Central Catholic’s run of Class A state championships ended on Saturday — with a victory.
By winning a regional championship earlier in the tournament, the Knights achieved enough points in the IHSAA Tournament Success Factor to bump up to Class 2A for the new two-year classification cycle.
Despite losing four senior starters, Central Catholic’s players expect to be in position to extend a postseason winning streak that now stands at 33 games.
“We’re going to obviously enjoy this for a while,” CC coach Tim Bordenet said. “Our kids are all about challenges and opportunities, and we’ll play wherever they tell us to play.”
Andrew Hubertz emerged as the staff’s go-to starter in the state tournament. While he is headed for Indiana Wesleyan, juniors Hayes Cronk and Lucas Richardson are expected to form a strong 1-2 combination at the top off the staff.
“Our pitching and defense is what we build our team around,” junior catcher Evan Kennedy said.
Kennedy batted .300 with 18 extra-base hits (including three home runs) with 24 RBIs. The left-handed swinger who batted out of the No. 3 spot spent his first full season as the Knights’ everyday catcher.
Freshmen were critical to Central Catholic’s 4-3 state championship victory over Vincennes Rivet. Left fielder Adam Lovell, second baseman Jackson Anthrop and third baseman Luke Fusiek all batted better than .300 in their first varsity season.
“They didn’t play like freshmen at all. They played like they were ready to go and they’d been here before, and I was so proud of them,” Hubertz said.
Pete Metzinger, Nigel Hensley, Gage Ulery and Ben Page are among the incoming seniors. The past two CC graduating classes went their entire careers without experiencing a state tournament loss.
The Knights will soon learn the necessary route to keep that streak alive when the IHSAA assigns them to a 2A sectional.
“We’re going to use this as bigger motivation, that we’re done being in 1A,” Kennedy said. “They forced us up to 1A and we’re going to keep winning. That’s the tradition here. We rebuild and reload.”