The Castle Knights were hoping to threepeat as sectional champs. The last time the school had accomplished that was in the early eighties, but the Jasper Wildcats had other ideas.
Played at historic Bosse Field, the Knights lost in the first round of the sectionals by the final score of 6-1.
Castle could never get the bats going against Jasper starting pitcher Grant Stratton. While not an overpowering pitcher, the senior would confuse the Castle hitters for the duration of the game only giving up four hits in seven innings.
“We knew it was going to be a battle coming into the game,” Knights coach Curt Welch said. “We knew we had to play perfect and come up with some big hits. We make a play here and we’re right there in the ball game and that’s what baseball is all about. Jasper came up with the big hits when they needed them and that’s the difference in the game.”
Jasper would score their first run by means of a bomb. After Knights stating pitcher and Auburn commit Cameron Tilly would get the first two hitters he faced out, Connor Foley would go yard by hitting a solo shot over the leftfield wall.
The Knights would score their only run in the second. Tilly would lead off the inning with a single. He would be driven by Kris Butler who would get a single of his own. Butler’s hit would be the Knights last until the seventh inning as Stratton would retire 14 consecutive batters.
Jasper, on the other hand, was able to get runners on base and produce runs. They would add two in the third to a hit batsman with the bases loaded and a sacrifice bunt. They would add two more in the fifth after Andrew Wallace would hit a double clearing the bases. They would add their final run in the seventh.
Castle finishes their season with an 18- 9 record. The good news for Castle moving forward is they are only losing two albeit talented seniors in Blake Hermann and Jon Lawson. Both will be playing the next level with Hermann heading to Evansville and Lawson to Salem State.
Welch isn’t thinking about the future as of right now.
“It will take me awhile to get over this. We’ll start working on next year with guys who want to make changes and we’ll see where we’re at,” Welch said.