INDIANAPOLIS—Pairings for the annual baseball sectional were announced Tuesday by officials at the Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA).
Sectionals will be held at Bellmont and Bishop Luers for schools involving Adams County teams (the Luers sectional is held at the Indiana Tech field in Fort Wayne).
Bellmont athletic director Dale Manis noted the opening game of the local tourney will be on Wednesday, May 25 at 5:30 p.m. as Norwell and Wayne will battle. The semi-finals are slated for Friday, May 27 at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. with Peru taking on Bellmont and Maconaquah playing the survivor of the Norwell-Wayne match-up.
The Bellmont sectional championship game is slated for 1 p.m. on Memorial Day, Monday, May 30.
Norwell is the defending sectional champion and again is favored to repeat.
The Bishop Luers tournament is a wide open affair with Adams Central the defending champion.
The Jets will oppose Bluffton at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 26 and site director Matt Lindsey said the final three games will be on Monday, the 30th. At 10 a.m., South Adams will play Woodlan, the AC-Bluffton victor will oppose Bishop Luers at 12:45 p.m. and the championship tilt is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Bellmont coach Ben Fawbush said the Braves like the draw they received.
"We feel we got the best draw possible and are very excited. We think that ourselves and Norwell are the favorites to come out of it. Our record (9-9) doesn't indicate what we are capable of as we have went through a big, rough drought lately. We will come out of it, I am sure. We were pitching well and hitting the ball tremendously and then we hit a brick wall. It wasn't a gradual decline, more of a slam into a brick wall," Fawbush said.
Fawbush said, however, that he has seen recent signs of life again from the Bellmont team saying "we are hitting the ball hard again. Our pitching needs to come around as we can't be walking and hitting batters. We need to get ahead of batters and make them think instead of us getting behind and having to pitch to them.
"We will come around. We know we will," he promised.
In facing Bluffton, Adams Central diamond boss Dave Neuenschwander and his crew will have to beat a team for the third time in as many games this year.
"That's a huge challenge," Neuenschwander said, adding "we will need to do a lot better at seizing the opportunities that are given to us. We are going to have to make the big play offensively and defensively to be successful in this year's tournament."
The AC coach said he feels the Bishop Luers sectional "will be very competitive with South Adams having the edge (the Stars whipped the Jets 12-0 last week).