Putnam County high school baseball teams will need to make a habit of beating teams with superior records as sectional play begins on Wednesday.
Cloverdale and South Putnam meet in the opener at North Putnam, with the host Cougars playing Thursday’s second semifinal game.
South Putnam has been led by the hitting of catcher Aiden LeBlanc (.324, three home runs, 11 RBI) and versatile teammates Tanner Pistelli, Branden Demoret, Jackson Wood, Devin Cashion and Dawson Cash.
Junior Jaren Rossok, another standout pitcher, was lost due to an injury at mid-season.
Besides Watts and Winders, other top hitters for the Clovers have been seniors Nick Smith, Tyce Jackson and T.J. Hagymasi.
North Putnam is led in hitting by Kolten Thorson at .289 and Colton Clifford at .281. Jalen Berry and Kaine Benge lead the team in RBI with seven.
The teams with the best records in the field, South Vermillion and Fountain Central, play in Wednesday’s other quarterfinal game.
North Putnam faces Monrovia, also above .500, in Thursday’s second semifinal game.
5 p.m. — Cloverdale (4-14) vs. South Putnam (5-18)
7 p.m. — South Vermillion (23-2) vs. Fountain Central (16-8-1)
5 p.m. — Wednesday winners in first semifinal game
7 p.m. — North Putnam (2-18) vs. Monrovia (14-11)
1 p.m. — Championship game
By JOEY BENNETT, Sports Editor