June 21, 2021

Hernandez pitches one-hitter to help Washington Township to first state championship
Senior left-hander Steven Hernandez fired a one-hit shutout, while Logan Curren and James Kirk each drove in two runs to lead Washington Township to a 6-0 win over Shakamak in the Class A championship game.

Hernandez allowed just one walk and three other batters to reach base via errors, but didn’t allow a Shakamak runner past second base. The only hit Hernandez allowed came with two out in the sixth inning. He finished with four strikeouts.

It marks the third one-hitter and title-game history – the first since 2007 when Shakamak also fell victim to a pitcher’s gem.

The Senators of coach Randy Roberts broke through with the only run they would need in the fifth inning, while Kirk keyed a three-run sixth with a two-out double. Curren added a two-run single in the seventh.

The title for the Senators (27-7) marked the first state title in any sport for the school. Roberts guided WT to a runner-up finish in 2019.

First-year coach Jeremy Yeryar’s Lakers (19-10) were seeking their third state title and have now finished as runner-up five times.

Washington Township's Boettcher named Mental Attitude recipient
Following the game, members of the IHSAA Executive Committee announced Bretin Boettcher of Washington Township High School as the recipient of this year’s Phil Gardner Mental Attitude Award in Class A Baseball.

An IHSAA member school since 1923, Boettcher is the first recipient of an IHSAA mental attitude award in school history.

Boettcher recently graduated as salutatorian in his senior class of 66 students. He's a member of the National Honor Society, served four years with the Student Council and was elected student body president. He was an all-conference player and received the Porter County Conference Mental Attitude Award for this season. He also played two years with the Senators basketball team.

Bretin is the son of Chad and Tifani Boettcher of Valparaiso, Indiana, and will attend Purdue University to study Actuarial Science 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. This is the first year the award has been 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 Washington Township High School in the name of Bretin Boettcher.