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University’s return trip to the Class A state championship game proved successful, thanks, in part, to a state-record performance by senior pitcher Reese Sharp.
A year after falling to Daleville in the title game, the Trailblazers plated their first three batters of the game and went on to a 4-1 victory over Washington Twp. in a rain-interrupted contest at Victory Field.
Dawson Estep whacked the first pitch of the game for a single before Sharp sent the next pitch off the leftfield wall for a triple to give the Trailblazers the lead. Pinch runner Ethan Johnson and Alex Washlock, who reached on a walk, later scored for a 3-0 lead.
Sharp, an Indiana University-recruit and San Francisco Giants draft pick, pitched the complete game, allowing just four hits and striking out a state-record 17 batters. That total is a record for all classes. He walked three and hit a batter.
The only run Sharp allowed Washington Township came on a two-out, RBI double by Matt Rogers that cut the University lead to 3-1 in the fifth inning. The Trailblazers (22-10-1) came back with an unearned run in the sixth inning to close the scoring.
Tyler Gaylean had three hits and Matt Moore and Estep each had two hits for the winners.
The title for coach Chris Estep’s squad is the first in school history, while Washington Township was playing in its first-ever state championship game in any sport.
Coach Randy Roberts’s Senators finish the season at 23-7.
University’s Nate Shatkowski named Mental Attitude recipient
Following the game, members of the IHSAA Executive Committee announced Nate Shatkowski of University High School as the winner of this year’s L.V. Phillips Mental Attitude Award in Class A Baseball.
Shatkowski has been a member of the baseball and basketball teams as a Trailblazer, where he has been awarded the Trailblazer Award (2018), Academic All-State (2019), and PAAC All-Conference honors (2019).
At University, Nate is the Team Founder/President of both the DECA and the Special Olympics Club. He was also a member of the National Honors Society, the Science National Honors Society, and he graduated with Highest Honors from University.
Nate is the son of David and Laura Shatkowski of Fishers, Indiana, and he will attend Indiana University as one of 10 high school seniors to receive a full scholarship to attend the IU Kelley School of Business.
The award is annually presented to an outstanding senior participant in each state championship game who has best demonstrated excellence in mental attitude, scholarship, leadership and athletic ability in baseball. The award is named in honor of the late L.V. Phillips, who served as the second commissioner of the IHSAA from 1945-62.
Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance, the IHSAA’s corporate partner, presented a $1,000 to the general scholarship fund at University High School in the name of Nate Shatkowski.