(All games Saturday)
At Lafayette Jefferson
Carroll vs. McCutcheon, 11 a.m.
Homestead vs. Noblesville, 1 p.m.
Championship, 8 p.m.
NorthWood vs. Yorktown, 11 a.m.
Bishop Dwenger vs. Norwell, 1 p.m.
Championship, 8 p.m.
Lafayette Central Catholic vs. Hammond Noll, 10 a.m.
Canterbury vs. Westview, 12:30 p.m.
Championship, 6 p.m.
Blackhawk Christian vs. North White, 2 p.m.
Washington Township vs. South Central, 4 p.m.
Championship, 8:30 p.m.
For more on high school baseball, follow Reggie Hayes via Twitter at www.twitter.com/reggiehayes1
Whether it's big-school Carroll or small-school Canterbury, it usually takes a pair of solid pitchers to win a baseball regional. Those two teams, for starters, have the arms in place.
Carroll relies on senior Taylor Goshen and junior Grant Inman while Canterbury uses a pair of juniors in Curtis Hoffman and Matt Kent.
If those pitchers are on, those two schools could well be moving on Saturday.
Carroll and Canterbury are among six local schools heading to regional play. The others are Homestead in Class 4A, Bishop Dwenger and Norwell in Class 3A (where they'll meet each other) and Blackhawk Christian in Class A.
Goshen will pitch Carroll's opener against McCutcheon in the Lafayette Jefferson Regional, with Inman slated to start if the Chargers can reach the title game against the Homestead-Noblesville winner.
“I like our chances with those two on the mound,” Carroll coach Dave Ginder said, adding that Inman would be an option in relief in Game 1 if necessary.
Goshen, who has committed to Wichita State University, is 10-2 with an earned run average of 1.08 and 115 strikeouts to 16 walks. Inman (5-2), who has committed to Valparaiso, has a 1.55 ERA and 68 strikeouts.
“They both throw hard,” Ginder said. “I guess I would say Taylor is more of a power pitcher, but they both throw hard. Grant has a very good changeup mix in there. In a lot of ways, they're the same type of kids. They get a lot of strikeouts and that makes our defense so much better.”
The Chargers (21-9) allowed only four runs in three sectional games. Inman leads the team at the plate, hitting .470 with the best on-base percentage and on-base plus slugging percentage. Trevor Snyder, Cameron Kohli, Jacob Hansen and Matt Meihls are among the other big hitters.
Carroll started the season with a travel-heavy schedule that included seven losses in its first 10 games but finished the season winning 11 of its last 12.
“We had a rough start, but some of that was who we were playing and getting some things figured out as a team,” Ginder said. “In the long run, that helped us. It was a benefit.”
Class 2A Canterbury (19-5) put together a tough schedule of its own and had a chance to win every game. Along the way, the Cavaliers knocked off some of the area's best teams, including Leo, Dwenger, Heritage and Woodlan.
The 1-2 punch of Hoffman and Kent are a major reason why.
Hoffman is 5-2 with a 1.27 ERA and 64 strikeouts. Kent, who is committed to Xavier, is 6-1 with a 1.38 ERA and 68 strikeouts.
“Curtis transferred here from Tennessee and he's off the charts,” Canterbury coach Pat "Bubba" McMahon said. “He's the real deal, mostly with his curveball. Matt Kent throws 88 mph. He brings the gas.”
Hoffman struck out 12 and pitched a complete-game 2-1 win over Adams Central in the sectional semifinal, and Kent struck out 14 in a 1-0 win over Woodlan in the title game. The Cavs offense is usually pretty potent, led by juniors Tommy Filus (.505) and Ben Yurkanin (.450).
“We played up our schedule this year to get the kids ready for the atmosphere in the tournament,” McMahon said.
Canterbury lost to Homestead in its season opener in the seventh inning.
“That was our first game and it was their seventh,” McMahon said. “That's when I knew we could have a good season.”