The Fishers High School baseball team developed the motto “Let them sleep on us” when the team didn’t receive much recognition in the preseason rankings.
“We had our doubters,” senior second baseman Jack Braun said. “They slept on us, but we proved them all wrong and got all the way here.”
The Tigers reached the Class 4A state championship game before falling to Jasper 3-1 June 22 at Victory Field in Indianapolis.
“Our guys kept fighting back,” Fishers coach Matthew Cherry said. “We had our chances. Our guys fought so hard all year. They were awesome. They never quit, even that last inning. There’s a lot of things we did great all tournament, but we didn’t execute as well (against Jasper).”
Jasper scored three runs in the third inning with the big hit being Ross Peter’s two-run double off losing pitcher Tate Warner, a junior.
After loading the bases with one out in the fifth, junior Dom Oliverio drove in the Tigers’ only run with a sacrifice fly.
The Wildcats closed the season with 22 consecutive victories to finish 31-2. Jasper pitcher Grant Stratton allowed only three hits and struck out seven.
Braun, who had one of those hits, was Fishers’ only senior starter in the game.
“All these guys are my brothers,” said Braun, who finished with a team-high .327 batting average. “We all grew up together. It’s so bittersweet that we got to get all the way here, and it’s so sad this all had to end. I love all these guys and wish them the best for next year. The sky is the limit for this team. If they can stay together like this year, you’ll see them right back here on this field (in the state final).”
Cherry agreed that the team was very close.
“‘They love one another,” Cherry said. “They fought for each other. Just a special, special group. They came together about the beginning of May, and it clicked for them. They found their roles. We talked about being the hero of your story, the hero of your role, and they all bought in.”
Freshman Jack Brown, who was the designated hitter, pitched the final two innings for Fishers.
“He pitched in big games all year,” Cherry said. “He did great coming in.”
Brown finished with a 7-2 record with a 1.43 earned run average. At the plate, he hit .318 and led the team in hits (35) and runs batted in (28).
Freshman catcher Caulin Brown, who hit .264, led the team in doubles with nine.
In addition to Braun, the other senior who saw considerable action was pitcher Mason Sweeney, who was 5-1 with a 2.10 ERA.
After starting the season 1-4, the Tigers finished 23-13. Fishers won 10 consecutive games before losing to Jasper.
“We’re not going to surprise anybody next year,” said Cherry, whose team won the 4A state title in 2018. “It will be a different mindset and different approach. I’m excited for next year but we’re going to celebrate these guys for a heck of a run.”