June 12, 2013
Northfield, Lafayette Central Catholic Back to Defend Baseball Crowns
Two defending state champions return, five others that have been on this stage in recent years and one that has never traveled this far before make up the eight teams in this weekend’s 47th Annual IHSAA Baseball State Finals at Victory Field in Indianapolis.
Like last year, the Class 3A state championship game will be played Friday night at 7:30 pm ET with the Class A, 2A and 4A games contested at 1 pm ET, 4 pm ET and 7 pm ET, respectively, on Saturday. All four games will be played at the home of the Indianapolis Indians, the Triple-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Lafayette Central Catholic and Northfield are the defending state champions in Classes A and 2A, respectively.
Top-ranked Central Catholic (30-5) won a record fourth straight championship a year ago and hopes to keep that string intact when it plays unranked Vincennes Rivet (19-12) in Saturday’s opening game. The Knights have won 32 consecutive state tournament games dating back to 2009 when it also beat Rivet for the crown. This year’s team has shut out all six tourney opponents to this point outscoring them 52-0. No team has ever won the tournament without allowing a run. Rivet earned its second trip to the championship game while topping No. 5 South Central (Elizabeth) and No. 6 Rising Sun in their last two games. The Patriots also captured their first sectional since that 2009 state runner-up season.
The 2A game is a matchup between the last two state champions as top-ranked Northfield (29-3) takes on unranked South Spencer (22-8), the 2011 champ looking for a third title in seven years (2007). Northfield lefty Ryan Keaffaber, the winning pitcher in last year’s game, is expected to be on the mound Saturday for the Norsemen. He’s 13-1 this season with a 0.46 ERA and fanned 174 batters. He became the state’s career leader with 47 wins following the team’s regional championship over No. 6 Delphi and now stands 48-3 after the semi-state win over No. 3 Adams Central. South Spencer, which won its 20th sectional championship and a fourth semi-state crown in school history, has whipped its six tournament opponents by a 51-7 count, including a 11-2 road win over No. 10 Southridge for the sectional title.
Saturday’s 4A finale features No. 2 Indianapolis Cathedral (28-0) and No. 3 Elkhart Central (31-1). Cathedral is making its third appearance in four years in the state championship game but settled for the runner-up spot in 2010 and 2011. This year’s Irish team comes in undefeated looking for its third crown to go alongside those won in 2001 and 2007. They would become just the fourth team in history to go undefeated in a season. Norwell’s 2007 team was the last to do so finishing 35-0. Elkhart Central will make its first visit to the baseball state finals and, like its opponent, sports a shiny record. A one-run loss to Penn back on April 26 is the team’s lone blemish. During the Blue Blazers current 21-game winning streak, they won their third straight sectional this season, their first regional since 1988 and finally got over the semi-state hump after four tries over the years.
The lead off game on Friday calls for No. 1 Jasper and No. 3 Norwell, both with identical 32-3 records and lots of baseball success between them. Norwell coach Andy McClain is the first to take two different schools to a state championship game. McClain guided Brebeuf Jesuit to a 3A runner-up finish last year and he hopes to take this year’s Norwell team to a third 3A state title. This will be the Knights’ fourth trip in 11 years. Jasper has outscored its six post-season foes 57-7, half of which have been shortened by the 10-run rule. The Wildcats beat No. 4 Silver Creek in the regional and No. 7 Crawfordsville in the semi-state. The Wildcats will be seeking a sixth state championship on Friday and lead the state with 14 state finals appearances. They tied the state record with their 35th overall sectional title and also lead the state with 23 regional and 12 semi-state crowns. Interestingly, two of Jasper’s three losses came to other state finalist teams. Indianapolis Cathedral took a 3-1 meeting April 20 and South Spencer handed the Wildcats an 8-7 loss on May 15. Jasper defeated Vincennes Rivet 5-0 on April 23.
Check IHSAA.org and @IHSAA1 on Twitter throughout the weekend for updates.
Meet the Teams
For roster, stats and schedules on all eight teams in this year’s state finals, click here.
Victory Field, 501 W. Maryland Street, Indianapolis | Website
Dates: Friday, June 14 and Saturday, June 15, 2013.
Admission: $9 each day. Purchase Friday Tickets | Purchase Saturday Tickets
Home Team: The winner of the northern semi-state is the designated home team.
