Jasper baseball makes jump to class 4a, eyes evansville sectional

JASPER — if jasper high school’s baseball team can’t play in the postseason at its state-of-the-art ruxer field, coach terry gobert said historic bosse field is the next-best alternative.

The wildcats have moved up to class 4A for at least two years because of an increase in enrollment. Rather than being a host, they will travel an hour to evansville, joining castle, central, reitz, harrison and north.

“if you go back through history, we’ve been doubling everyone in attendance in sectionals and regionals,” gobert said. “so, for ruxer field to sit empty is a little tough.”

“there are more rivalries in our 3A sectional because we’re an hour away from all the 4A schools,” gobert said.Goedde said “but I know all the (4A) programs and the coaches, and they’re good guys, so we’ll just have to establish some new rivalries.”

Central, the defending sectional 16 champion, will play jasper twice in the regular season. All parties are affected by the addition of the wildcats because the program’s pedigree is better than anyone else’s.

“the price of poker has gone up now that jasper is involved with the five teams that have been here and have been competitive with each other,” central coach mike goedde said. “we all have to raise our game and we will have to play well to win it.”

bosse field

The central bears rush the field after beating castle for the 2017 IHSAA 4A sectional championship at bosse field (photo: DENNY SIMMONS / COURIER & PRESS)

Plus, it’s now a six-team sectional. The IHSAA’s blind draw will be more important than ever in determining who receives the best route to the championship.

Last year, two of five teams played in the first round. Now, four of the six will play on the opening night, meaning they need to win three games to capture the sectional title.

“we’ll know in plenty of time if we play wednesday or if we have a bye until friday, so we can get ourselves set up in that two-week period beforehand,” goedde said.Bosse field

North coach jeremy jones said jasper is the “gold standard” of baseball in indiana and will add to the level of difficulty. Each of the five SIAC teams in the sectional have won it in the last five years.

“if you’re building a program, jasper is the blueprint of success,” jones said. “besides brian kuester, I think coach gobert is absolutely the best around, so it’s going to be a challenge.”

Unfortunately for nearly everyone, the weather has not cooperated so far. Gobert said he can’t remember being on a baseball field less in his tenure because the rain and cold have been constant throughout the preseason, and now the first week.Gobert said

The wildcats graduated nine seniors, including the reigning courier & press all-southwestern indiana player of the year evan aders, who hit .462 with 47 rbis last year. They also lost their top two starters from their long tournament run and the everyday catcher.

Despite that, they return 14 upperclassmen and were ranked no. 10 in the preseason coaches poll. But it’s early, and jasper is one of the smallest 4A schools, so gobert expects his team’s depth to be tested.

Jasper may be the high school baseball capital of indiana. And it very well could continue competing for state championships with the biggest schools — it won the final two single-class titles in 1996 and ’97 — but the wildcats’ path to victory field now runs through evansville.Bosse field