For more on high school baseball, follow Reggie Hayes via Twitter at www.twitter.com/reggiehayes1
As high school baseball hits the regional stage on Saturday, here's a look at the games involving local teams:
At Lafayette Jefferson
Carroll (21-9) vs. McCutcheon 24-8), 11 a.m.
Carroll has come on strong the second half of the season, with its only loss coming in a Northeast Hoosier Conference showdown with Homestead, a potential regional foe. Grant Inman leads the team with a .470 average while Trevor Snyder has six homers and 30 RBIs. Eight of the Chargers' regular starters hit .300 or better.
Homestead (22-9) vs. Noblesville (25-8), 1 p.m.
The Spartans finished the season as one of the area's hottest teams and that vibe has continued in the postseason. After blasting South Side in the sectional opener, Homestead won one-run battles against Jay County and a strong Huntington North team. Homestead will rely on the pitching of McLean Trieglaff and DJ Moore and a strong hitting lineup led by Brady Sheehan (.441, 36 RBIs) and Ryan Stephens (.407, 38 RBIs).
Bishop Dwenger (17-11) vs. Norwell (18-8), 1 p.m.
Here's a pair of teams that weren't necessarily favored to reach the regional level. Dwenger surprised many by winning the Summit Athletic Conference and knocked off sectional favorite Leo. Norwell fielded an entirely new lineup this year and upset favorite Heritage in the sectional semifinals. Both teams rely on a pair of seniors and some strong younger talent. Dwenger's regular seniors are Luke Palmer and Alex Schenkel while Norwell's main seniors are Logan Dettmer and David Vogel. Both teams know how to scrape together runs.
Dwenger's Justin Wagoner is averaging .437 and Noah Freimuth .433. Eight Norwell starters hit .328 or better, led by sophomore Ryan Tomlin at .388 with eight homers and 30 RBIs. The winner will play the NorthWood vs. Yorktown winner at 8 p.m. Saturday.
Canterbury (19-5) vs. Westview (20-5), 12:30 p.m.
Canterbury moved up from Class A and coach Pat “Bubba” McMahon set up a tough schedule to get the Cavaliers ready. It worked. Canterbury lost only five games (by a total of seven runs) and all were to Class 4A schools. Along the way, they knocked off strong teams, including Leo, Heritage and Bishop Dwenger, as well as Woodlan in the sectional. The Cavaliers have two ace pitchers in juniors Matt Kent (already committed to Xavier), who throws 88 mph, and Curtis Hoffman, who has a wicked curveball. Two other juniors Tommy Filus and Ben Yurkanin join six seniors for a solid unit. “I told the kids, the pressure's off now, we're not supposed to be here,” McMahon said. “We're the little 1A school playing 2A. The pressure's off.” If Canterbury wins, it will play the Lafayette Central Catholic vs. Hammond Noll winner at 6 p.m. Saturday.
Blackhawk Christian (14-7) vs. North White (24-6), 2 p.m.
Blackhawk Christian coach Kevin Kinnison has five or six quality pitchers, but no surefire ace. So he'll try to work the strategy that puts his best team in the field. “Defensively, not having an ace makes us pay attention more, every guy is focused on each pitch,” Kinnison said. Freshman pitcher Nate Moonen has the most wins this season with four, including the sectional title win over Elkhart Christian. Junior third baseman Nathan Targgart leads the Braves with a .537 batting average, followed by centerfielder Riley Reimschisel at .472 and shortstop Aaron Jones at .412. If the Braves win, they'll play the Washington Township vs. South Central winner at 8:30 p.m. Saturday.