- Val T.
Rochester draws Lewis Cass for baseball sectional opener
Valley draws Jimtown in rematch; Pioneer gets West Central; Caston, Winamac receive byes
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
The Rochester baseball team no longer has Lewis Cass on their regular season schedule, but they will not be avoiding the Kings in the postseason, according to the IHSAA sectional draw released Sunday.
In other draw developments, Tippecanoe Valley drew the Jimtown team that they beat earlier on the same Wawasee field at which the sectional will be played, and Caston and Winamac both received byes.
Meanwhile, Pioneer found out they would not have to play No. 8 Southwood until the sectional final while Caston received the only bye in a seven-team sectional.
Also, Culver drew traditional power South Central while Argos drew LaCrosse in Class 1A, Sectional 50.
Lewis Cass is 2-7 overall and 0-6 in the Hoosier Conference. Their conference includes Class 2A, No. 3 Lafayette Central Catholic and Class 3A, No. 4 Western.
They played Rochester in the regular season as recently as 2019 but no longer appear on Rochester’s schedule.
The Zebras and Kings will meet in a Class 2A, Sectional 37 quarterfinal at Wabash. The winner will play the winner between the host Apaches and No. 8 Carroll (Flora), who beat Rochester 13-9 at Bob Copeland Field on April 30.
In the other half of the draw, Whitko and Manchester received byes and will play each other in the semifinals. Whitko and Manchester have a combined record of 7-23.
The Vikings edged Jimtown 8-7 on April 24 in the first round of the Wawasee Invitational. Payton Mills had three RBIs in that game, and Annakin Pettit drove in two.
Their rematch will also occur at Wawasee in a Class 3A, Sectional 21 quarterfinal on May 26. The winner will play the Lakeland-Wawasee winner in the semifinals.
In the other half of the draw, West Noble and NorthWood received byes and will play each other in the semifinals.
Valley has not won a sectional title since 2012. The 2019 sectional title went to Angola, who is no longer in this sectional.
NorthWood won six straight sectionals from 2013-18 before losing to Angola in the 2019 sectional final. NorthWood is 3-0 against sectional rivals this year – two wins over Wawasee and one over West Noble – and outscored their opposition 26-0 in those three games combined.
Caston will have both home field advantage and the bye when they begin play in Class 1A, Sectional 52.
The bye might be a good omen. Caston received a bye in 2012 when they won their only sectional title in school history.
However, their first assignment might be No. 1 Southwood. The Knights drew Northfield and will play Caston in the semifinals if they win. Southwood defeated Northfield 10-6 on April 26 in their regular season meeting.
In the other half of the draw, West Central will play Pioneer, and North White will meet North Miami in the quarterfinals.
Pioneer swept a doubleheader from West Central on April 17 with neither game going seven innings.
North Miami won its first sectional title in school history in 2019.
A Culver team that has no seniors and only one junior and is seeking its first win will play South Central (Union Mills) in the Class 1A, Sectional 50 quarterfinals at LaCrosse.
South Central won four straight sectionals from 2016-19, and they beat Culver 20-1 in five innings in their most recent postseason meeting in the 2018 sectional final.
The South Central-Culver winner will play the LaCrosse-Argos winner in the semifinals.
Argos is 1-7 and has games against South Central (home, Thursday) and LaCrosse (road, Saturday) this week.
In the other half of the draw, Oregon-Davis and Triton received byes and will play each other in the semifinals. Argos’ lone win was against Oregon-Davis.
The Warriors received a bye and will take on Boone Grove in the Class 2A, Sectional 34 semifinals at Hebron.
While Winamac is in search of its first sectional title since 1999, Boone Grove is a 13-time sectional champ that has won 12 sectional titles in the 22-year era of class baseball. That run of success includes the Class 2A state title in 2018.
In the other half of the draw, the North Newton-Hebron winner will take on the North Judson-Rensselaer winner in the semifinals.
North Newton won a sectional title in 2019, breaking a 22-year sectional drought.
Baseball sectional notes
Tickets are $6 per session or $10 for an all-sectional ticket.
Sectionals will be held May 26-31. Regionals are set for June 5. Semistates will be June 12. The state finals are June 21-22 at Victory Field in Indianapolis.
RTCtv4 does not have a broadcast schedule yet, we are waiting on direction from the IHSAA on how the postseason broadcasting rights will be handled for the spring.