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May 22, 2013

BASEBALL SECTIONAL PREVIEW: Floyd, New Albany, Jeff expect tough field at Class 4A BNL Sectional

Creek, Charlestown to play in formidable Class 3A sectional

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> SOUTHERN INDIANA — CLASS 3A NORTH HARRISON SECTIONAL

Like the Bedford Sectional, the North Harrison Sectional has a formidable field.

Three squads are ranked in the final Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association Class 3A poll. Silver Creek is ranked fourth, Charlestown (22-6) is sixth and Brownstown Central is eighth. In addition, North Harrison and Corydon Central are having solid seasons.

“The overall field is extremely tough in this year’s sectional,” Pirates’ coach Ricky Romans said. “I think it is going to be one of the more competitive sectionals in Class 3A. Each team knows each other very well, having played games in the [Mid-Southern] conference. It will simply come down to who executes and who doesn’t. The field is wide open this year, in my opinion.”

Charlestown will play the third first-round game of the sectional at about 7:30 p.m. on Thursday against Scottsburg (7-21), which is coached by former Jeff coach Al Rabe. Romans played for Rabe when he was a player at Jeff High.

If Charlestown beats the Warriors, it will face either Brownstown or Corydon in the sectional semifinals at about 1:30 p.m. on Monday.

“Execution and playing fundamentally sound baseball will be the keys to us having an opportunity to advance and potentially win the sectional,” Romans said. “In this sectional and in tournament play in general, one mistake can cost you. I want my team to come focused and prepared, but I also want them to enjoy the moment and just play baseball.”

Silver Creek, which has won the past two sectionals, received the lone bye in the sectional. The Dragons will face either Salem or the host Cougars in Monday’s first semifinal at 11 a.m. The championship will take place at 7 p.m. on Monday.

CLASS 2A PROVIDENCE SECTIONAL

Providence (16-8) will get a chance to avenge last year’s sectional championship loss to defending sectional champion Eastern right off the bat. The Pioneers will host the Musketeers in the second semifinal at about 1 p.m. on Saturday. The championship game will be at 7 p.m. on Saturday. Eastern defeated Providence in last year’s sectional final, 6-5.

Pioneers’ coach Scott Hornung says pitching and defense will be critical if Providence is to win its first sectional crown since 2011.

“There are basically going to be two keys,” Hornung said. “Key No. 1 is our pitchers have got to throw strikes. If our pitchers throw strikes and we limit ourselves to two errors or less in a game, we’re going to be in good shape.”

Henryville (13-10) will play Clarksville in tonight’s second first-round game at about 7. The Hornets lost to the Generals in last year’s first-round sectional game in five innings, 12-1. The Henryville-Clarksville winner will face either Paoli or Crawford County in the first semi at 11 a.m. on Saturday.

“I feel pretty good about our draw considering that the favorite, Providence, is in the opposite bracket,” Hornets’ coach Jeff Schroeder said. “They are by far the best team in the sectional. We are not going to overlook anyone, though. The past two weeks haven’t been very good for us, so I would just like to win that first game and then see what happens.”

Henryville is seeking its first Class 2A sectional title, as it won six Class A sectionals from 1999-2008. But Schroeder says the Hornets have got to play better baseball and get out of their recent slump.

“In order for us to win, we have to throw strikes, play solid defense and get back to producing some runs,” Schroeder said. “Our offense has been non-existent lately. We can’t win if we don’t score. Nobody can. As with all the teams, we have to catch a few breaks along the way as well.”

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