Senior staff writer
Center Grove’s baseball sectional championship drought ended at Whiteland on Monday, while Lutheran captured its fourth straight sectional title at Morristown by defeating the hosts 12-0.
The 4A No. 5 Trojans, under second-year coach Keith Hatfield, captured their first sectional title since 2009 by pounding Franklin 11-1 in five innings. They defeated Franklin Central 3-1 in the semifinals.
Center Grove had to play back-to-back games after Franklin stopped defending sectional champion Whiteland 5-4.
Hatfield said his team was focused since the first pitch of the day. “It was easier to play back-to-back than it was to sit for a game.”
Center Grove’s eight-run outburst in the second inning against Franklin propelled the Trojans to the school’s 18th baseball sectional title.
Trojan shortstop Joey Drury’s two-run double began the big inning, which ended with the last two runs being scored on a wild throw to first base. Another run was added in the third and two in the fourth on pitcher Jade Doyle’s double to the left-field fence, which scored Josh Martin.
The Trojans meet Evansville Reitz in the Evansville Regional at 1 p.m. Saturday, with the championship game at 7 p.m.
The Saints (22-5) advance to the Morristown Regional on Saturday at 1 p.m. and will face the winner of the Bethesda Christian Sectional played Tuesday (results too late for deadline) between Greenwood Christian Academy and Indiana Deaf School.
Beech Grove met 3A sectional host Danville, also Tuesday, in the championship matchup. The Hornets advanced to the finals by defeating Tri-West 11-1 Monday.