Baseball Semi-State

Athenians season ends at semi-state


EVANSVILLE — Only four baseball teams in the state get to end their season with a win as they celebrate a state title. Every other team,their season usually ends with some tears being shed and hugs between teammates and coaches. That time for those tears and hugs was Saturday afternoon for Crawfordsville baseball. CHS fell 7-2 to Brebeuf  in the Class 3A Semi-State semi-final down at the University of Evansville. CHS was playing in their first semi-state since 2013 after winning their first sectional and regional titles in over a decade.

Brebeuf, who went on to defeat Evansville Memorial for the semi-state title and will play at Victory Field for the 3A State title, took advantage of a Crawfordsville error in the first at-bat of the bottom of the first. Jackson Rinhold grounded a ball to shortstop Jude Coursey who initially had trouble fielding but still got a good throw over to first. The ball popped in and out of the glove of Bryce Dowell. However Crawfordsville looked like it might get out of the inning un-scathed a sac-bunt and a Kale Wemer strikeout had CHS an out away from ending the inning.

What followed was instead the next Braves hitter in Will Loftus hitting a towering two-run homer over the left field wall to put Brebeuf up 2-0. A walk and three straight singles followed and the damage had been done with the Braves leading 4-0 after an inning.

The Athenians were able to get runners to second base in each of the first three innings, but were unable to get the timely hit needed to crack the scoreboard.

Junior third baseman Wyatt Motz finally got CHS on the board in the fifth by hitting an RBI triple that rolled to the wall as it would easily score Coursey. Coursey then in the seventh would get an RBI single which scored Cohen McClamroch. Trailing 7-2 in the seventh after the Coursey single, CHS had the bases loaded but the game and their season came to an end when sophomore catcher Matt Miller flied out to first for the final out.

“Baseball is a game of inches and there were just a few things that didn’t fall into place for us,” Crawfordsville coach Brett Motz said. “If they did things probably look a little different. They (Brebeuf) were able to get momentum early, but I was proud that our guys never backed down despite what the scoreboard said. We competed until the very last out. This team has battled a lot of adversity this season and been able to overcome it every step of the way. This group never counts themselves out of a game and we showed that again today.”

It was a season to remember for the Athenians. CHS won another out-right Sagamore Conference championship to go along with a sectional and regional titles. It’s not just the on the field success that Motz is proud of when he reflected upon the season that was for his team. Saying goodbye is never an easy thing but he knows this season was one for all of his players to be proud of.

“These kids are such a tight knit group and that makes it really tough to tell them goodbye,” he said. “Every single tangible that a coach could ask for, these guys have it. For me as a coach,  this group did most of the leading this season. Us coaches were there to guide them along the way. They understood that this was their team and they were going to determine how this year went. We’re there to create a blueprint then these guys took it and ran with it. Crawfordsville baseball is a tradition rich program and there’s no question that the guys we have coming back look to carry that tradition on.”

Crawfordsville ends their 2024 season with a 19-13 record. More importantly the team says goodbye to four seniors who have helped pave the way for success these past four years. Kale Wemer, Bryce Dowell, Kaden Patton, and Mateo Flores all wore the Athenian uniform for the final time on Saturday. During their four years the four-some posted a record of 75-29 as they were the first group Motz has gotten to see come in as freshman and leave as seniors.

“There’s no question at all that these for men will be missed,” Motz concluded by talking about his four seniors. “I hope they leave this program with a tremendous amount of pride and an understanding that they accomplished something very special in their final season here. I know they’ll look back at their four years a Crawfordsville baseball player and see how it helped mold them into the amazing young men I know they’ll become.”

Crawfordsville baseball got back to their tradition of excellence this past spring. With plenty of players coming back for next years team, CHS looks to continue their winning tradition in 2025.