SOUTH MADISON COUNTY — In boxing it is often said you have to beat the champion to be the champion.
That will also be the case for Pendleton Heights and Lapel baseball teams when it comes to the upcoming post season.
The Indiana High School Athletic Association conducted its annual tournament draw for its state baseball tournament on Sunday. Both Pendleton Heights and Lapel will have to play defending sectional champions to open tournament play.
The sectional tournaments, the first round of the IHSAA post season series, are scheduled to be played between May 25-30.
Pendleton Heights (7-10) will play Game 1 of Class 4A Sectional 9 at Mt. Vernon High School against the host school, which won the 2021 tournament played at Pendleton Heights.
Mt. Vernon (8-7) and Pendleton Heights split their Hoosier Heritage Conference two-game series last month, with both teams winning games on the road.
Game 2 of the Mt. Vernon Sectional will feature the team with the best record (as of May 2) Richmond (8-3) against Greenfield-Central (6-8).
Game 3 is the first of two semifinal contests, with winners of Game 1 and Game 2 facing off.
The second semifinal, Game 4, will have Muncie Central (6-8) taking on Anderson (10-7).
The Arabians have won three straight games, starting the streak with an 8-0 win against the Marauders on April 27. The previous day, Pendleton Heights lost to Mt. Vernon 9-4.
They have an HHC doubleheader remaining with Greenfield-Central on May 3-4 and have a contest scheduled at Richmond on May 16.
Lapel will be in a similar situation in Class 2A Sectional 40.
It will not take on the host school (Frankton) but it will take on the defending champion, Wapahani.
Lapel (10-4-1) plays Wapahani (15-2) in Game 2 of the eight-team tournament. Elwood (0-9) and Monroe Central (12-4) play in Game 1.
Game 3 will have host Frankton (9-7-1) taking on Alexandria (6-12-1). The final quarterfinal game will feature Winchester (4-6-1) and Muncie Burris (2-6).
The Game 1-2 winners play in the first of two semifinal matchups with the Game 3-4 winners to vie for the second spot in the tournament final.
Lapel is 2-2 against sectional competition with one more still to play. The Bulldogs defeated Frankton (13-2 on April 22) and Elwood (5-3, on April 27) and have lost to Monroe Central (11-0 on April 18) and first-round opponent Wapahani (10-3 on April 26).
They are scheduled to play Alexandria on Friday, May 6.
Game dates and times will be released later.