IHSAA Announces Baseball State Tournament Pairings

A host of Hamilton County schools will feature in the 2022 IHSAA Baseball sectionals, announced by the IHSAA yesterday. Hamilton Heights High School, reigning 3A sectional champions, will host New Castle in game 1 of Sectional 24. Fishers High School, also reigning sectional champions in Class 4A, will face Carmel in game 4 of sectional 8. The winner of that game will go on to face the winner of the Zionsville vs. Noblesville and Westfield vs. Hamilton Southeastern games, games 1 and 2 respectively in Sectional 8.

Guerin Catholic also features in Sectional 24. They will play host to Delta in game 4 of that sectional. University is slotted to play Speedway in game 1 of Class 2A’s Sectional 43 University School is playing up one class due to prior tournament success; they are currently three-time reigning sectional champions. In Class 1A, Sheridan will host Frontier in game 1 of Sectional 54.

A field of 383 teams will begin play later this month for the 55th Annual IHSAA Baseball State Tournament Series. Host schools will announce playing schedules which will then be added to the online brackets at the week before the tournament begins.

Sectional competition begins Wednesday, May 25, and continues through Monday, May 30 (Memorial Day), with the 64 champions advancing to the four-team regionals on Saturday, June 4. Two semifinal games will be played early that day at each site with the two winners returning for a championship game that evening. The 16 regional winners will be assigned to four semi-state sites and play a single game on Saturday, June 11, with the winners moving into their respective state championship game.

The four state championship games will be played at Victory Field in Indianapolis, home of the Triple-A franchise Indianapolis Indians, for the 24th year overall. This year’s games will be played in a doubleheader format on Friday, June 17 and Saturday, June 18.

Among the top-ranked teams in this week’s poll from the Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association (IHSBCA), Class 4A’s Center Grove Trojans will begin their journey hosting Greenwood Community in Sectional 13. The Andrean Fighting 59ers, the No. 1 team in Class 3A, will meet home-standing Griffith in Sectional 17; the Wapahani Raiders are No. 1 in Class 2A and will take on Lapel in Sectional 40 at Frankton and the Barr-Reeve Vikings, the top team in Class 1A, drew a bye into the semifinals and will await the Vincennes Rivet-Shoals winner in Sectional 63 played at Loogootee.

The teams that won state championships last year include the Jasper Wildcats who will take on Evansville Harrison in Class 4A Sectional 16 at Evansville Reitz. The Southridge Raiders will meet Gibson Southern in Class 3A Sectional 31 at Princeton Community. The Class 2A champion, the Providence Pioneers will host Eastern (Pekin) in Sectional 46. The Class 1A Washington Township Senators, which won the school’s first state championship in any sport last year, will square off with Kouts in the Sectional 49 opener at Westville.

To conduct the random drawing for the baseball state tournament, the IHSAA places ping-pong balls representing each school in a given sectional into a lottery-style air mix machine. A motorized fan in the bottom of the machine blows the balls around the inside of the transparent container and air then forces each ball up through a tube in random order. For example, the first ball retrieved from the machine will be the visiting team in game one with the second ball representing the home team in game one. The third ball to come out is the visitor in game two and the fourth ball the home team in game two. That same method is followed through all 64 sectionals and 16 regionals.

The IHSAA is a voluntary, not-for-profit organization that is self-supporting without the use of tax monies. Since its founding in 1903, the Association’s mission has been to provide wholesome, educational athletics for the secondary schools of Indiana. Its 407 member high schools – public, institutional, parochial and private – pay no annual membership fee or incur entry fees to play in the Association’s tournaments. A state tournament series is conducted annually in 22 sports, 10 for girls, 10 for boys and two co-ed (unified flag football and unified track and field). A 19-person board of directors, elected by member school principals, governs the organization.