June 21, 2014

Wapahani Downs Mater Dei for First Baseball Crown
A pair of one-run innings was all top-ranked Wapahani needed as it captured the IHSAA Class 2A state championship in a 2-0 win over Evansville Mater Dei at Victory Field in Indianapolis.

It was the first baseball state championship for Wapahani, fourth overall and the first in a sport other than volleyball. The Raiders won those titles in 2002 (1A), 20011 and 2012 (both 2A).

The decision marked the 17th straight win for the top-ranked Raiders (30-4) who enjoyed their school's most successful season under 31st year coach Brian Dudley who picked up his 659th career win. Dudley had also coached the 2004 2A state runner-up team.

Wapahani wasted no time in getting on the board as Taylor McKee singled up the middle on the game's first pitch. He stole second base and was brought home two batters later when the Mater Dei centerfielder dropped Luke Snider's fly ball in the sun with one out.

The Raiders made it 2-0 in the top of the fourth when Hayden Castor's one-out double down the left field line scored pinch runner Jared Coats from second base. Coats had entered the game for Austin White who had singled to center to lead off the inning.

Wapahani left hander Zach Thompson (12-0) went the distance, allowing only five hits and striking out nine Wildcat batters.

Of note, Wapahani had ended No. 3 Lafayette Central Catholic's 38-game tournament winning streak by a 2-1 count in last weekend's semi-state championship game.

It was Mater Dei's fourth state runner-up season including second in three years. Steve Ricketts was the second-year Wildcats coach.

Wapahani’s Collin Hoots named Mental Attitude Award Winner
Following the game, members of the IHSAA Executive Committee announced Collin Hoots of Wapahani High School as the winner of this year’s L.V. Phillips Mental Attitude Award in Class 2A Baseball.

The right fielder finished his high school career ranked fourth in his senior class and was a member of the National Honor Society and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Hoots served as class president the last three years and was elected to the Student Council all four years. He also participated in basketball and was a member of the “Rowdy Raiders” student cheer block.

He is the son of Randy and Lori Hoots of Parker City and will attend Ball State University where he'll study Accounting.

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.

The IHSAA Executive Committee presented a $1,000 scholarship to Wapahani High School in the name of Collin Hoots.