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Center Grove baseball experiencing ‘pretty special’ week

Center Grove baseball (WISH Photo)

GREENWOOD (WISH) – The Center Grove High School baseball team is one win away from capturing the program’s first state championship.

The Trojans, though, have already made history just getting to this point.

“Success breeds success,” Keith Hatfield, Center Grove head coach, said. “There’s no question that the success the entire athletic program has here can trickle down to the programs that haven’t been there yet.”

This is the first time in program history that Center Grove baseball has made it to a state championship game.

“Hopefully the kids are enjoying the week,” Hatfield said. “It’s a special week for everybody who made a state championship, not just us. So, congrats to everybody. But for us, it’s been pretty special. Other programs do it at this school quite often with football and a lot of the girls sports, and golf especially. So for us to be here, it’s pretty special for these guys.”

The Trojans (29-3) will face defending champion Penn (26-8) in the IHSAA 4A State Championship Game on Saturday at 8 p.m. EST at Victory Field.

“I think our schedule did a good job setting us up for the tournament, but I think the tournament set us up to face a really, really good Penn team on Saturday,” Hatfield said.

There is a lot of excitement in Greenwood for the Trojans. In fact, the program hosted an open practice on Wednesday night and around 250 people showed up to support the players and coaches.

“When you see football win back-to-back-to-back state championships, you kind of think, ‘Man, I want that to be us,’” Center Grove catcher Grant Sawa said. “Now that we’re in an opportunity to win that state championship, it’s awesome.”

The Trojans have been a force to be reckoned with all season. They only lost three games and ended the regular season ranked No. 1 in the Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association’s 4A Poll.

Center Grove right fielder Evan Zapp credits every player on the team for that success.

“Just our approaches at the plate,” Zapp said. “Staying confident. Our pitchers leaving it all out there.”

That’s what the players hope to do on Saturday night – leave it all out there on the diamond.

“The goal is to win the state championship, not just get there,” Sawa said.