Television: IHSAA Champions Network
Class 4A Bracket | Class 3A Bracket | Class 2A Bracket | Class A Bracket
Friday, June 14
Class 3A | Jasper (32-3) vs. Norwell (32-3) | 7:30 pm ET
Saturday, June 15
Class A | Vincennes Rivet (19-12) vs. Lafayette Central Catholic (30-5) | 1 pm ET
Class 2A | South Spencer (22-8) vs. Northfield (29-3) | 4 pm ET
Class 4A | Indianapolis Cathedral (28-0) vs. Elkhart Central (31-1) | 7 pm ET
Defending State Champions in the Field
A: Lafayette Central Catholic.
Returning to State Finals from 2012
A: Lafayette Central Catholic.
Former State Champions in the Field
4A: Indianapolis Cathedral 2001 (3A), 2007 (4A).
3A: Jasper: 1996, 1997, 1998 (3A), 2000 (3A), 2006 (3A); Norwell 2003 (3A), 2007 (3A).
2A: Northfield 2001 (2A), 2012 (2A); South Spencer 2007 (2A), 2011 (2A).
A: Lafayette Central Catholic 2004 (A), 2007 (A), 2009 (A), 2010 (A), 2011 (A); Shakamak 2008 (A).
First-Time Participants in the State Finals
4A: Elkhart Central.
Media Hosts – Sports Information Director Jason Wille will be on site to assist in your coverage.
Media Credentials: The 2012-13 IHSAA State Finals Media Credential issued previously this year will allow for admission. To apply, please e-mail your request (with name of individual) as soon as possible to IHSAA Sports Information Director Jason Wille at email@example.com. E-mail requests MUST originate from a recognized business account; e-mails from personal accounts (ie: yahoo.com, aol.com, etc.) will not be accepted. The application deadline is Thursday, June 13, at 4 pm ET / 3 pm CT.
Media Will-Call: Approved requests will be available for pickup at media will-call located inside the administrative entrance to the right of the ticket windows on the stadium’s west side. Please have identification available to claim your credentials. Will-call will open on Friday at 5:30 pm ET and on Saturday at 11 am ET.
Media Parking: There is no designated parking for media but the lot to the west of the stadium is the nearest option. If full, there are several lots available within short walking distance of Victory Field. The State Garage, opposite the centerfield entrance on the northeast corner of Maryland and West streets is nearby as is the underground garage northwest of the stadium for the NCAA, Indiana State Museum, Eiteljorg Museum and White River State Park.
Services: Starting lineups and game programs will be circulated to members of the media in the press box. Official box scores will be available following each of the four state championship games and also posted to the IHSAA website. The Indianapolis Indians provide complimentary wireless internet access within the press box. A password which is posted in the press area is needed for access.
Photography: Photographers may take up positions in the outfield portion of each dugout for field level shots. At no time during the game should photographers be shooting from the playing field itself.
Interviews: Interviews with coaches and players may be conducted on the field following the conclusion of the awards ceremonies. In order to allow the grounds crew to do its work, we ask your cooperation in conducting interviews outside the foul lines.
Westville’s Mike Albert to be Presented Baseball Officiating Award
Mike Albert of Westville is the recipient of the 2013 Interscholastic Athletic Official Association Award for excellence in the sport of Baseball. Albert will be honored in a special ceremony at this weekend’s state finals.
Each year, the Indiana High School Athletic Association, in cooperation with the National Federation of Interscholastic Officials Association, recognizes and honors an outstanding official in each of 11 sports during the school year.
Albert’s career as a baseball official spans 33 years. He has worked every level of the state tournament, including 15 sectionals, nine regionals, three semi-states and three state finals. He last officiated the baseball state finals in 2009.
Albert was selected for this honor by a committee representing the Indiana officials associations. In Indiana there are 26 associations made up of men and women who give up much of their personal time to assist in providing wholesome, worthwhile, and healthy activities for the student-athletes in our state. Statewide, there are more than 8,000 officials licensed by the IHSAA in 11 sports.
A member of the Calumet Officials Association, Albert has served as a baseball program chairman, vice president from 2005-2007, and secretary since 2007.
Albert conducts umpire and rule clinics for area youth league umpires and coaches in his community. He also mentors umpires for an area youth league.
Outside of officiating, Albert works for D & M Excavating in Michigan City. Albert has been married to his wife Lisa, for 15 years. The couple has a son, Brady (12).
About the Indiana High School Athletic Association, Inc. (IHSAA)
Founded in 1903, the purpose of the Indiana High School Athletic Association, Inc. (IHSAA) is to encourage, regulate and give direction to wholesome amateur interschool athletic competition between its 410 member schools. The Association provides state championship tournament series in 20 sports, 10 for girls and 10 for boys. Approximately 160,000 student athletes participate in IHSAA sports on an annual basis.