It’s a new baseball sectional for Hagerstown, but coach Brad Catey expects the same approach from his Tigers.
Hagerstown will move from Class 2A to Class A, the result of the Tournament Success Factor. Rockville and Shakamak both move from Class A to Class 2A, and Lafayette Central Catholic, formerly a Class A program, remains in Class 2A.
That meant a switch for the Tigers. Instead of their usual postseason home in Class 2A Sectional 41, they now will compete in Class A Sectional 56.
“It’s going to be an excellent opportunity for us, a chance to take a different road in the tournament,” Catey said.
“We’ll just have to attack it the same way we have in the past, one step at a time.”
The Tigers are no strangers to baseball success. They are the reigning Tri-Eastern Conference champion — winners of four straight titles —and own eight sectional crowns, the last coming in 2013.
Hagerstown has also won two regional championships, in 1999 and 2006.
“It was kind of a shocker,” Hagerstown athletic director Gerry Keesling said of the move to Class A.
“We have a good baseball team coming back. We had a pretty successful year this year. I look for good things to happen for baseball.”
The updated sectional pairings are for the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons.
Sectional 56 also includes Lincoln, Union City, Tri High, Seton Catholic, Blue River and Randolph Southern. Lincoln, Union City and Tri are also TEC teams.
Blue River is the defending sectional champion. Hagerstown leaves behind Centerville, Northeastern, Union County, Knightstown and sectional newcomer Winchester in Sectional 41.
“New rivalries will probably be made,” Catey said.
“It’s going to be a whole new atmosphere.”
But one Catey welcomes.
The last two Sectional 56 tournaments have been played at McBride Stadium.
“Playing at McBride, that will be cool. That’s where I won a regional when I played,” Catey said. “It’s an awesome opportunity. Hopefully good things happen.”
Other baseball changes include Connersville moving from Class 4A Sectional 9, which features Richmond in the field, to Class 3A Sectional 29.
The Spartans also move to Sectional 29 in softball.
Catey was surprised when Keesling told him about Hagerstown’s change.
“I almost didn’t believe it at first,” he said.
Josh Chapin: (765) 973-4463 firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter.com/JoshChapinPI
On the Move
•Hagerstown is moving from Class 2A to Class A in baseball for the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons because of the Tournament Success Factor. Rockville and Shakamak move from Class A to Class 2A, while Lafayette Central Catholic remains in Class 2A.
• Class 2A Sectional 41 field: Centerville, Northeastern, Union County, Knightstown, Winchester*
• Class A Sectional 56 field: Hagerstown*, Lincoln*, Seton Catholic, Blue River, Union City, Randolph Southern, Tri High
*—New for 2015-16, 2016-17 seasons