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  • Val T.

Baseball draw: Zebras get rematch with Manchester, Pioneer to play Bremen

Valley draws Knox, Caston gets North White, Argos to play Culver, Winamac to face N. Judson


BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS

Sports Editor, RTC

The Rochester baseball team could not hold onto a 3-0 lead against Manchester on Wednesday and eventually lost 9-5.

They will get a chance to atone for that loss in the Class 2A, Sectional 36 quarterfinals, according to the IHSAA draw released Sunday.

Meanwhile, in the other half of the bracket, Pioneer will face Bremen, the team that eliminated them last year.

Elsewhere, Tippecanoe Valley will be in the opposite half of their Class 3A bracket from No. 3 New Prairie, Caston drew North White, Argos will play rival Culver, and Winamac will play rival North Judson.

Sectionals will be played May 22-27. Tickets are $7 per session or $15 for an all-sectional ticket. Regionals are June 1, semistates are June 8, and the state title games are June 14-15 at Victory Field in Indianapolis.

No RTC area teams won their sectional last year.

Rochester, Pioneer

Rochester beat Manchester twice last year by a combined score of 37-2, including a win in the sectional semifinals.

But the Squires have bounced back to go 12-2-1 this year, and they improved to 3-0 in the Three Rivers Conference with their win at Bob Copeland Field Wednesday.

They will meet at Wabash in the sectional quarterfinals on May 22.

The winner will play the Pioneer-Bremen winner in the semifinals. Bremen is the defending sectional champion, and they knocked off Pioneer 11-1 in six innings in last year’s sectional quarterfinals in their most recent meeting.

Pioneer’s lone sectional title occurred in 2016. They have never won a Class 2A sectional.

In the other half of the draw, Wabash and LaVille received byes and will play in a semifinal on May 25.

Rochester hosts Wabash in Three Rivers Conference play today.

Tippecanoe Valley

The Vikings are 2-9 this season and 0-7 against Class 3A and 4A teams, but they received a bye and drew a Knox team they defeated 2-0 in last year’s sectional in a Class 3A, Sectional 18 semifinal at Newton Park in Lakeville.

Knox is 2-6 on the season, and they do not have any wins over 3A or 4A competition either.

Meanwhile, defending sectional champion New Prairie resides in the other half of the bracket and will await the winner between John Glenn and Culver Academy.

Valley has won five sectional titles in its history but none since 2012.

Caston

Caston and North White were scheduled to meet on April 12, but the game was canceled due to rain.

Now they are assured to meet in a Class 1A, Sectional 52 quarterfinal at North White on May 22. Coaches Kirk Quasebarth of North White and Blake Mollenkopf of Caston have over 500 career victories combined.

Their most recent postseason meeting occurred in the 2022 sectional semifinals at Caston when then-sophomore Pete DuVall hit a walk-off homer in the bottom of the seventh in a 3-2 Caston win. The Comets went on to win the sectional title that year.

Two years later, DuVall remains one of the aces of the Caston pitching staff along with Talon Zeider.

The North White-Caston winner will play the Northfield-Southwood winner in the semifinals. Southwood is the defending sectional champion and beat Caston in last year’s sectional.

In the other half of the draw, North Miami and West Central received byes and will meet in a semifinal on May 25.

North Miami’s only sectional title came in 2019. West Central’s only sectional title came in 1975.

Winamac

The Warriors were already scheduled to play North Judson in a two-game Hoosier North series on May 9-10. Now they know they will play them for a third time in a Class 2A, Sectional 34 quarterfinal at North Judson on May 22.

North Judson beat Winamac 13-6 in last year’s sectional quarterfinal.

The Winamac-North Judson winner will play Wheeler, who received a bye, in the semifinals.

In the other half of the bracket, Hebron will play South Central (Union Mills) in a semifinal.

South Central is the most decorated team in the sectional with 18 all-time sectional titles, but Hebron beat them 14-4 in six innings in last year’s sectional semifinals on their way to a sectional title.

Argos, Culver

Argos drew Culver in a Class 1A, Sectional 50 quarterfinal at Tri-Township in what will be a rematch of an April 10 game that Culver won 4-3.

Argos is winless on the season. Culver’s lone win was against Argos.

The Argos-Culver winner will play the Marquette Catholic-Westville winner in the semifinals.

Marquette Catholic is the defending sectional champion, but Culver played them to a 4-4 tie on April 17 before darkness forced the game to be stopped after seven innings.

Westville is 2-7 and has never won a baseball sectional.

In the other half of the draw, Tri-Township is scheduled to play Oregon-Davis with the winner to face Triton.

It is unclear whether Oregon-Davis will field a team. Their listed record for this season on MaxPreps is 0-0, and area coaches have reported that Oregon-Davis contacted schools on their schedule that they did not have enough players for a team.


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