June 15, 2013

Elkhart Central wins First Baseball State Championship
Elkhart Central picked up the only run it needed thanks to their lead-off hitter as the Blue Blazers beat Indianapolis Cathedral 1-0 for the 2013 4A IHSAA Baseball State Championship at Victory Field.

Senior Tanner Tully, the first man up in the bottom of the first, scored the only run of the game on a towering shot over the right field wall that hit near the top of the lawn seating area. Tully (10-1) also dominated on the mound, holding Cathedral to five hits and striking out 13 including three straight to end the game.

Besides Tully’s homer, Cory Malcom and Austin McArt each tallied a hit for Elkhart Central.

It was Elkhart Central’s first baseball state championship in its first trip to the final game, and the school’s sixth overall. The most recent was for boys track and field in 1993.

Cathedral’s Alex Boos (11) had two hits and Mike Hammel, Will Birch and Brendan Flood contributed one each. The Fighting Irish stranded five runners on base. Sophomore pitcher Ashe Russell (12-1) only gave up three hits and struck out five.

Eighteenth year coach Steve Stutsman’s Blazers concluded a 32-1 season and handed Cathedral (28-1) its first loss of the year. The Irish were bidding to become the fourth undefeated state champion in state history. Rich Andriole is the 17th year Cathedral head coach.

Elkhart Central’s Matthew Eppers Named Mental Attitude Award Winner
Following the game, members of the IHSAA Executive Committee presented Matthew Eppers of Elkhart Central High School as the winner of this year’s L.V. Phillips Mental Attitude Award in Class 4A Baseball.

Eppers finished ranked seventh in a class of 341 students. He is a four year member of the Student Council, the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council and also led Elkhart Central students in achieving 31,000 hours of community service in a joint effort with sister school Elkhart Memorial HS.

He is the son of Matt and Marcia Eppers of Bristol, Ind. and plans to study Business at Ball State University where he’s a recipient of an academic and baseball scholarship.

The award is annually presented to an outstanding senior participant in each state championship game who has best demonstrated excellence in mental attitude, scholarship, leadership and athletic ability in baseball. The award is named in honor of the late L.V. Phillips, who served as the second commissioner of the IHSAA from 1945-62.

Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance, the proud corporate partner of all IHSAA tournaments, presented a $1,000 scholarship to Elkhart Central High School in the name of Eppers.