Baseball team draws Lawrence Central in Sectional

Irish hope to get back on track after injuries to key players

During+a+game+earlier+this+season%2C+junior+David+Ayers+takes+his+lead+off+first+base.+

Maggie Johnson

During a game earlier this season, junior David Ayers takes his lead off first base.

Luke Spencer, Sports Editor

Within the last week, the Indiana High School Athletic Association has announced the Sectional assignments for fall sports going into the 2022 season. These pairings have seen Irish football and women’s soccer teams’ matchups being shifted due to class changes. The football team has moved up to 6A coming off of their second consecutive State championship, and the women’s soccer team will move to 3A.

But aside from these changes, the IHSAA announced the baseball Sectional draw.

This year, the baseball team holds a 7-6-2 record as of May 4. They began the season on a hot streak, as they were undefeated through six games. Since then, however, the team has struggled to put up runs as they have slumped into a 2-6-1 record since April 12. According to Head Coach Mr. Ed Freije ’99, there have been many factors contributing to this streak. He said, “We’re playing some really good programs, and we pride ourselves on being a really good program. We’ve just been a little inconsistent this year. We’ve had a little more adversity, battling through some injuries.” 

These injuries, to senior pitcher Nick Bassi and sophomore outfielder Christian Klug, have affected the team so far and will continue to affect it going forward. Bassi posted a 3-1 record with a 3.50 ERA through four appearances before tearing his UCL early in an 8-4 loss to Brebeuf Jesuit. Klug, an outfielder who was platooning with sophomore Patrick Mazur, had a .400 batting average with a .571 OBP before injuring his back. 

Freije cited playing Center Grove, which is ranked first in the state with a 15-1-1 record as of May 4, and facing senior pitcher Andrew Dutkanych IV of Brebeuf, who is ranked as the 14th best MLB prospect going into the draft in June, as some of the tough competition the team has faced thus far. 

However, there have been bright spots during the up-and-down season so far. Junior Kyuss Gargett has been phenomenal for the team, playing shortstop and batting in the lead off spot. Gargett leads the team in hits (15), triples (5) and home runs (2) while boasting a .349 batting average.

Junior Carson Johnson has been consistent as well, playing center field and batting .324 with 11 hits. Johnson has not made an error in the outfield. Additionally, sophomores J.T. Stiner and Mazur have performed well so far, providing an encouraging future for the team. Stiner, the team’s starting catcher, has hit five doubles and leads the squad with 15 RBIs. Mazur, an outfielder, has been great as well in his first year of varsity baseball, as he holds a .300 average with a .488 OBP.

The Irish will look to turn things around going into the City tournament and eventually the State tournament, in which the team will remain in Sectional 10. Once again the Irish will compete with Arsenal Tech, Ben Davis, Crispus Attucks, Lawrence Central, Lawrence North, North Central, and Pike to move on to Regional. The games will be played at Pike.

The team will face Lawrence Central in its first game of the Sectional, with the date and time to be announced, and if they advance, they will play the winner of Pike and Crispus Attucks. Freije said regarding the draw, “We’ve got a good (Lawrence Central) team right off the bat. They’re having a good year this year. We know they’ve got at least a couple of good arms, and they’ve got the potential to be aggressive offensively. So we know we’ve got to go in and play good baseball.”