JASPER, Ind. (WEHT) – Jasper baseball’s quest for its sixth state championship is just two wins away.
The Wildcats find themselves in the 4A semistate championship, which will be played at their home base at Ruxer Field on Saturday, June 12 against Mount Vernon.
Apart from fortuitous home-field advantage, Jasper is also nursing significant momentum after a come-from-behind win over Center Grove in the 4A regional championship last week.
Facing a 4-0 deficit through five innings, the team rallied back to 4-3 before senior Eli Hopf put the final nail in the coffin. Hopf blasted a grand slam into left field which ultimately helped the Wildcats escape with a 7-4 win and claim their first regional title since 2017.
The team must now turn their focus to Mount Vernon (26-6) for a shot at returning to Victory Field. Yet, Jasper head coach Terry Gobert said his team must focus on themselves first and foremost.
“We always tell our kids we are not playing our opponent.” said Gobert. “We are playing against ourselves to play the best baseball we can play, and that’s going to be important Saturday.”
Playing the best baseball they can, Gobert insisted, will involve limiting opportunities for the Marauders at the plate. His team believes they have the ability to make that happen.
“I feel really confident,” Hopf said. “We have been playing really good lately. And I feel like we are ready for what’s coming for us.”
“I’ve heard good things about Mount Vernon,” said senior Grant Stratton. “I think they are a good team. So, we have to come ready to play like usual, and do what we do best, which is compete always and whatever happens, happens. We are going to play our game just the same as any other game all year.”
(This story was originally published on June 9, 2021)