Baseball Regional

Wemer’s gem sends Athenians to semi-state


MOORESVILLE — Crawfordsville baseball’s season isn’t done yet. After claiming their first sectional title since 2013 last week, CHS took on the Northview Knights on Saturday in the Class 3A regional final at Mooresville High School.

Behind senior Kale Wemer’s gem on the mound and a four-run second inning which Cville got just one hit, Crawfordsville took down the Knights 4-0 to capture the regional title and advance to semi-state on June 8.

The game saw both CHS and Northview combine for just two hits as both Wemer and Knights ace Caden Schrader were on their A-games. Wemer threw a complete game shutout and the lone hit he surrendered was a bunt single in the third inning. The Purdue commit struck out 10 and walked none on his way to leading the Athenians to the win.

Schrader in his own right pitched a whale of game for the Knights who end their season with a   17-9 record. The Indiana State bound senior gave up just one hit to Wyatt Motz in second and just two of his four runs were earned. He walked three and struck out 10.

In the second inning, Crawfordsville (19-12) got things started with Kaden Patton getting hit by a pitch. Wemer and Sam Minnette both walked to load the bases with one out. What looked like a potential double-play off a ball hit by Henry Bannon ended up getting nothing as an error by Knights second baseman Derek Morrison scored the games first run and kept the bases loaded. Mason McCarty was drilled to score the second run followed by a fielders choice RBI by Jude Coursey. Motz then got an RBI single to score Bannon and that was the offense for the entire game.

“I’ll take a win any way I can get it at this point,” Crawfordsville coach Brett Motz said. “This team just continues to find ways to win and that’s what great teams do. We took advantage of those opportunities in the second inning and we still had to put some balls in play to make those things happen. We’ve worked so hard in practice on those exact situations. That was really our only chance to put some runs up and I’m so happy for our guys that they continue to just grind out wins.”

Just like the sectional title, the regional title also is a first for the Athenians since 2013.

For this group of seniors, which includes Bryce Dowell, Wemer, Patton and Mateo Flores, their careers were extended one more week as the Athenians are one of the final eight teams remaining in Class 3A.

“The entire season this group has been so selective with our approach in the batters box,” Dowell said. “We knew where we wanted the pitch to be and if it wasn’t there we weren’t going to help out the other pitcher.

"Of course we got another great start from Kale and he makes things so easy being a defender behind him. You know he’s not going to make any mistakes and he’s really tough to hit, we’ve tried in practice. Being a part of this team right now is just amazing. All of us have been dialed in these last few weeks and now we move on to the next task at hand.”

Patton, who got the scoring started for CHS, talked about the confidence level the Athenians have had the last few weeks.

“It starts with everyone in that dugout having confidence in each other and that’s the message that us seniors have preached these last several weeks when we’ve been playing our best,” the senior right fielder said. “We’re always ready to take advantage of whatever situation we’re in. We were able to steal a few bases on some wild pitches and that allowed us to have that big inning without getting a big hit. Our ability to just stay locked into the moment and focus on the next game is a big reason why we’re still playing.”

For Wemer, he improves to 10-3 on the season and moves his strikeout total to 117 while issuing just 10 walks. His ERA has moved under a run and stands at .95. His 117 K’s rank him at No. 6 in the state. He notes how he still remembers his sophomore season when the Knights walked it off against CHS in the sectional and ended their season.

“That game really hurt all of us and so coming in I just remembered how that game felt and didn’t want to have that feeling again,” Wemer said. “I wanted to dominate them and my defense continued to make plays behind me. When we’re playing this way we’re very hard to beat. These last several games have been amazing and this is something that us seniors have never experienced so we’re just going to see how far we can go. We’re certainly enjoying every last moment and that’s something that I make sure I tell my guys before every game is to enjoy it.”

It’s Crawfordsville’s sixth regional championship in school history. They now move on to the semi-state semi-finals which take place June 8. CHS will face the Brebeuf Braves who defeated Speedway 10-0. The location and time of the Athenians game is yet to be determined.

Motz and his Athenian team have brought the winning tradition back to the Crawfordsville baseball program. It’s something he certainly is proud of as he’s experienced the success as a former player and now is getting to guide his own team.

“As coaches we’ve felt that there’s something pretty special about this group,” Motz said. “I know they want to play two more games and there’s this feeling about this team right now. They all have faith and trust in each other and the coaching staff is just letting them go out and play. It’s a lot of fun to be apart of and bring Crawfordsville baseball back to our winning ways.”