CHS Hall of Fame
Athenians aligned with familiar foes in Regional
June 1, 2012Crawfordsville High School
Crawfordsville has a lot of recent history against two teams in the Mt. Vernon (Fortville) Regional this Saturday. In the first game of the day, the #10 Athenians will square off with the Edgewood Mustangs. In the past seven seasons, the two programs have faced each other three times with the Athenians coming out ahead on two of those occasions.
In 2006, the teams met in a one game Regional format on Edgewood’s home turf. Crawfordsville parlayed a huge second inning in to a lopsided victory. That led to a berth in the Semi-State (the program's first since 1995) where Crawfordsville fell to host and eventual state champion Jasper.
The following year it was Crawfordsville who played host to Edgewood. The Mustangs took a one run win, holding off a furious late-inning charge by the Athenians. The game ended in gut-wrenching fashion as Edgewood’s pitcher made a diving play to snag a suicide squeeze bunt attempt and double off the Athenian runner from third for the final out.
Last season, the Athenians bested Edgewood in the Semi-State at Plainfield. Crawfordsville faced down Jake Bauer, who is also the Mustang’s ace on the mound this year, spreading out seven hits for three runs in each of the third, fourth, and fifth innings to win 9-5 and move on to an eventual second state championship in four years.
The senior Bauer is 10-4 with a 1.77 earned run average. Behind him, it’s Nick Raventos (2.36) and Ryan Newman (3.20).
Crawfordsville could turn to a variety of arms to get the job done. Joel Hobson is 7-2 with a 3.00 ERA. The lefty is holding opposing batters to a slim .191 average and has surrendered only three extra-base hits in 152 batters faced. Garrett Phelps, meanwhile, is 5-0 with a 3.53 earned run average. Chandler Pursell has a 3.82 ERA and has a sparkling .195 average-against while striking out a batter per inning. Chase Justus leads the staff in K's with 62 in 56 innings, to go along with six wins.
Offensively, the Mustangs managed to produce runs at the right time during sectional play and during a late-season surge during which they’ve won 10 of 11 games. Overall, they hit .269 as a team.
By contrast, Crawfordsville brings plenty of offensive firepower and hits .347 as a club. (Note: Probable lineups for Game 1 are provided below.)
If the Athenians are to survive Edgewood again this time around, they will likely face rival Brebeuf Jesuit as the Braves are a heavy favorite over the upstart 15-12 Beech Grove Hornets.
The two schools first met in 2004 when Brebeuf managed to overcome current New York Mets pitching prospect Brandon Moore in sectional action at CHS. The teams met again every postseason until 2012, when the Braves fell in the opening round of Regional play to Greensburg. Overall, Crawfordsville has won four times to Brebeuf’s three in tournament play with many of those games featuring dramatic rallies and tense moments on both sides. The most notorious of such moments came in 2007 when Crawfordsville came from behind on the strength of three consecutive homers (by Cody Dowell, Allan Griggs, and Brett McKinney) to clinch a sectional title.
Earlier this year, the two stalwart 3A programs met in the second week of the season as part of the Silver Creek Spring Swing Tournament. Brebeuf took that contest 12-11 despite the fact that the Athenians bounced Notre Dame-committed pitcher Connor Hale after four innings.
The action all begins Saturday at 12 noon when the bracket pits Crawfordsville against Edgewood at Mt. Vernon High School in Fortville. At 3 p.m., Brebeuf will face Beech Grove. The winners of games one and two will do battle at eight o’clock in the title game for the right to advance to the Semi-State at either Jasper of Plainfield the following Saturday. The Semi-State victor then advances to the State Final game at Victory Field in Indianapolis on June 16.
PROBABLE LINEUPS (GAME 1 @ 12 p.m.)
Crawfordsville .347, 53 2B, 14 3B, 8 HR, .467 OBP
Edgewood .269, 29 2B, 7 3B, 3 HR