HILLARY SMITH: Bank on these winners for the region's chance at Victory Field

2014-05-25T20:30:00Z HILLARY SMITH: Bank on these winners for the region's chance at Victory FieldHillary Smith Times Columnist nwitimes.com
May 25, 2014 8:30 pm  • 

As the region's high school baseball coaches were frantically trying to make up games, reschedule rainouts (and snowouts) and even find new opponents, the reason was simple: right now.

The IHSAA baseball postseason begins Wednesday and every team hopes their record against competition can punch a ticket to Victory Field in late June.

The June 21 games are the last competitions for any team in Indiana to complete the 2013-14 season. I envision a couple of locals making the trek.

Class 4A

In the Munster Sectional, the Mustangs roster is among the best the school has seen. They have enough talented pitching to make the trip through the tournament, especially if the defense can avoid giving up big innings. Lake Central is the reigning champ, but this one belongs to Munster.

At Chesterton, Hobart couldn't have dreamed of a better draw, but should use each game wisely, because if Crown Point emerges from the other bracket, the Bulldogs will have played tougher games. Brandon Murray could end his season in Chesterton or Indianapolis, and I see the Brickies taking this one.

Class 3A

Andrean not only holds the keys to the race car in this sectional, they've sped through postseason after postseason for the last 12 years. The 59ers hold the current record for most sectional titles in a row, and this year is no different. Hanover Central will put up a good fight, for sure, but Andrean has the pitching to counter the Wildcats' offense.

Griffith shouldn't have a problem with another sectional title. Their biggest competition comes in the regional, and if they hope to upset Andrean for a third straight year, they'll have to do it in the championship round. The Panthers have the advantage, hosting the regional under the new lights.

Class 2A

Bishop Noll can thank the IHSAA bouncing ping pong balls for forcing Boone Grove and Hebron to dispatch of one or the other early. Though the schedule leaves more than enough time for a pitcher to recover for the championship game. Noll has the edge however, if only because this is practically a home game for the Warriors.

North Newton and Rensselaer have fought for ever win this season, but saddled in a sectional with Lafayette Central Catholic and playing at the home of defending champ Delphi is no walk in the park. The two region teams can't back down, but a shot in the dark is the best they'll have.

Class A

Washington Township and Morgan Township are easily the best two teams in the Westville Sectional, and the Senators are riding a Porter County Conference Tournament title into the postseason. Morgan has the longer road, and Washington gets the ever-so-slight advantage.

South Central is prepped for a shot at a regional title, thanks to a tough-enough road mapped in the sectional that can almost guarantee a win. The talent is there at offense that the Satellites could even look further ahead.

A Munster-Hobart date in the regional round could be a boon for championship ticket sales at the LaPorte Regional. If it is, the nod goes to Munster, thanks only to the coin I just flipped three times.

Griffith's shot at a final on its own field would only be better if the Panthers faced the Niners. In the third time, I don't see Andrean falling again.

The Mustangs and Panthers have the best shot at Victory Field, but it'll be a region party if any of our teams play after Father's Day weekend.

This column solely represents the writer's opinion. Reach her at hillary.smith@nwi.com.

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