The IHSBCA No. 2 Fishers Tigers defeated the Cathedral Irish 4-3 at Victory Field on Friday night to claim the school’s first state championship in baseball.

The Tigers and the Irish were tied at No. 1 in the IHSBCA Preseason Poll, so it was fitting for the two schools to face each other in the championship game.

The Irish struck first scoring an unearned run in the bottom of the first. After a one-out walk, the Irish runner stole second base, advanced to third on a throwing error from catcher Kiel Brenczewski, and continued home on the same play when centerfielder JJ Woolwine overthrew third base. 
Like they have done all year, however, the Tigers answered.

Fishers scored three runs in the top of the second with all the runs coming with two outs. With one out, Matthew Wolff singled to centerfield. After the second out, Nick Lukac and Jack Roudebush worked back-to-back walks to load the bases and bring Ben Burton to the plate. Burton battled and fouled off several pitches before driving a two-out, two-run double down the left field line bringing the large Tigers’ crowd cheering to their feet. Woolwine followed on the very next pitch with an RBI single to right field to score Roudebush and give the Tigers a 3-1 lead.

The Irish added another run in the fourth inning without a hit to cut the Tigers lead to 3-2, but the Tigers responded right back with another two-out run in the fifth. Grant Richardson started the rally with a two-out double to left. Brenczewski, Wolff and Alex Jamieson worked back-to-back-to-back walks to increase the lead to 4-2. Jamieson’s RBI walk increased his team leading and school record RBI total to 41.

Starting pitcher Luke Albright was brilliant on the mound. Albright had a no hitter through four innings, retiring 12 of the first 14 batters. The only two batters he did not retire reached base by a walk and both runners scored. The Irish finally got to Albright in the fifth inning scoring a run on a pair of singles and a walk to cut the Tiger lead to 4-3.

Albright returned to the mound in the sixth inning, but was relieved by Richardson with one out and two runners on base. After a wild pitch put runners at second and third, Richardson continued his post-season dramatics by striking out the first batter he faced. An Irish walk loaded the bases with two outs, but Richardson again brought the Tigers faithful cheering to their feet as he struck out the next batter leaving the bases loaded.

With a 4-3 lead, Richardson struck out the first batter in the seventh. The next Irish batter was hit by a pitch and the following batter was walked on four pitches to put the tying run on second and the winning run on first with one out. Richardson then induced an infield fly for the second out. The next Irish batter hit an 0-1 pitch into shallow centerfield that saw shortstop Craig Yoho racing back to try and catch it before Woolwine came racing in from centerfield, called Yoho off, caught the final out, and began the Tiger State Championship celebration.

Albright (9-2) earned the victory on the mound throwing 5.1 innings, while striking out three and allowing two earned runs on three hits. Richardson earned his second save of the season recording the final five outs, including a trio of strikeouts.

Wolff was on base all four plate appearances finishing with a double, single, two walks, two stolen bases and a run scored. Burton delivered the momentum-changing two-run double, Richardson had a double, and Woolwine had an RBI single to round out the Tigers five hits.

The Tigers finished the season 29-7 winning both the Hoosier Crossroads Conference and the sectional for the second year in a row and their first state championship in the 12th year of the program.

After the game, Wolff was awarded the LV Phillips Mental Attitude Award for Class 4A Baseball.