INDIANAPOLIS — Third-ranked Lafayette Central Catholic scored twice in the bottom half of the first inning which proved to be all it needed to snag a record eighth state championship with its 4-1 win over unranked Tecumseh.
In the first, the Knights’ Owen Munn led off with a double down the right field line. Evan Dienhart then bunted back to the pitcher who overthrew the first baseman which allowed Munn to score while Dienhart advanced to second. Dienhart stole third base and scored on Ryan Schummer’s sacrifice fly to center field.
Tecumseh (19-13) pulled within 2-1 in the fourth inning when Brody Julian scored from third on a fielding error by the Central Catholic shortstop. The Braves loaded the bases with one out but winning pitcher Ben Mazur (9-1) struck out the next batter and induced a fly out to center field to end the uprising.
Central Catholic added runs in the fourth and fifth innings to provide the final margin.
The Knights (27-6) won a record-tying eighth state championship (tied LaPorte and Andrean). All eight have come under the guidance of 25th-year coach Tim Bordenet. LCC is 8-2 all-time in state championship games.
Tecumseh, which was looking for its second baseball title (2003), was aiming for the school’s third state championship of the school year and matching the softball team’s title of last weekend. The Braves were coached by fifth-year leader Ted Thompson, a former coach and player at Vincennes University.
Illiana Christian 10, Centerville 1 — Unranked Illiana Christian, in only its second year of IHSAA tournament eligibility, scored early and often in rolling to a victory over Centerville.
Coach Jeff VanderWoude's Vikings plated four runs in their half of the first and put the game away with four more in the fourth inning, taking advantage of four Centerville errors. Seven of the 10 IC runs were unearned.
The victory leaves the Vikings with a 22-7 record and made a victor of left-hander Kevin Corcoran, who tossed the complete game, allowing just two hits and walking three, while striking out 10.
Cody DeJong led Illiana Christian with three runs scored, while third baseman Gabe VanRoekel scored twice and drove in two.
Centerville (21-6) took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first after pinch runner Colton Rinehart scored on a triple by Jamari Pamplin, the only extra-base hit of the game.
Pinch runner Josh Vis scored two runs for IC, while designated hitter Gavin Meyer also drove in two runs.
The Bulldogs of coach Tracey Crull were making their first state finals appearance.
Andrean 5, Indianapolis Brebeuf 1 — Alonzo Paul’s two-run single in the bottom of the third inning provided all the runs Andrean would need in its victory over Brebeuf.
The victory for coach Dave Pishkur’s squad proved to be historic as it gave the 59ers their eighth state title and their eighth-straight win in a state title game. The eighth championship matches LaPorte for the most in state history.
All eight state titles – which have each come since 2005 – have come under Pishkur, giving him the most of any coach in state history.
The title is also the third for the Andrean athletic program during the 2021-22 school year as the 59ers were girls volleyball and football state champs in the fall.
Paul’s hit keyed a three-run second inning and the 59ers added single runs in the third and fifth. Jax Kalemba had three hits and an RBI for Andrean, which finished 32-4.
Pitcher Peyton Niksch picked up the complete-game victory for the 59ers, allowing just one (unearned) run and three hits, while striking out eight.
Anthony Annee scored the only run for coach Jeff Scott’s Braves, who finished 26-5.
Penn 3, Indianapolis Cathedral 0 — Penn pitcher Ben Gregory threw a gem shutting down a hot Cathedral offense in the 4A state championship game.
Gregory (4-1) threw a complete game allowing just three hits and struck out seven Irish batters. Cathedral had entered the championship game scoring 10 or more runs in each of its last five games.
The Kingsmen (26-6) scored in the first, second and fourth innings to win their 12th straight contest and ended the season on top in 14 of their final 15.
It was the fifth baseball state championship for Penn and its first since 2015, all of which have come with 35th year coach Greg Dikos leading the team. Cathedral won the 2017 title matchup between the two schools.
Cathedral (18-11-2), under sixth year coach Ed Freije, was looking for the fourth state title for the program and fell shy of becoming just the second team to win the triple crown of a football, basketball and baseball title in the same year. Fort Wayne Bishop Luers in 2007-08 remains the only school to achieve the feat.
The Phil Gardner Mental Attitude Award winners in each class were Justin Brady, Lafayette Central Catholic (Class A); Keegen Schlotterbeck of Centerville (Class 2A); Andrew Dutkanych IV, Indianapolis Brebeuf (Class 3A); and Ben Gregory, Penn (Class 4A). Schlotterbeck is committed to play baseball at VU in the fall.