It’s a rematch.
For the second straight year, Seton Catholic and Tri High will square off for the IHSAA baseball Class A Sectional 56 championship Monday.
Both teams advanced by winning completely different semifinal games Saturday on John Cate Field at McBride Stadium.
Tri High finally won a back-and-forth affair in the ninth inning, 7-6 over Union City.
Seton Catholic, the reigning sectional champion, sent Randolph Southern home early with a 14-4 victory in six innings.
“It’s been our goal all season and like the coaching staff said, we’re not done here,” Seton Catholic senior Adam Dolesh said. “We’re hoping to get the win and keep on going and pick it up where the seniors left us off last year at the regional.”
Adam Dolesh and twin brother Tyler Dolesh both had big days.
Adam Dolesh went 3-for-4 with a double, three RBIs and scored four runs.
Tyler Dolesh went 2-for-2 with three RBIs and a run scored.
He also started on the mound, pitching two innings, while Adam Dolesh pitched the next two and Cliff Dickman finished the game with the final two frames.
Tyler Dolesh also had the game-ending hit, driving in Dickman in the bottom of the sixth inning to put the mercy rule in effect.
“It’s awesome,” Seton coach Jake Carr said. “We talked before the game and before the sectional started, it’s about winning games and just advancing. We didn’t play as well defensively tonight as we would have wanted to, we still hit the ball well. But a win’s a win and we’re not going home and turning our stuff in, so we’re excited about that.”
Seton (15-9) sent 13 batters to the plate in the first inning and scored eight runs. However, Randolph Southern coach Blake Welch went to Quinten Puterbaugh in the second inning, and the Cardinals had a hard time adjusting to his off-speed pitches.
They pushed a run across in the third, two in the fourth, one in the fifth and finally ended the game early with a pair in the sixth.
Dickman, Vincent Mosey and Colten Pipenger each also had two hits. Dickman had three RBIs and Andrew Reimsnyder two. Craig Heyob doubled and Dickman tripled for the Cardinals, while Brady Gray, Reimsnyder and Rhett Butler each had a hit.
“We swung it well and Adam played a really good game,” Carr said. “We kind of pitched by committee today to save arms, so we have everything left in the tank for Monday. And we’re going to throw everything we have at them, so I’m excited with where we’re at.”
Travis Frame tripled and scored for Randolph Southern, while Puterbaugh hit an RBI double. Garrett Alka and Dalton Spencer also had hits for the Rebels, while Kory Slick, Puterbaugh and Alka split time on the mound.
“I saw a perfect opportunity for our players to grow and take this game as an opportunity to step forward,” said Welch, a 2011 Southern graduate who is in his first year with the team. “This is a good example of what we need to work on to come back to being in that top tier of what Randolph Southern used to be, three years ago, four years ago, five years ago. … Even though we got beat 14-4, this is a very constructive loss.”
Seton Catholic joined the IHSAA in 2004. The Cardinals won their first sectional title in 2011 and won again in 2013, defeating Tri 11-2 in the championship.
The Titans (8-13) were led by three hits from Riley Casteel, including a double. Jason Marshall, Kaleb Harrison and Zach Longnecker each also had two hits.
Chase Burk went 3-for-4 with a double for the Indians, while Quade Carpenter homered and Tyler Lacy doubled.
“We feel that we’ve got Zach ready to throw on Monday and Riley ready to throw on Monday,” Tri coach Cary Ellis said. “They won’t have all seven innings, but they have enough between them we can get through the ballgame, and that’s a pretty good combination to have, Casteel and Longnecker.”