kermode went the distance, allowing six hits while striking out seven.
Kiefer Earl and Quintin Potts each had two hits for Triton Central (15-13).
In semifinal games at Heritage Christian today, Eastern Hancock takes on Heritage Christian at 5 p.m., and Triton Central follows against Knightstown (13-12).
The sectional championship game is set for 11 a.m. Monday.
Bloomington North Sectional
Kaden Wise and Ethan Ianni combined to throw a no-hitter for Columbus East Wednesday in a 2-0 quarterfinal win over Shelbyville.
Wise pitched six innings, walked six and struck out seven. Ianni pitched a scoreless seventh inning to earn the save.
The Olympians scored single runs in the first and second inning and that proved enough to end the Golden Bears’ baseball season.
Harry Major was 1-for-3 with a double and a run batted in.
Ben Major was 1-for-1 with two walks and two runs scored.
In the sectional opener, Class 4A No. 2 Columbus North defeated East Central, 4-2.
Columbus North and Columbus East will meet in a semifinal contest at 6 p.m. Friday at Bloomington North.
The second semifinal pits the host Cougars against Bloomington South.
The championship game is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday.